Change By NJCAA Means More Foreigners

Editor/Collegiate Baseball

The NJCAA Board of Directors repealed bylaws which have previously capped the number of foreign athletes who have participated in NJCAA sports.

The ruling means that any NJCAA Division I and II college baseball program now can offer their entire allotment of scholarships to foreign recruits if they decide to unless their conference or school has limitations.

The effective date of this bylaw change is Aug. 1, 2015.

Scholarship offers that are being put on the table now to foreign athletes who enroll after Aug. 1 can utilize this new bylaw change. The implications of this change could change the very fabric of NJCAA athletics.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see NJCAA baseball teams made up of all Venezuelan, Dominican Republic or Mexican players,” said Edgar Soto, highly respected athletics’ director at Pima College in Tucson, Ariz. and former baseball coach with the Aztecs for many years.

“You will probably see sports such as soccer and track and field really exploit this new rule to get athletes they haven’t been able to get before. Our school won’t be doing that and will utilize athletes from Southern Arizona as we have for years. But it will be interesting to see how different schools operate under this new system.”

Some NJCAA Division I and II institutions that are in the southern areas of the nation are expected to exploit this rule as they go after talented baseball players from Latin America.

Those in the northern areas of the nation are expected to go after top Canadian baseball players.

“The previous rule limited the number of foreign student athletes who could attend NJCAA Division I and II colleges,” said Mark Krug, NJCAA Assistant Executive Director of Sports Information and Media Relations.

“You were allowed to utilize 25 percent of the total allotment of letters of intent that you could offer. Let’s take NJCAA Division I, and an institution offers 24 letters of intent for baseball. They previously would only be allowed to offer 6 scholarships to foreign student athletes.

“With the change in the bylaw, there are no limits with the number of foreign athletes you can bring in as long as the student athlete meets initial eligibility requirements from our colleges. Then once they become a full time student, they must maintain eligibility standards to be eligible for participation in any sport.”

Krug said it could happen that an entire NJCAA school could field an entirely foreign baseball team next spring.

“With this new global view and approach by the NJCAA, we still have philosophical differences within our colleges. There are conferences and schools that want their local community to feed athletes into their athletics’ programs.

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