ORONO – A rare win for the sport of college baseball was announced Wednesday, as the NCAA Division I Council loosened the reins on scholarship limits for college baseball teams.
The NCAA announced Wednesday that it would no longer count need-based and merit-based scholarships towards each teams official scholarship count.
Each NCAA Division I college baseball team, like UMaine, is currently allotted 11.7 athletics scholarships for the full roster. The 2019 and 2020 Black Bears teams fielded 31 players.
This decision means that schools can now supplement athletic scholarship money with academic scholarships or financial aid money without dipping in to the limited sport specific scholarship amounts.
“Now, if you’re a good student you’re being rewarded, you can combine some money, meaning you can make incredibly expensive school less incredibly expensive, which, honestly is a big win for every student athlete across the board,” said UMaine baseball head coach Nick Derba.
This decision stands to affect public institutions like UMaine differently than its private school counterparts.
Derba says private schools can offer a greater number of merit-based scholarships than a public university would be able to.
UMaine baseball recruits will now be able to utilize the school’s “Flagship Match Scholarship Program,” which offers out-of-state students the same tuition price at UMaine that they would pay at their home state’s flagship public university.
“Certainly helps, definitely not a bad thing by any means, but I also think that Hartford, a private school in our conference, they may be able to do things that we aren’t able to do,” said Derba.