Baseball's Jeremy Sowers to Miss Two Starts

Vanderbilt freshman pitcher Jeremy Sowers must sit out Vanderbilt's first six games of the 2002 season due to an inadvertent minor NCAA rules violation.

Sowers and his family had sought advice regarding a proposed
contract last summer after the Major League draft, where he was a first
round selection of the Cincinnati Reds.  According to NCAA policy, advisors
and professional sports teams are not permitted to have contact on behalf
of a student-athlete.  In this instance, such contact did occur and it was
ruled a secondary (minor) violation of NCAA rules.

Vanderbilt appealed the NCAA decision to no avail, saying that
Sowers did nothing wrong, received no material benefit and had been saying
all along he planned to play collegiately.   The decision means that Sowers
will miss what amounts to two starting opportunities.

"We were very disappointed with the NCAA's position," Commodore
Head Coach Roy Mewbourne says.  "The Sowers family took great pains to
handle everything properly so any penalty seems extremely harsh to us.
We've known about this for some time so it does not upset our season's
plans as much as we think it's unfair to an honest student-athlete."

"My family and I thought the ruling was unjust," Sowers says, "but
in the big picture I understand that we have no recourse but to move ahead.
My focus has been to prepare for a challenging season and that is what I've
been doing.  I will have ample opportunity to compete."

Sowers, a Louisville Ballard High School product, is a left-handed
pitcher and is rated by most experts as one of the top freshmen in the
country.

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