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Questions About College Baseball Recruiting

Coach Bob Seddon
Head Baseball Coach
(Now retired after 34 seasons)

University of Pennsylvania

Coach Bob Seddon retired as University of Pennsylvania Head Baseball Coach following the 2005 season. This interview took place in 2002. Seddon served as a coach in the Penn athletic department for 36 years, coming to Penn as the head coach of men's soccer in 1968 and taking over the title of head baseball coach in 1971. Seddon stepped down as soccer coach in 1986 after a 19-year tenure and retired from his baseball coaching post in 2005 after 34 seasons.

Question: One of the frequently asked questions (on the website) is about the recruiting process at the nation's top academic institutions. How does recruiting at Penn differ from recruiting at an ACC, SEC or Big 10 school?

Answer: Cost - Scholarships! Higher academic level -- tougher to get in, etc. (Penn has moved way up academically)


Question: Do the "Ivy" league schools have athletic scholarships?

Answer: No


Question: Do you feel that the reputation of the education provided at a school like Penn gives you a recruiting advantage in some instances?

Answer: Yes, definitely.


Question: Are there special exceptions for some student - athletes with regards to entrance requirements such as standardized test scores and high school grade point average?

If so, how many would the baseball program be eligible for in a particular year?

Answer: None


Question: When (if at all) should a player write a letter of introduction to a college coach ? (i.e. after his 10th grade year, etc.)

Answer: His junior year


Question: Is it better to have his high school coach write / send the first letter?

Answer: The student should write first


Question: Do sending copies of high school / summer team statistics help? Are they of value to you, when included in an introductory letter?

Answer: Yes


Question: Should a player or coach send copies of clippings from local newspapers that include highlights about the player?

Answer: Yes


Question: Are the "online" internet recruiting services taken seriously by college coaches? Would you recommend them to a high school player and his family?

Answer: To some degree. A personal letter is more helpful to me.


Question: Should a player send videotape of himself in baseball situations and games? How important is the editing of the tape? Does it need to be professionally done?

Answer: Sending a videotape does help. It does not necessarily need to be professionally done.


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 practice? Pitchers in games only or is just throwing to a catcher good also?

Answer: Not so much game tape. Change angles–zero in, etc.


Question: What items if any would you suggest to "leave out" of a tape? (Music, etc.)

Answer: text


Question: Assuming that a player has received and completed and returned a "baseball questionnaire" from a college, is it a good idea to contact the coaches by telephone? Of course this means that the player is placing the call. (NCAA rules) When, in your opinion, would be the right time period for a player to contact a coach? Two part question .... What grade? What time of year?

Answer: I wait to talk to the athlete eventually -- 11th grade -- spring of the year


Question: With the continuing increase in the number of "Showcases". In recent years how important is it for a player to attend this type of event?

Answer: It helps but they are overdone. A player must "play" at a showcase to get a true read.


Question: Does the fact that a player has attended an "invitation only" type Showcase, such as Team One, College Select or the Area Code Games help a player when he expresses an interest in a particular college?

Answer: Yes


Question: How important is a player's physical appearance? I do not mean is he 6'-1" tall and weighs 205 lbs. What I am referring to is tattoos, body piercings, odd hair styles, manner of dress etc. Are any or all of these items a "negative" when a college coach weighs 205 lbs. Are any or all of these items a "negative" when a college coach comes to see a player?

Answer: To some degree -- difficult to be specific


Question: If a player has a bad day when a college coach is in the stands watching him for the first time. Does that mean that it is "over" as far as that school is concerned?

Answer: Not necessarily


Question: How important is a player's "attitude appearance" when in a game or at practice?

Answer: Very important -- KEY!


Question: As the coach of an Ivy League school do you recruit on a more regional scope than other college baseball programs? Or does the academic standards at Penn cause you to recruit on a "National" basis?

Answer: National basis -- I have 12 players on my team roster from California.


Question: So many high school players have the attitude that if they do not play college baseball at one of the D1 top 40 programs they have failed. What advice can you offer a high school player regarding the "big school" stigma?

Answer: Academics First! They can be drafted from any program. Penn has two players in the big leagues at the present time.


Question: What type of "intangibles" do you look for when scouting a high school baseball player?

Answer: Total package. What needs do I have in my program?


Question: Are the recommendations / opinions of the player's coaches and teachers a part of your scouting / recruiting process?

Answer: Yes


Retired Head Coach Bob Seddon
University of Pennsylvania

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