Baseball's Jeremy Sowers to Miss Two Starts 2/1/02
freshman pitcher Jeremy Sowers must sit out Vanderbilt's first
six games of the 2002 season due to an inadvertent minor NCAA
Sowers and his family had sought advice regarding a proposed
contract last summer after the Major League draft, where he
was a first round selection of the Cincinnati Reds. According
to NCAA policy, advisors and professional sports teams are
not permitted to have contact on behalf of a student-athlete.
In this instance, such contact did occur and it was ruled
a secondary (minor) violation of NCAA rules.
Vanderbilt appealed the NCAA decision to no avail, saying
that Sowers did nothing wrong, received no material benefit
and had been saying all along he planned to play collegiately.
The decision means that Sowers will miss what amounts to two
"We were very disappointed with the NCAA's position," Commodore
Head Coach Roy Mewbourne says. "The Sowers family took great
pains to handle everything properly so any penalty seems extremely
harsh to us. We've known about this for some time so it does
not upset our season's plans as much as we think it's unfair
to an honest student-athlete."
"My family and I thought the ruling was unjust," Sowers says,
"but in the big picture I understand that we have no recourse
but to move ahead. My focus has been to prepare for a challenging
season and that is what I've been doing. I will have ample
opportunity to compete."
Sowers, a Louisville Ballard High School product, is a left-handed
pitcher and is rated by most experts as one of the top freshmen
in the country.