Did the Big 12 whiff by not supporting a third assistant for baseball and softball?

TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle was hopeful to see a proposal for a third full-time assistant pass.
TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle was hopeful to see a proposal for a third full-time assistant pass.

TCU wanted a third full-time assistant for its baseball program. Coach Jim Schlossnagle was so passionate about it that he had to issue an apology for negative comments he made about Big 12 programs that weren’t in favor of it this week.

In the end, the majority of the Big 12 didn’t support the proposal and that was one of the significant reasons it didn’t pass by the NCAA Division I Council this week.

If the Big 12 had supported it, the proposal likely would have passed. The Big Ten is the other Power Five conference that opposed it.

It’s fair to wonder if the Big 12 whiffed on this proposal. It seemed like a no-brainer within the college baseball and softball worlds, with coaches such as Schlossnagle being vocally supportive of it.

So was TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati.

The proposal called for programs to have the ability to hire a third full-time assistant for the baseball and softball teams. It’s important to note that, if a school didn’t have the funds or didn’t want to add a third full-time assistant, it had freedom to do so even if the proposal passed.

If a school wanted to remain with the current setup of two full-time assistants and a volunteer coach, that would have been OK. Or the position could have been turned into a graduate assistant or part-time role.

As Schlossnagle told the Star-Telegram last week, “There’s literally nothing you can stand on to not vote for this.

“This is a student-athlete welfare issue first and foremost. And then it’s an opportunity to develop young coaches. We do nothing in our sport to develop young coaches with the exception of this volunteer coach thing, which is a farce.”

Schlossnagle and Donati declined further comment when asked their reactions to Friday’s news.

TCU, Kansas, Kansas State and Baylor were among the Big 12’s 10 teams in favor of it, but Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, West Virginia and Iowa State were not.

Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte told leading into the vote that the softball portion gave him pause, and Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt told the publication he preferred the money for a third assistant in baseball and softball be used for other items such as student wellness or improved grant-in-aid.

Oklahoma officials have not responded to a request for comment on its stance.

At the end of the day, it’s a disappointing day for college baseball.

As Arizona State coach Tracy Smith wrote on Twitter, “First, let me say our conference supported the legislation. Proud of our Pac-12 leadership. I think our baseball leaders will regroup and try again in the future. It is too logical not to pass if folks really want to do right by our SA’s [student-athletes].”

New transfer rules

In other D-1 Council news, the most significant development is regarding new transfer rules that allow student-athletes to transfer and compete immediately without a waiver.

College athletes who have enrolled in summer school and received athletics financial aid can transfer and play immediately without a waiver if their head coach departs before the first day of classes for the fall term. Additionally, walk-on student-athletes on teams that provide athletics aid and non-recruited walk-ons can transfer and play immediately without a waiver.

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