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A Discussion About NCAA Division 3 Programs


Eric Etchison
Head Baseball Coach
Maryville College
Maryville, Tennessee

Eric Etchison

The former MC standout has been quick to establish the Fighting Scots Baseball program as one of the best in the NCAA Division III South Region. Maryville came out of the decade of the 80's winning only 36% of all their contests. During the 90's MC posted a 60% winning percentage with every school record being re-established. Due to the Scots resurgence, Coach Etchison was named Tennessee Baseball Coaches Association's 1997 Division II and III Coach of the Year


Question: Can a Division 3 baseball program offer "paid for" recruiting visits? (like at D1 and D2 schools)

Answer: Division III institutions athletically do not offer "paid for" recruiting visits. Any meal, meal reimbursement, room, hotel reimbursement, entertainment or travel expense reimbursement would be an extension of the individual schools admission department. Each and every student-athlete is extended the same rights and priviledges as the student body population.

A student-athlete can be transported at cost or discount by an institution if it issued through the admissions department. Meals, entertainment and lodging have a cap and time limit.

Question: As a small D3 program how do you define the "geography" of your recruiting area?

Answer: Most schools on our level recruit geographically within a 5-9 hour perimeter. Such visits are costly for the school and are not sponsored (paid for) by a majority of DIII schools. The limit consists in the economic diversity of the admissions department.

Question: How would you compare the baseball talent at a the D3 schools to those of other classifications?

Answer: The only deviation in talent in the Division III athlete and those of other classifications is the consistency of the athletes performance, and the "cruising velocity" of the pitchers.

I define a pitcher's velocity as not the top speed they can hit on a gun, but the "cruising velocity" that a pitcher maintains over 35 pitches of work. I take the mean average of all velocities and pitch types. With regards to hitting -- Maryville College ranked #3 nationally in team batting average at .377 last season.

Addition comment about DIII talent .... Billy Wagner - DIII, Eric Owens - DIII. There were 34 DIII baseball players taken in last years professional draft.

Question: What is the general opinion of Division III baseball coaches about the "online internet recruiting services?"

Answer: I am not a big fan of the online recruiting services. When talking to my fellow coaches across DIII they are in agreement that they are really expensive mailing lists.

I feel that a player and his high school coach can achieve the same results. I like to hear from the coach who has been around the athlete for at least two years.

Question: What percentage of your baseball players receive academic assistance (scholarships, etc.)?

Answer: 100% of my current players are on some form of academic assistance from Maryville College

Now for some general comments about the NCAA Division III baseball experience.

In my ten (10) years at Maryville College we have graduated over 100 student-athletes and had only two sign professional contracts. I tell players that we will give them the best baseball education, but they need to have their priorities on attaining one of the best educations in the country! We graduate 100% of our baseball players.

I actively recruit the best student-athlete in my geographical area. I attack our positional needs as well as go after 3.25 gpa, and 20+ on the ACT or 1000+ on the SAT. These types of students are very successful within our academic structure, and they can attain financial assistance because they worked hard in high school.

70% of my squad comes from our area. I grew up in Ohio, so I have former coaching contacts that send me recommendations. I have eight former players that are now head coaches, in Florida, they too send recommendations. I prefer to see each player in person, but my former players know what it takes to be successful within our system and they send me some great leads.

If a student-athlete has academic priorities, we are an excellent choice. We arrange our schedule to accommodate labs needed for a great many of our majors. Most schools do not have this flexibility of philosophy. Our national rankings over the past eight years have aided Maryville College in attracting some very talented student-athletes. They can play baseball, be successful, and still attain their goals of becoming a lawyer, a doctor .....

For more information about Maryville College baseball use this link

To contact:
Coach Eric Etchison
Maryville College
502 E. Lamar Alexander Pkwy
Maryville, TN 37804


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Revised February 09, 2003 .