Reader Jeff B. informed me yesterday that former Oklahoma State University head baseball coach Gary Ward was on the radio in Tulsa and OKC really pushing for moving the college baseball season back into the late spring and summer, to the point of having the College World Series sometime in August or even September.
Jeff wrote: "it made sense to me. Baseball shouldn't be starting in February in Oklahoma, much less anywhere else in about 40 states. But then it hit me -- what would that do about players wanting to go pro? Would they be willing to finish out their junior years (or be forced to by the rules?) in August and sit until next spring, canceling out the positive affect that moving back the draft has recently accomplished?...Or, with the knowledge that they wouldn't be able to play minor-league ball after their junior season, and after the minor-leagues seasons end, would fewer players go to college?"
Ward has a point about the difficulty that many college programs face by trying to play baseball in February and March. But in my view, his proposal to push the schedule that far back into the summer and fall is just unworkable, at least with the way the minor leagues are currently structured.
It would take a simultaneous overhaul of professional baseball in coordination with the college game for Ward's idea to work, turning the college programs into more of a developmental league. And that's just not going to happen. If the NCAA tried this without coordination with MiLB and MLB, then yes I think it would actually hurt college baseball, not help it, since even more players would likely turn pro out of high school. Who wants to be playing for South Podunk State University in August heat when you could be working on your skills in pro ball?
That's my take anyway. What do you guys think?