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Questions About NCAA Division III Programs

Coach Doug Radziewicz
Fairleigh Dickinson University


Doug Radziewicz returns for his second season as head coach.

Doug begins his collegiate head coaching career with an impressive baseball history. He played minor league baseball in the Cardinals organization, where he won a batting title in the Florida State League with a .342 average. Recently, he worked as hitting coach, as well as radio/television color analyst for the Somerset Patriots, a team in the Atlantic League.

Radziewicz attended the University of Georgia, where he was the starting first baseman on the 1990 National Championship team. He currently holds eight school records and one conference record, while placing among the "Top 20" in six other SEC categories.

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

Answer: No. All visits are done at the cost of the potential student-athlete's expense. At our school, recruits "visit" the school and can stay overnight with one of our players on campus.

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

Answer: We try to cover the entire state of New Jersey, New York City, parts of New York State, parts of Pennsylvania and most of Connecticut. Most of our players come from New Jersey and New York.

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

Answer: The good DIII schools can compete with some DI schools. It really just depends on the particular school. Some DIII schools can't compete with high school teams. Overall though, it might be safe to say that DIII's and DII's are rather comparable. The difference is that DII's can offer athletic scholarships.

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

Answer: The internet recruiting services can serve a good purpose if video of the potential student-athlete is available. Otherwise it is merely "someone's word" that a student-athlete is a college-caliber player. Most coaches need to take a look for themselves unless they have particular contacts they trust.

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

Answer: About 15-20 percent

 
Question: How important is it for a player to attend a college team's camp?

Answer: It simply gives the coaching staff an opportunity to better evaluate a student-athlete's makeup. We don't have a "high school" camp here but I do learn about student-athlete's while working other camps.

 
Question: How important are "walk-on" players to your program and DIII schools in general?

Answer: Let me put it to you this way. Our starting first baseman for the 2001 season walked on last year. He's a sophomore who has taken advantage of the opportunity to win a position.

 
Question: How important are junior college transfers (if at all) to your program?

Answer: Juco transfers already have college experience so that serves as a great plus to a program. On the down side, you generally only have those players for two years so the turnover ratio is high.

 
Question: When should a player or high school coach send a letter of introduction to a DII coach?

Answer: As soon as possible. The earlier a coach hears about a student-athlete's interest in attending their college or university, the sooner the coach can begin the recruiting process.

 
Question: Is it better to have the player or the high school coach send the letter - or does it make any difference?

Answer: Personally, I'd rather hear from the player. It's his choice what college he attends. I like to see the player take the initiative. It tells me something about his maturity.

 
Question: Should the introductory letter include statistics from a player's high school and/or summer team?

Answer: Statistics are generally misleading. If you have a student-athlete from a smaller high school, he generally has outstanding statistics. And that doesn't tell you what kind of player he is. I'll look where a kid plays and if I know the competition, that can help me a little bit in figuring out what kind of player he is. Again, seeing the kid perform or watching a video on the kid is a much better means of evaluation.

 
Question: With the recent growth of the high school baseball player showcase events - How important are these events to you and your staff?

Answer: Some showcases are outstanding year after year. Others are extremely poor in how they are run and the quality of talent. It does help to have all that "talent" in one place to be able to evaluate what you need.

 
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 sees a prospective player?

Answer: I tell my players that they not only represent the university when they are on the field, but off the field as well. That includes personal appearance. I don't mind the tattoos, body piercings and hair styles generally, but I do enforce a set of regulations as far as how they are expected to act and dress on and around campus. We don't allow hair past a particular length as well as unmanaged facial hair. No players are allowed to wear piercings of any type while on the baseball field.

 
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: A student-athlete who wishes to play college ball has to keep their ego in check. Certain coaches will build up their confidence by telling them falsehoods about their ability. Athletes need to keep in mind that a very small percentage of players even get a chance to play college baseball. They need to find the perfect of fit of academics, athletics and social life they feel comfortable with.

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

Answer: It depends on who is giving the recommendation(s). If I know the person handing out the recommendation, I will strongly take that into consideration. However, every letter of recommendation says something good about a student-athlete. When's the last time you read a letter of recommendation that said, "Johnny is a real pain in the neck...but he's a good ballplayer."

 
Question: What other advice would you give a high school baseball player that hopes to continue playing in college?

Answer: Take into account the whole college experience when choosing a school. Baseball is simply a small part of that package. I played at the University of Georgia where we won a National Championship my Junior Year. Even at that pinnacle, baseball was still just a small part of my college experience.

Coach Doug Radziewicz
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Madison, New Jersey
telephone: (973) 443-8826
Fairleigh Dickinson Baseball
EMail

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