“If you’re going to pay, you should at least get to play”; The Dark Side of College Baseball

When it comes to College Baseball, it’s safe to say that STLPGB founder CJ Bilbrey has been through it all. Having coached at the D1, D2, D3, NAIA, and JuCo levels, Bilbrey has had a chance to see the bright impact college baseball can have on a young man’s life.

Unfortunately, he has also witnessed the dark side of college baseball.

“One of the least talked about elements of college baseball is that it is becoming a for-profit business,” said Bilbrey. “Programs will roster 50, 60, even 80 kids, knowing that a significant portion of them will simply never see the field for the varsity team. The majority of the players that find themselves in this situation of being burried on the roster are freshmen, and they’re out of college baseball after a year because there’s no path for them to win a role.”

“This isn’t the fault of college coaches”

“This isn’t the fault of college coaches,” Bilbrey added. “Administrations will often require programs to roster an extremely high number of kids with the sole purpose of boosting their enrollment. This happens most often at private schools. Part of the deception is the player thinks they must be valued because they’re receiving a significant scholarship, say $10,000. What they don’t realize is that the school has unlimited “scholarships” because the sticker price might be around $40,000, and even after the scholarship offer, the university is still significantly profiting off of a player that will never see the baseball field.”

“One of the least talked about elements of college baseball is that it is becoming a for-profit business,” said Bilbrey. “Programs will roster 50, 60, even 80 kids, knowing that a significant portion of them will simply never see the field for the varsity team. The majority of the players that find themselves in this situation of being burried on the roster are freshmen, and they’re out of college baseball after a year because there’s no path for them to win a role.”

“College baseball is a special opportunity”

College baseball is a special opportunity, and the reality of it is that there are costs associated with it. Coach Bilbrey’s goal with STLPGB is to allow them to continue their baseball career and education affordably, and ensure they’re prepared to win a role after they leave his program.

“Our program guarantees the opportunity to play in legitimate collegiate games”

“Our program guarantees the opportunity to play in legitimate collegiate games and that each of them will receive significant playing time. Postgrads can play collegiate opponents, and it counts towards the college‘s record. They are real games with the real intensity of college baseball, not a scrimmage. We get to play significantly more games overall than collegiate programs, it’s done affordably AND it doesn’t cost our players a single year of their collegiate sports eligibility, meaning they can go on and play 4 years afterwards. It might not be necessary for every college freshmen, but for many, maybe even the majority, it is just the most sensible choice for them out of high school. If you’re going to pay for the experience of college baseball, (and most players do, whether they realize it initially or not) you should at least get to play.”