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Opinion: Approve the third paid assistant, and keep the volunteer coach

A resolution to add a third paid assistant will be voted on this month by the NCAA


"This resolution will bring more elite athletes to ASU and enhance the athletes the school already has." Illustration published on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. 

A resolution to approve a third paid assistant in college baseball and softball is a necessity. These student-athletes should have another role model and coach accessible to maximize their success athletically and academically. It’s a shame it hasn’t already been passed.

The most recent vote on the issue came in April this year, with those in favor outnumbered by 11 votes. The Pac-12 and SEC were the only major conferences to vote in favor of the resolution.

The electorate is made up of all Divison I conferences, two student representatives and six other regional and national commissioners. Officials from those conferences who made the despicable mistake in April have a chance to redeem themselves this month by passing the resolution. 

Currently, Division I baseball and softball coaching staffs are made up of a head coach, two full-time assistant coaches and one volunteer assistant. 

Michael Earley, the volunteer assistant coach for ASU, believes the third paid assistant will be beneficial from a coaching perspective. 

“It’s a good thing for the coaches because it allows another guy to recruit,” Earley said. “I think having another guy, especially at a school like this, could be a major impact.”

Other than recruiting, an additional assistant helps in the everyday aspects of coaching. ASU currently has David Greer, an undergraduate student assistant coach, on the staff. 

“If all things stay the same (without the resolution passing) and we can’t have him back next year, it’s going to add a list of things for the other coaches,” Earley said.

The most important aspect of this resolution is how a third paid assistant will benefit the student-athlete. This resolution will bring more elite athletes to ASU and enhance the athletes the school already has.

There is something wrong. As it stands, the resolution won’t benefit the student-athlete. 

“From a student-athlete standpoint, they’re still missing the boat because they’re not adding a coach,” Earley said. 

This is correct. The resolution that was voted down in April did not actually add a coach, it just paid the third assistant that is already on the staff. 

An aspect must be added. The new resolution must be a third, full-time paid assistant and a volunteer assistant coach. This allows the student-athlete to have another role model, someone else to go to for coaching and advice. 

Earley also said an extra coach will help grow the game of baseball and the game of softball. 

“(If) this (current resolution) is step one, step two needs to be, not only having that third paid assistant but also having that volunteer,” Earley said. “Therefore, you help the ratio but you also get other coaches into the game. It helps grow the game. You get young coaches in there who learn.”

The current state of the NCAA is way too focused on basketball and football, too focused on March Madness and the College Football Playoff

It is time for the NCAA to divert some attention to the student-athletes who don’t have full scholarships. The NCAA needs to focus on the athletes who only have two paid assistant coaches to look up to. Focus on the athletes of the “smaller” sports. ASU and the entire NCAA will see better success from its "small sports" athletes with this addition.

ASU athletics director Ray Anderson needs to convince his counterparts to vote "yes" on the proposal and fight for what is right for the athlete. Don't only vote "yes" for the third paid assistant, but also keep a volunteer. If not, the NCAA is the money grabber its critics think they are. 

Reach the columnist at or follow @anc2018 on Twitter.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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