NCAA Still Considering Baseball Schedule Cut

Hold everything. Initial reports that the NCAA is leaving the college baseball schedule at its current size might have been overstated. The presidents still must have their say.

Measures approved by the NCAA's Division I Board of Directors have put on-hold the decision made a day earlier by the national body's Management Council that the college baseball regular season would remain at the current 56-game limit. The BOD will instead further consider trimming the slate to 52 games, with the decision to come in April.

On Sunday, January 8, the Management Council voted down cutting the schedule. But the very next day the presidents brought the proposal back up for a further comment-period. They continue to raise questions that baseball coaches and conference representatives believed they had answered, regarding situations unique to college baseball--specifically, the professional draft of underclassmen and liberal transfer rules--that lead to baseball having a lower Academic Progress Rate than other sports.

The BOD has approved other parts of the larger Management Council proposal. Among the changes to college baseball:

--February 1 is now the first date allowed for spring semester team practices;

--the season cannot begin until the first February Friday that is 13 weeks before the Sunday immediately before Memorial Day;

--fall practices are limited to a 45-day period during September-October-November.

These new rules take effect August 1, 2007. If the schedule cut is indeed approved in April, the shorter slate would begin in 2008.

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