Baseball's Jeremy Sowers to Miss Two Starts 2/1/02

Vanderbilt freshman pitcher Jeremy Sowers must sit out Vanderbilt's first six games of the 2002 season due to an inadvertent minor NCAA rules violation.

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 starting opportunities.

"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.


Vanderbilt Athletic Department
2601 Jess Neely Drive
Nashville, TN 37212
615-322-GOLD (4653)