Promoting parity in college athletics
During his 28 years at Bradley, Dewey Kalmer has never coached a Missouri Valley Conference champion or Valley tournament champion. He says that could change in the near future because of new NCAA legislation.
So-called “equivalency sports”—those not including football, basketball, and hockey—will have new academic and scholarship rules to follow starting August 1, 2008.
Specifically in baseball, the NCAA is focusing attention on the Academic Progress Rate of each team. The APR is used to measure classroom achievement based on eligibility each semester, graduation rates of athletes, and the athlete’s advancement toward a degree.
An NCAA committee determined because baseball players were allowed to transfer without sitting out a year, and because few baseball players are on full scholarships making transferring more feasible, the APR of many teams had suffered. Kalmer said the APR in baseball along with basketball and football is the lowest in the NCAA.
To combat this, the NCAA will require any transfer to have one year of residence before gaining eligibility. It will also limit the number of scholarship players to 27 on a team roster from 35, and each player on scholarship must receive a minimum of the equivalent of 33 percent of a grant-in-aid. Baseball teams will continue to have 11.7 scholarships. The indirect result of this academic enforcement will create a more level playing field between private and public schools.
“Up until this time, there’s been a gap,” Kalmer said. “The NCAA, in 1968, put limits on scholarships and that created a large impropriety between private and public schools due to cost difference. Unfortunately for me, during my career, private schools have suffered in equivalency sports. That’s beginning to change, so I see good things on the horizon for Bradley, particularly in baseball.”
Next season, the NCAA will also begin using a common start date to the season. The change promotes parity between northern and southern teams by preventing southern-based teams spreading out the 56-game schedule to 18 weeks instead of 12 weeks for northern schools. The starting date will also put southern schools on the road instead of playing 80 percent of games at home. This reduces the home field advantage in building a record.
Bradley Hilltopics sat down with Kalmer over the summer. Below is a portion of the interview.Hilltopics: What are your career highlights?
Dewey Kalmer: Perhaps placing Mike Dunne on the 1984 Olympic baseball team and producing four first-round draft picks at Bradley. But that leads to one of my disappointments. We’ve never been able to win the Valley and never been able to win the MVC Tournament. We’ve been close three or four times. Nationally-ranked Wichita State always seemed to be blocking the path.
HT: How has coaching evolved?
HT: What or who is your greatest success story?
HT: Why did you come to Bradley?
HT: Have you ever considered coaching at a different school?
HT: How do you balance family and career?
HT: What’s in the future for you and your wife, Carol?
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