Story by Drew Amman:
Less than 24 hours after the NCAA Division I Council met and a vote allowed one additional year of eligibility for student-athletes in spring sports, Dave Van Horn met with the media. A few tidbits & quotes from that teleconference:
On the subject of a shortened MLB Draft as few as five rounds (undrafted free agents can only sign up to $20,000):
DVH: “It’ll give them a good option to go back to school if they feel like they’re not gonna get the type of bonus that they need to skip a year or two of school. It’s definitely frees them up to make a decision, if they feel like they’re not gonna get any bargaining power. I’m really happy for them.”
On roster management/expanded roster:
DVH: “Gonna be different for every school. That part didn’t help us one bit. It’s going to help a lot of the mid-majors, or in the rare case a power five school. Look at TCU, they have like seven or eight seniors contributing. They could be one of the oldest teams in the country next season, if they decide to come back. For Arkansas, we have some seniors academically, but athletically we really just had Cole Austin who is a grad transfer. We’ll have a few guys sign, and then a few guys borderline sign that we’re hoping will come back. We have a couple of freshmen coming in who, if they don’t sign (to turn pro), they could really help us on the mound and with the bat. We’ll just have to see what happens with the Draft. We don’t know when that’s gonna be. There’s still a lot up in the air for us. We have many months to try to figure this out.”
What is your outlook on the MLB Draft?
DVH: “I think there will be a Draft. If MLB doesn’t play all summer, there will be a five round Draft, and free agency after that where they are limited on how much money they can give to free agents. If MLB plays half their season or a little more, there could be all the way up to 20 rounds. If they go 80 games, they are probably looking at ten rounds or somewhere in there. There’s people in the know who I’ve talked to.”
On Players, Training on their Own & Summer/Fall Ball:
DVH: “Hopefully they do get to play some summer ball, whether it’s part of July or some of August. If they don’t, I truly believe there needs to be some type of rule where we can bring our guys in early, or if we can’t do that, when we look at September, can we go longer, maybe spread it out, play outside competition whenever we want, whether we play 10 or 15 games or whatever we needed to do. We could play D1, JUCO, D2, or whatever, just play some outside competition. We need guys to get better, and they want to get better. You do that by playing.”
The teleconference wrapped up around 11:45 a.m. Stay tuned for more from Van Horn along with interviews with Casey Opitz and Heston Kjerstad.