2023 changes

Mar 15, 2021
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From D1 baseball:

The waivers are as follows and will affect only the 2023 Division I Baseball season:

Following the cancellation of the 2020 baseball season because of the Coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA set forth guidelines for the 2021 and ’22 campaigns. For ’22, the roster limit is set at 40, the number of players on scholarship is up from 27 to 32 and there is no 25 percent scholarship minimum.

For the ’23 season, the NCAA is allowing programs to have a roster size anywhere from 35-40, but there are major caveats. For instance, any student athlete beyond 35 would have had to lose their season to COVID back in 2020. Furthermore, teams will be allowed to have anywhere from 27-32 players on scholarship. However, anyone in the 28-32 range will have the same caveat as above — they will have had to lose their 2020 season to COVID. This mostly only would apply to super seniors on the roster next season. Additionally, those players who count as extra roster spots and counters would count against a team’s 11.7 and would be required to have 25 percent of a scholarship.

The American Baseball Coaches Association and others had hoped that the NCAA would have been more lenient with Division I Baseball. They were hoping to get a 40-man roster with no strings attached, along with 32 counters.

“I’m fairly surprised and disappointed that the committee didn’t grant a full waiver of 40 players on the roster without stipulations,” ABCA Executive Director Craig Keilitz said. “We’re still the only sport that has a cap on our numbers, and how in these tough times we’re not doing the best we can for the student athletes is just surprising to me. Because of this, I fear that we’ll have a lot of kids without a spot to play Division I Baseball next year. It’s just disappointing.

“With that said, our coaches will find a way to make it work, follow the rules and do the best they can within the guidelines set forth,” he added. “We continue to work on legislation that benefits our game and student athletes, and we’re looking forward to tackling both the minimum 25 percent scholarship rule and 27 counters during the upcoming year.”

The guidelines set forth for 2023 are not expected to carry over to ’24, but no vote with the NCAA is ever certain. With that said, there is a groundswell of support for measures that would permanently keep counters at 32 and eliminate the 25 percent minimum scholarship rule.

When could something happen on that front? It’s still way out. The ABCA and a sponsoring conference hope to have legislation ready to propose in September before putting it up for a vote with the NCAA in April of 2023. The expectation is that those two pieces would be approved by the Division I Council in April and would go into effect in August ’23, effectively for the 2024 college baseball season.

In other news, some have asked the latest is with scholarships and the third-coach legislation in our sport. There is no new news on that front but keep an eye on the new NCAA constitution and movement by Power Conferences moving forward. Any movement on that front could spark several changes. In the meantime, several programs’ donors around Division I Baseball are taking matters into their own hands from an NIL standpoint. Both Mississippi State and Texas A&M have robust NIL programs in place, while a group tied to Texas Baseball unveiled plans earlier this week to start a charity-based NIL program that would utilize Texas Baseball players as charity ambassadors. Expect more programs’ donors to also get creative when it comes to NIL opportunities.

As for roster management, we’re pretty much back to square one come 2023, and most head coaches won’t like that. But bigger and better change is down the road — not only from a roster standpoint, but also when it comes to other hot-button topics
 
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