Call to the Bullpen- How the 2012 MLB Draft Shows Why the NCAA Must Make

Major League Baseball (“MLB”) revised its amateur draft rules in 2012, which had a significant effect on how much of a signing bonus MLB teams could offer their draftees. Accordingly, it is no surprise that signing bonuses for first round draftees decreased by almost $12 million in 2012, as compared to 2011. The new rules, and their subsequent effect on MLB teams, demand that baseball student-athletes, now more than ever, not only be educated in all facets of the MLB Draft before deciding to turn pro or become/remain college student-athletes, but also retain a competent attorney or agent to represent them in the negotiation of a professional contract. The problem is that current National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) rules make it virtually impossible for baseball student-athletes to receive the education they deserve to make a well-informed decision. Furthermore, NCAA rules completely prohibit student-athletes from hiring an attorney and/or agent for representation during negotiations.

MLB revised its rules to address changes in professional baseball; the NCAA must follow suit and amend its outdated bylaws to be in tune with the current state of amateur baseball. This article argues that the NCAA should 1.) Make a “High School Baseball Exception” to its no-agent rule, 2.) Reform its bylaw regarding Professional Sports Counseling Panels, 3.) Revise the no-agent rule as applied to college baseball student-athletes, and 4.) Create a National Professional Sports Counseling Panel.