Transcript of "Major League Baseball: A study of continuing education and career development programs"
Major League Baseball: A Study of Continuing Education and Career Development Programs<br />Eric Knott<br />December 10, 2010<br />Stetson University<br />Fall 2010<br />Dr. Matthew J. Wilson<br />
Introduction<br />According to a 2009 report by the Wall Street Journal, Major League Baseball had only 26 college graduates on opening-day Major League rosters. (Turbow, 2009) The Oakland A’s led all Major League baseball clubs with a total of three graduates. The number of graduates in Major League Baseball is significantly lower than their colleagues in the National Football League and the National Basketball Association. Half of all NFL football players have four-year degrees and twenty-one percent of NBA players have a four-year degree. (Abrams, 2009) Those figures account to approximately 800 NFL and 90 NBA college graduates. <br />
Purpose:<br />This study will examine the results of a survey administered to current and former minor league baseball regarding their current educational levels, their baseball career expectations, their post-baseball career expectations, and their current efforts to finish their degree while still playing professional baseball. <br />
Research Questions<br />Research Questions<br /><ul><li>RQ 1. How does Major League Baseball compare in regards to the NFL and NBA in offering career development and continuing education programs to current and former players?
RQ 2. How important do minor league baseball prospects think it is to complete their four-year degree during or immediately after their playing career?
RQ 3. How likely are current minor league baseball players to utilize career development and continuing education services offered by MLB?</li></li></ul><li>Delimitations and Limitations of the Study<br />Delimitations<br />Excluded NHL- only 19.9 percent of players are American-born<br />The increasing number of foreign-born players on MLB and minor league rosters-27.7% in MLB and 48% in Minor League Baseball<br />Limitations<br />Lack of scholarly articles and research on subject<br />Surveyed Arizona Fall League players only<br />Questionnaire not administered directly by researcher<br />
Review of Literature<br />National football league player development. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/playerdevelopment/overview<br /> Programs offered by NFL<br />-Continuing Education-Tuition Reimbursement Program<br /> -Career Development- Internships, Resume writing, Interview skills<br />-Business Management and Entrepreneurial Program-partnership with Wharton School of Business<br />Post game play: a plan for life. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nbpa.org/nbpa-news/post-game-play-plan-life<br /> Programs offered by NBA<br />-work in partnership with NBAPA –player’s association<br />-goal is to provide quality services and resources to help active players achieve their goal on and off the court<br />-partner with NBA D-league (minor league system ) to provide online learning <br />online learning opportunities<br />
Review of Literature<br />Major League Baseball <br />mlb.com<br />Major League Baseball, the Major League Baseball Players’ Association, and the Major League Baseball Alumni Association make no significant mention on their websites of programs relating to career transitioning or career development for current and former players<br />
Review of Literature<br />Turbow, Jason. (2009, June 16). Who has the brainiest team in baseball. Wall Street Journal, Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124511558996917441.html<br />-In 2009, only 26 players with four-year degree in Major League Baseball<br />-Oakland A’s led all teams with three graduates<br />Shea, John. (2004, June 6). Degree of difficulty-draft system makes college graduates rare in major league baseball. San Francisco Chronicle, Retrieved from http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-06-06/sports/17431201_1_four-year-degrees-college-los-angeles-eric-karros<br /> -States MLB draft system is one reason low numbers of college graduates on MLB rosters<br /> -Length of collegiate baseball season and participation in summer leagues contribute to low graduation rate<br />
Methods<br />IRB approval was submitted and approved by Stetson University<br />A 20 question item questionnaire was developed by the researcher with the goal of collecting information from professional baseball players regarding their current education levels, their baseball and post-baseball career expectations, and their opinions on the programs and services offered by Major League Baseball in regards to continuing education and career development.<br />3. The final survey consisted of asking the player to write in their name, organization, year drafted, and college or high school attended. The participants were subsequently asked to answer 18 multiple choice questions and two check all that apply questions. <br />4. The researcher mailed 75 surveys to the clubhouse manager of the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Scorpions are a team in the Arizona Fall League that plays their home games in Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, Arizona<br />
Methods <br />5. Participants in the survey chose to do so voluntarily. Surveys were placed on tables in the players’ locker room. They were not coerced or encouraged to participate.<br />6. The participants signed a voluntary consent form and were made aware that their names would be withheld from the final survey.<br />7. Upon completion of the season, the clubhouse manager mailed the surveys back to the researcher. The data was entered by the researcher into Google Form format. The data was manually entered and double-checked for accuracy. <br />8. The researcher independently gathered age, race, geographical, and demographic information from the participants in the survey. The researcher gathered this information matching the name on the survey to biographical information obtained from MLB.com. <br />
Sample Questions<br />9. Did you receive any money set aside for college in your signing bonus?<br />o Yes<br />o No<br />10. Do you think it is important for you, at some point in your life to obtain your four-year college degree?<br />o Yes<br />o No<br />11. Do you think it is important to obtain your four-year degree before your playing career is over?<br />o Yes<br />o No<br />12. Has your current organization offered you educational assistance during your playing career? <br />Ex.: Enrollment assistance, academic advising services, tuition reimbursement programs, in-season online course opportunities<br />o Yes<br />o No<br />
Results<br />-Twenty-four (n=24) players in the Arizona Fall League responded to the questionnaire<br />-Average age of respondent- 23 years old<br />-19 players signed their first professional contract out of a four-year university<br />-Only one of the nineteen that attended college had already obtained their four-year degree<br />-Only 3 out of 24 respondents had taken additional college coursework during their playing career<br />
Results<br />What are your expectations for your baseball career?<br />Play in Majors at least one game 1 4%<br />1-2 years Major League service time 1 4%<br />3-5 years 1 4%<br />6-8 years 4 15%<br />8-12 years 6 23%<br />13+ 12 46%<br />What kind of player will you be at the big league level?<br />Bench player or middle reliever 2 8%<br />Platoon player or situational reliever 4 15%<br />Everyday player, starting pitcher, or closer 7 27%<br />All-star caliber player 6 23%<br />Hall of Fame caliber player 5 19%<br />
Discussion<br />By reviewing the literature, we know that MLB trails the NFL and NBA in regards to offering current and former player career development and continuing education programs<br />MLB should study the benefits of implementing programs similar to the NBA and NFL<br />
Discussion<br />-Respondents to questionnaire were receptive to flexible class scheduling, tuition reimbursement programs, and off-season internship and employment opportunities if offered by MLB<br />
Discussion<br />-Although most respondents received money set aside for college in their signing bonus, most players have yet to utilize the monies to enroll in college or continue their coursework requirements<br />
Future Research<br />Professional players of all skill levels should be included in future research<br />Former players should be surveyed to gauge their interest in career development and continuing education programs<br />
References<br />Breakaway program-formerly known as life after hockey program. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://nhlalumni.net/?pid=alumni_lah_<br />Professional athlete training institute. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x270.xml<br />National football leage player development. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nfl.com/playerdevelopment/overview<br />Post game play: a plan for life. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nbpa.org/nbpa-news/post-game-play-plan-life<br />Torre, Pablo. (2009, March 23). How (and why) athletes go broke. Sports Illustrated, Retrieved from http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1153364/index.htm<br />Fernas, Rob. (2003, June 2003). Graduation rates low for baseball teams . Los Angeles Times, Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/2003/jun/05/sports/sp-colbase5<br />Grad rates hit high marks. (2010, October 27). Retrieved from http://www.ncaa.org/wps/wcm/connect/public/NCAA/Resources/Latest+News/2010+news+stories/October/Grad+rates+hit+high+marks<br />Turbow, Jason. (2009, June 16). Who has the brainiest team in baseball. Wall Street Journal, Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124511558996917441.html<br />What is graduation success rate. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/sdsu/genrel/auto_pdf/what-is-grad-success-rate.pdf<br />Shea, John. (2004, June 6). Degree of difficulty-draft system makes college graduates rare in major league baseball. San Francisco Chronicle, Retrieved from http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-06-06/sports/17431201_1_four-year-degrees-college-los-angeles-eric-karros<br />Abrams, Jonathan. (2009, October 5). Nba players make their way back to college. New York Times, Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/06/sports/basketball/06nba.html<br />Mayo, Jonathan. (2010, October 11). Sun rising on arizona fall league season. Retrieved from http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20101011&content_id=15576710&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb<br />University of Colorado at Boulder (2007, July 11). Average Major League Baseball Career 5.6 Years, Says New Study. ScienceDaily.<br />
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