Every year some of our most talented athletics elect to leave early for pro sports. For the sake of the team many avid fans pray that they stay. This may be selfish but the fact is that more times than not the athlete stay in school.
We hear things like “he should do what’s right for him”, he should take the money” and so on. A lot can be written about the athlete doing what’s right for the team, the school or the commitment the program has made in him. But let’s focus just on what’s right for him. The young 19 or 20 year old student is faced with what very well may be one of the biggest decisions he will make in his life.
His ego is in play, the money is in play but 95% of the time what’s right for him is to stay in school and finish his education. Disappointing stories are too numerous to count of how many times going pro early does not work out. Injuries occur, skills not good enough, personality problems with management and so on. Even if an athlete is fortunate to play in the majors, by the mid 30’s he will be looking to retire and start another career.
From the very first college class coaches need to be driving home the importance of staying in school and getting a degree and then thinking of going pro. Waiting until the athlete is faced with the decision is too late.
Turning Pro, What are the Rules…?
Professional Draft Rules vary by the sport.
Basketball, in the NBA a high school graduate may not enter the NBA draft until nineteen years of age or has completed one year of college. (One and done)
Football, the NFL doesn’t have a one and done, a player must complete his college junior season (or three years after his high school graduating class) in order to declare for the NFL draft.
Baseball in the MLB, players at four-year colleges are eligible after completing their junior years, or after their 21st birthdays.
To date our Trojans have a 5-3 record for the start of the season with starting pitching a pleasant surprise. Hitting is looking ok with a .290 batting average for the first 8 games and a .321 ERA in pitching. It’s way too soon to draw any conclusions but so far relief pitching and fielding appear to be the only areas needing to pick up a little.
Cal State Northridge 3 game series. Trojans take 2 out of 3.
Game one lost 9-4 in 11 innings. Starter Bobby Wheatley pitched well for 6 innings giving up 4 hits and no earned runs. Greg Zebrack, Vahn Bozoian, and James Roberts all had 2 hits.
Game two won 4-2 in 10 innings. Starter Wyatt Strahan pitched well for 6.1 innings allowing no earned runs. Greg Zebrack, Jake Hernandez both had two hits. Adam Landecker and Kevin Swick each had 3 hits with Kevin driving in the winning run in the 10th inning.
Game three won 4-2 Starter Kyle Twomey went the full 9 innings allowing 5 hits and striking out 5 as he dominated Cal State Northridge hitters. Greg Zebrack and Dante Flores both had 2 hits and A.J. Ramirez had 2 hits and 2 RBI’S.
Trojan vs. Long Beach State, USC 4-1 victory
Freshman Brent Wheatley younger brother of Bobby Wheatley goes 6.1 innings allowing 4 hits and 1 run. Adam Landecker collects 2 hits and Dante Flores has a home run on 3 hits.
Austin Wood — Entered Angeles spring training game in the 7th inning and gave up 2 blooper hits, one run and struck out one. Pitched A ball last year with 5-12 record and 4.30 ERA.
Brandon Martin — Former Trojan basketball player has been hired as athletic director at Cal State Northridge. Brandon was previously senior associate athletic director at Oklahoma.
Ian Kennedy — Former Trojan Ian Kennedy will make his third consecutive Opening Day start for the Arizona D-backs on April 1. Kennedy with 36 victories has the most victories in the National League the last two seasons. Kennedy’s 66 starts over the last two seasons are tied for No. 1 in the league.
Alumni Game Feedback…
Ken, The old timer’s alumni game was a smash hit. I thank you and Justin for allowing me to catch two innings completely against good common sense. However, Justin did have me hitting fourth in the lineup, which was only appropriate:) And, for the record, it is not true that good vision is over-rated for a catcher. I had the range of a postage stamp back there and any fuzzy streak of a ball to the left or right of me had a good chance of making it to the backstop. But all the guys were very patient, I had a great time, almost died of exhaustion after two innings, and wouldn’t’ have missed it for the world. This was a Life Event for me, one that I will always remember with lots of smiles and USC pride. Thanks for all your efforts. Please tell Justin that Rod would be proud of him and you for such a wonderful job. Bud Hollowell – 1963 Team.
Updated-Feb 25 rankings have interest but season is still young.
Rank School Record Previous
1 North Carolina 6-0 1
2 Arkansas 7-1 3
3 Vanderbilt 7-1 4
4 LSU 6-1 2
5 Oregon State 8-0 8
6 Oregon 6-1 5
7 Florida State 7-0 9
8 South Carolina 5-1 7
9 UCLA 4-2 6
10 Mississippi State 9-0 13
11 Arizona 7-1 10
12 Rice 5-2 12
13 Kentucky 5-1 11
14 Stanford 5-2 14
15 Oklahoma 9-0 15
16 NC State 5-1 16
17 Ole Miss 7-0 18
18 Cal State Fullerton 8-0 19
19 Louisville 6-1 21
20 Georgia Tech 6-1 20
21 Miami (Fla.) 7-0 23
22 Virginia 7-0 25
23 UC Irvine 6-1 27
24 Arizona State 4-2 22
25 Texas 6-1 29
26 Clemson 5-1 30
27 Florida Gulf Coast 5-1 NR
28 Cal Poly 7-0 NR
29 Florida 3-5 17
30 Texas A&M 5-3 26
Other West Coast teams receiving votes: Pepperdine (6-2), San Diego State (3-4)
BASEBALL ALUMNI MISSION STATEMENT…
Keep alive the Trojan spirit, affection and passion.
- Keep former players connected
- Provide ongoing information on USC, Trojan baseball and other sports matters
- Preserve & promote Trojan baseball tradition
Ken Guffey Miller, Trojan Baseball Alumni 949-488-0061
Stay connected…And keep passion burning!
Views and opinions expressed are mine and do not necessarily reflect the position of any other.