MLB, NCAA Want to Increase Scholarships Amid Low Black Involvement

Sports organizations soon may join forces to make college and baseball more enticing to economically disadvantaged minority students. 

Posted: 05/10/2012 11:44 AM EDT

Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) are considering an ambitious partnership that would open the door for more full scholarships for collegiate players and may help boost the numbers of African-American players at all levels of the sport.

The partnership would allow MLB to fund scholarships and exert greater influence over Division I college baseball in what would be an unprecedented partnership. Part of the proposed deal includes introducing proactive measures to ensure more diversity in the sport.

"There are a lot less African-American kids playing at the high school level than there should be, and whatever can be done to help that situation and facilitate opportunities is good," Oregon State coach Pat Casey told the Associated Press.

This past season, the number of Black players in the MLB dipped to 8.05 percent, the lowest level since integration. At the collegiate level, Black players made up just 5 percent of Division I baseball players last season, reports the NCAA.

Stakeholders supporting the partnership hope the increased access to full baseball scholarships at the collegiate level will help entice and retain disadvantaged minority students who may seek full basketball or football scholarships for school because of funding needs.  

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