Monday, August 16, 2010

Signing with a Big League Team out of High School: College and Law School are still reachable goals

From DJ Bean of WEEI in Boston (bold added):
Multiple industry sources have indicated to WEEI.com that the Red Sox and fourth-round pick Garin Cecchini are closing in on a deal that should be completed prior to midnight’s deadline for signing draft choices.

Cecchini, a shortstop out of Barbe High School in Lake Charles, LA, who is expected to play third base as a professional, is verbally committed to play at LSU next season. A committed student and aspiring lawyer, Cecchini wanted to go to college and told major league teams that he would indeed do so if he wasn’t given a $1.75 million signing bonus.

To add to Bean's story, I think it's always worth noting that college and law school/other graduate school are not "one-shot" deals in life. I often point that out in regards to NBA players who skipped college to take guaranteed income. People can always go back to college later in life, and that is certainly true of law school as well, as many law students are in their 30s or older (and, for what it's worth, I've found that law students with life experience are often among the better or even best students).

So if baseball doesn't work out for Cecchini after a few years in the minors, he'd still only be 21 years old. And while, as a former pro baseball player, he would no longer be eligible to play NCAA college baseball and thus could not get a baseball scholarship, he could still afford college tuition and law school thereafter courtesy of a $1.75 million signing bonus from the Red Sox (assuming, of course, he's not irresponsible with his money -- if he is, he probably shouldn't be going to law school anyway).

In fact, MLB teams often guarantee college tuition for high school players if they end up not making it (see this article on former Red Sox draft pick Steve Lomansey, whom the Red Sox lured away from a scholarship to Boston College). Players can also try what's probably a very difficult route of going to law school while playing in a pro league. Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and former Minnesota Viking Alan Page did just that and has done extremely well.