Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pitcher suing NCAA

No doubt Jacksonville State junior pitcher Ben Tootle will be keeping an eye on how this develops, or at least he should be.

The righthander from Oxford has been projected as a first-round pick in this year's draft and if he is there will be some serious contract negotiations going on. And he'll still have one year of college eligibility remaining.

Here's what The Associated Press reported Tuesday afternoon:

SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — One of college baseball’s top pitchers is challenging the NCAA and its rules governing agents. The lawsuit in a northern Ohio court could change how college baseball players deal with advisers and major league teams when they are drafted before their eligibility is over.

Oklahoma State pitcher Andrew Oliver was ruled ineligible by the NCAA just hours before he was to play in a tournament game last spring. The NCAA claimed advisers he had hired listened in on contract negotiations after he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins.

The NCAA allows players to hire advisers but prohibits them from contacting teams. Oliver’s attorneys argue the NCAA shouldn’t restrict a player’s right to have legal help when negotiating a big league contract.

Tootle, a consensus preseason All-American, made a big splash this summer in the Cape Cod League when he regularly hit the radar gun in the high 90s and occassionally 100. He told The Star earlier this year he wasn't going to let the early accolades affect his approach to the season or even think about the draft until the time comes.

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