Should the Phillies Have “Turned in” 2013 Draft Pick Ben Wetzler for NCAA Violation
The Philadelphia Phillies have notified the NCAA that left-handed pitcher Ben Wetzler of Oregon State University had a sports agent present when the Phillies drafted him.
Wetzler did not choose to sign with the team and as a result. elected to return to Oregon State University to pitch in his senior year. Under NCAA rules, once a player has an agent, they cannot then return to collegiate baseball. However, players are allowed to have advisers who guide and help them when discussing signing and the financial figures with a particular team. Apparently, teams overlook the fact that an agent or “adviser” is present and choose to not report the incident to the NCAA.
It is unclear why the Phillies would turn in Wetzler, but one theory is that the organization decided to contact the NCAA due to the fact that Wetzler chose not to sign with the team and chose to return to Oregon State. The Phillies could also have been simply following the rules and reporting something that is not allowed by NCAA.
Although Wetzler broke the rules, it is easy to understand why he would want an agent present. Players drafted by MLB teams are expected to negotiate and discuss signing with these teams without proper training. Not only are they discussing large sums of money, but they are also doing so with professionals that are trying their hardest to budget and save money. It is uncommon to hear of a team outing a player to the NCAA.