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Questions About
NCAA Division II Baseball

Coach Doug Jones
Head Baseball Coach
Tusculum College
Greeneville, Tennessee

Question: You are considered one of the best recruiters in NCAA Division II college baseball, what do you consider your "strong points" or best assets when it comes to recruiting?
Answer: I hope, number one, that I am honest with every player I recruit so they know exactly where we see them fitting into our program. We have to look at guys that are not always the top players, we must find players that we think can develop into our system. I am hopeful that we can continue to find the right players for our program.

Question: n your opinion, how has college baseball recruiting changed in the past few years (5 or so). Has the popularity of the internet made any changes in how you recruit of go about finding players? Do you use e-mail as a tool in recruiting?
Answer: Fall ball has changed to be a major part of the recruiting process. There is an event every weekend in several locations around the region. Each coach and staff member then must pick where they need to be. Coaches spend a lot of time running from showcase to showcase every weekend to see the select few players they need to. It would be more beneficial to all parties if there were less showcases and more players attended a select few in each region. On the positive side, fall ball now allows our staff to see players we would not see in the spring and may miss in the summer. The Internet is great for us. It helps us get access to many things we could not at our size school. We can send e-mails to juniors and follow their process on a more one to one level without phone calls (which are a NCAA restriction).

Question: In talking with parents of high school players and potential college baseball student-athletes, many times I feel that a college coach may have to recruit the parents as aggressively as the players. Do you find that to be true?
Answer: Yes, very much so. Baseball players are not getting the full-rides. That means, in most cases, the parents are the ones paying the rest of the college expenses. This makes baseball parents very involved in their son's lives and decision-making process. They want to know their sons will be safe and happy for the next four years.

Question: When watching a player, how important is his "personal appearance" to your overall evaluation and future recruitment of that player?
Answer: It is very important to us how a player carries himself on and off the field.

Question: There has been some discussion in recent months about college baseball programs possibly returning to using wooden bats. Do you have any thoughts or comments?
Answer: Right now I do not think it would be financially feasible for most college baseball programs.

Question: Do you have any other comments of advice for a player that has aspirations of playing college baseball?

Question: Should a player send a video tape of himself in baseball situations and games? How important is the editing of the tape? Should it be professionally done?
Answer: Keep working hard and, make the most of the opportunities that are presented to you.

Question: With regards to recruiting - do you have a specific geographic area that you recruit from, or do you recruit "nationally?"
Answer: We recruit nationally as well as internationally. Being a private school, we have one set cost of tuition for in and out of state students.

Question: If a player were interested in Tusculum baseball, when would be the time for him send a brief letter of introduction? Which grade in school/what time of year?
Answer: The best time is during the summer of their junior year in high school.

Question: Which of the following things would be good for a player to include with a first letter?
Answer: *Season Statistics - Okay, but not needed
*Photo of player - No
*Newspaper clippings - No
*Short video tape - Yes
*Names/telephone # of pro scouts that have seen the player - Yes, this is a big focus because many times this gives us a fair and neutral report on players that are not from our area.

Note: Items in bold type are responses by Coach Jones

Question: What is the typical roster size for your program? What is the approximate breakdown of pitchers vs. position players?
Answer: We carry about 40 players on our roster. That is for Varsity and Junior Varsity. We will have about 15 pitchers and the rest are position players.

Question: Professional baseball seems to have a "love affair" with bigger players. In other words, pitchers over 6' tall, Derek Jeter sized shortstops, etc. What are your feelings when it comes to evaluating and recruiting players for your program?
Answer: We look for players that fit our system. We like to run and be very athletic on the bases. With our new park it lends itself to more of an athletic game. So from the baseball side, we look for players that can keep the pressure on the defense. The most important thing we look for are student athletes with strong character and academics.

Question: When watching a player, how important is his "attitude appearance" to your overall evaluation and future recruitment?
Answer: Very important. First impressions mean a lot; not just physical performance, but how a player carries himself.

Question: What other items, if any, would be helpful in a first contact letter?
Answer: Very important things are current GPA, current test score information (SAT or ACT), summer and fall team, and a contact person.

Question: If a tape is beneficial to you and your staff, what suggestions would you make to the player? Such as: all game situations, some individual fielding and batting situations, pitchers in games only or throwing to a good catcher also?
Answer: Sure we will review every tape we get and we like tapes that are short and to the point. No frills, just the basics: hitters from the open side, fielders basic ground balls, pitchers from behind the catcher or on their open side. Keep it simple.

Question: With the increasing number of high school talent showcases in recent years, how important is it for a player to attend this type of event? Do you and/or the coaching staff attend any showcases?
Answer: Our staff attended many last year. We thought as a whole that the Blue Gray showcases and the Baseball Factory were among the best for us.

Question: Do you attend tournaments during the summer months to watch players on the better travel teams?
Answer: Yes, our summer recruiting is separated between showcases and certain summer teams we need to see.

Question: How important would you consider it to be for a player to play on one of the better summer teams? One that competes at the highest levels of competition regionally and nationally.
Answer: Very Important, the better the competition, the better the player will become.

Question: Do you prefer to watch a player in a game with a travel team, at a quality tournament, or at a top high school showcase?
Answer: We like to evaluate players in game situations.

Question: Which of the current high school baseball talent showcases to you feel are the best?
Answer: Each year we try to go to as many states junior day events as we can. We also go to Team One, Blue Gray, The Baseball Factory, and many others.

Question: Are the "online" internet services taken seriously by college coaches? Would you recommend them to a high school player and his family?
Answer: I would be very careful with online services, we do use certain ones, my advice to parents would be, make sure you do your homework.

Question: Do you hold summer and/or holiday camps? If so, how important or beneficial would you consider it to be for a prospective player to attend?
Answer: We do hold summer camps, which are designed more for local kids. We also hold summer and fall tournaments, which allows us the opportunity to evaluate a lot of players.

Coach Doug Jones
Head Baseball Coach
Tusculum College
Greeneville, Tennessee

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