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Questions About NCAA Division III Programs

Coach Scott Rash
Greensboro College


Scott Rash enters his ninth season as head coach of The Pride, after starting the program from scratch in 1993. The Pride enjoyed its best season in 1998, going 27-13, winning the Dixie Conference Tournament, and making its first appearance ever in the NCAA Tournament.

Through the 2000 regular season, Rash has led GC to an all-time record of 151-149-4 (.503). His victory total includes five consecutive 20-win seasons and a record of 125-101-5 since 1995. Rash was named Dixie Conference Coach-of-the-Year when Greensboro's young program reached 20 wins for the first time. Rash won the same award in 1998.

Note: Since the writing of this article Coach Rash has returned to his alma mater to work in the Athletic Development office

 

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

Answer: Yes - although many, like ourselves, choose not to because of financial constraints.

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

Answer: Majority are from the Eastern seaboard - from Connecticut to Florida. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and other states to the West are recruited as well.

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

Answer: Money buys you power - on average the ball will be thrown harder and hit further at the higher levels. We have guys who throw as hard and hit as far but are lacking in some of the complementary tools that would make them a bonified money guy for DI or DII schools.

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

Answer: Can only speak for myself on this - we are very connected when it comes to recruiting "online." However, no decisions can be made on a subjective evaluation and a couple minutes of video. We use this to decide whether to even introduce ourselves to student/athletes to see if they would be interested in what we offer.

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

Answer: Probably 100% are getting some level of academic assistance. This comes in many shapes and forms depending on the individual's academic profile, family economics and ability to matriculate the student.

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

Answer: About 1/3 of our roster has attended a camp/clinic on our campus. We feel it is one of the most important things a student/athlete can do because we can:
a) Get a better feel for their talent level versus what we have
b) Get a better feel for them as a person and competitor
c) Expose them to our staff and players to better assist in deciding if we are the right for the student/athlete.

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

Answer: Technically all players at DIII are "walk-ons" because no one is on athletic scholarship. I guess the best way to put it would be that we base our team around recruited "walk-ons" versus non-recruited "walk-ons." Recruited "walk-ons" are ones that we have contacted by phone a number of times in an effort to have them choose our institution over some of their other options. A common misconception at all levels is that receiving a letter is being recruited.

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

Answer: Very important if they can come in and help right away. No JC kid wants to come in and not play. We focus our JC recruiting on positions that need to be filled right away on players that can get the job done.

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

Answer: Preferably as a junior. We send questionnaires to coaches each year asking them to identify potential college baseball players. Those players identified as juniors can be evaluated at a camps they may attend over the summer prior to their senior year or during summer league baseball.

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

Answer: Any college coach recruiting a player should be in contact with the high school coach eventually. A letter from the coach does legitimize the inquiry and leaves follow-up with the coach not as important as in the case of a player sending the letter.

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

Answer: Stats are always a plus but guarantee nothing, this is because there is no way of qualifying the competition they were posted against. The way I see it, if they can't hit/pitch at the high school level they are going to struggle to do it here. Conversely, if they can, they at least have a chance to be successful at this level.

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

Answer: At the DIII level it is extremely important. Any time you can get a number of high school baseball players in one venue we can get more bang for our limited buck. We attend every showcase we can that has a history of not only attracting numbers but also quality.

 
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: Once a player arrives on your campus they represent your program. In evaluating a player we not only consider their physical attributes but also their personal ones. The prospective student/athlete must fit what we are looking for in members of our team. Anyone who brings character into question through the items listed in the question puts their "recruitability" at some risk.

 
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: The ultimate question we ask is: Would you rather wear their uniform or play in ours? At one point in my career I had one member of a set of twins on my squad while his brother was playing DI. When it was all said and done my player will be able to tell his kids and grandkids about being a two-time All-Conference and All-Region performer. His brother will be able to tell his kids and grandkids about playing against DI opponents. With this in mind, it is up to the student/athlete to decide which is more important to him when making the college choice.

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

Answer: Absolutely. Again, with a limited recruiting budget, we cannot afford to spend time or money recruiting a student/athlete who is not respected by his high school coach - this goes for physical talent and personal make-up.

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

Answer: Typically people would not spend their hard earned money on a car that they had not taken for a test drive. In other words, don't choose a college without researching it. NCAA limits institutions to 4 hours per day doing baseball related activities. This leaves 20 hours for a student/athlete to be in the classroom, dorm room and to take advantage of the surrounding community. If they are happy for 4 hours (baseball player) and miserable for 20 (student), they will eventually leave. Doing their homework on the front end in regards to academics, social atmosphere, quality of program (including players and coaching staff) and overall feel will make for the best decision making process and a quality playing/education experience.

Final Thoughts: Any other advice or thoughts are welcome:

Do not get caught up in the money. With NCAA rules as they are, it is feasible for a student/athlete to sign a scholarship offer at an institution and actually pay more to attend that institution than a non-scholarship school like ourselves. Students and parents can get caught up in the "scholarship" talks and neglect to make the most fiscally responsible decision. If a school truly wants you, they should work in your best interest and be willing to let you weigh all or your options before committing. The early signing period would be an exception to this because of the limited window for getting that done. Otherwise student/athletes and their families should be prudent shoppers, striving for the best combination of academics and athletics available. Finally, to maximize this combination, you may sometimes need to go where you are wanted and not where you want to go.

NOTE: Coach Rash has gone on the college sports "management" and is no longer the head coach at Greensboro.

NOTE: Coach Rash has gone on the college sports "management" and is no longer the head coach at Greensboro.

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Revised February 09, 2003 .