Jun
04

Let Andy Play

Andy OliverTo think that the actions of a few attorney agents could be behind the indefinite suspension of Oklahoma State pitcher, Andy Oliver, makes me sick to my stomach. After speaking with various sources on the matter and receiving some interesting documents, I now provide you with a clear picture of the entire situation.

Andrew Oliver had just finished his senior year at Vermilion High School in Ohio. He posted an impressive record of 6-0, but even more worthy of praise was his 0.40 ERA. Add in 108 strikeouts in 52.7 innings, and you have a prime prospect for the MLB Amateur Draft. Robert Baratta definitely thought so.

Like many players looking to get drafted tomorrow and Friday in the MLB Amateur Draft, Andy picked an advisor to help guide him in making a decision to accept the offer presented by the team that would pick him, or decline it and attend college to improve his stock. The advisor selected was Robert Baratta of the New York law firm Baratta Partners. Oliver had heard of Mr. Baratta through his one-time Cincinnati AAU teammate, Cameron Maybin, who is on the Florida Marlins 40-man roster, and is a current client of Baratta’s. Andy was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 17th round, but Baratta advised him to decline the offer and to go college instead. Barrata continued to advise Andrew Oliver on selecting an institution of higher education. Andy eventually chose to accept a scholarship at Oklahoma State and retained Baratta as his advisor.

Baratta claims that when Andrew Oliver first selected Robert Baratta as his advisor, Andy had orally agreed to an engagement letter with Baratta Brothers which said that Andy would owe the NY firm $350 per hour of service provided. Baratta additionally claims that based on such rate, Andy racked up a legal bill of $113,000. As an October 2, 2007 Memorandum from the NCAA states,

Finally, it is important to note that in order to maintain your eligibility at an NCAA school, if you receive assistance from an advisor, you will be required to pay that advisor at his or her normal rate for such services.

This should be a lesson to all players who plan on taking on an advisor: fully understand what you are getting yourself into. Some advisors are content with taking a percentage off the top of a player’s signing bonus. Others, like Baratta, charge an hourly fee. All of my agreements propose that Dynasty take a percentage of a player’s signing bonus, but no flat hourly fee is accrued. That does not mean that a law firm is prevented from entering into such an arrangement with a client. Andy may have to take a hit by formerly agreeing to such terms, but he should not have to sit out any more college games.

On March 31, 2008, Andy Oliver decided he wanted out. He terminated his advisory relationship with Baratta and selected Boras Corp as its replacement. The NCAA is currently investigating the methods used by Boras Corp to persuade Andy to switch advisors and whether any Oklahoma state law was violated in the process. When Andrew Oliver switched advisors, Baratta came after Andy for the money that the attorney-advisor believed he rightfully deserved.

Andrew Oliver believed and continues to feel that he does not owe Robert Baratta the $113,000 that has been sought after. Instead of personally responding to Mr. Baratta, attorneys at Boras Corp sent the New York based agent a letter which reads,

Re: Collection Matter: Andrew Oliver, File No. 1080

Dear Mr. _________

We are in receipt of your letter to Mr. Andrew Oliver dated March 31, 2008. Please call our office at __________________ at your earliest convenience to discuss.

Sincerely,

George Vujovich (Attorney) Ryan Lubner (Attorney)

Name and phone number left out to protect parties involved.

The above information contains everything in the fax that commentator, mike, sent me. His belief is that Scott Boras and Boras Corp did something to violate the NCAA Rules, which are laid out in the October 2, 2007 Memorandum.

12. Is an agent allowed to provide me any benefits?

NO! You, your family, or your friends are not permitted to receive any benefits from an agent. Examples of material benefits include money, transportation, dinner, clothes, cell phones, jewelry, etc. However, benefits may also include, but are not limited to, activities such as tryout arrangements with a professional team and coordinating tryout schedules.

By sending the letter to Barrata, did Boras Corp’s attorneys violate this paragraph? Commentator, mike, ardently says, yes. The claim is that Boras Corp does not routinely delve into normal collection matters. Personally, I do not believe that sending a letter on behalf of someone that you advise is a material benefit, but even if it were, who says that Andy will not pay for the service that was provided? Obviously, you can bill the client that you advise after the fact. That is what this whole controversy is about…whether or not Andy Oliver should have to pay $113,000 for services that Baratta provided earlier in their relationship. Did Andy agree to the engagement agreement? Did Boras Corp violate NCAA rules? A lawsuit and NCAA investigation will determine both matters.

So here we are left to wonder how Andrew Oliver got himself in the middle of this huge mess. The kid is ridiculously talented on the mound. He impressed scouts in high school and was drafted fairly high by the Twins. He led OSU to the NCAA Tournament and the team was counting on him to give a few more solid starts in an effort to advance to Omaha. But the firing of an advisor, the hiring of another, and a $113,000 bill got in the way of an amateur’s dream, and his teammates and university ended up paying the price. In the end, who wins? I beg that the NCAA scrap Andrew Oliver’s indefinite suspension and I hope that young players and their families take away some useful information from this messy situation.

Let Andy Play.

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

    Great article on this sad situation.

    Editor of The College Baseball Blog

  • osu cowboy fan

    thanks for the article. very tough pill for fellow osu baseball fans like myself to swallow. osu gets beat out of the ncaa tourney mainly due to Oliver being ruled ineligible…and over something as petty as this. unbelievable.

  • It’s too late

    There are no more games to play until next year. Every college baseball coach should be wary of people being represented by Baratta Partners. These guys could have had their little temper tantrum after the season was over, but instead chose to burn down one of the higher end programs in college baseball by forcing the benching of their ace during a regional. I would guess that’s not a smart thing to do…

  • Jared

    I really do not see how he could possibly need to spend 300 hours as an advisor. Granted, I don’t understand the entire process as I’m not a baseball agent, but unless in addition to advising him on the draft he was actually teaching both a curveball and slider, it just doesn’t seem possible. As for the letter, if that is the entire document, I also don’t see how that can violate the rules as described above. If the letter stated, we are doing this for no charge and this is an extra benefit to Oliver plus we got him a car, I understand. As it is though, he could very well be paying them for representing him. If anything a counter suit seems like a possibility for the damage that Baratta is putting him through now.

  • king

    What about Boras’ actions? How’s the kid life been since Boras entered it. A-ROD opts out during the World Series and Oliver opts out during the regionals. Boras could care less about Oliver and the NCAA. Why doesn’t he just start the Boras Athletic Association on his compound in Calif?

  • http://thecollegebaseballblog.com Brian Foley

    I think he violated the rules by having Boras’ Corp sending out a letter about representing him which is a violation in NCAA rules.

  • concerned parent

    Let me get this straight. Oliver basically turned his back on his loyal advisors who have assisted in putting him in a position to sign for 15 times what he was offered in baseball; turned his back on his coaches and teammates at OSU; turned his back on his university. For what? selfish reasons. Oliver is not a victim in this. The university and teammates are. I doubt Oliver cares very much about anyone but himself.

  • Frank

    Brian: you got it right. Its the most obvious violation of the rules. How could Boras has done that? It seems shocking to me.

  • Jared II

    Jared:

    What you are losing sight of is Oliver may very well have told the NCAA that Boras did not charge him for the letter. If the NCAA asked Oliver whether or not Boras charged him and Oliver said no, then there you go. Thats my guess on what happened. I practice litigation in Florida. This seems like a services rendered collection case. Former lawyer seeks payment. The only defense for Oliver in the case would be that Baratta committed malpractice. But from the story I read above, it sounds like he gave Oliver the right advice. He’s going to be a very rich kid one day. More than the 400,000 he turned down in high school.

  • Stan

    What did Oliver do wrong besides change advisors? He didn’t turn his back on his team. He was ready to play. Why would he? He isn’t even draft-eligible this season.

  • Jared II

    Stan:

    He evidently did not pay them which is he required to do under the NCAA rules. Am I missing something here?

  • Stan

    Do you think he took 325 hours of advisment?

  • Jared II

    Ask the average agent how much time (travel and expenses) and they will tell you 325 is low. Lawyers get paid for their time.

  • http://SportsAgentBlog.com steven

    Depending on what Oliver agreed to and when, at least SOME of the bill may be legitimately owed. Only the ACTUAL facts will bear that out. As a practical matter, however, this seems like a “slash and burn,” or “go out in a blaze of glory” tactic by Barattas as they would seem to be expecting to be getting out of the business. By sending this bill when they did, and trying to “get back” at Oliver with the NCAA in the manner they did, ensures that every prospective future client of theirs have been put on notice that if they ever got in a disagreement with Barattas, this is how Barattas would handle it. Also, while I am not an agent, it would seem that this situation is prime amunition for any agents competing with Barattas over clients to use this against Barattas to dissuade those players from going with Barattas in the first place.

  • http://SportsAgentBlog.com Alan

    Jared sounds like Mike in disguise.

  • Jeremy Kurzwiel

    Can we please take a look at the true criminal here…Boras’s arrogance and god-like complex finally caught up to him and not only did it affect Andy, it affected Andy’s teammates and coaches. You think Boras didn’t know what he was getting Andy into?? give me a break.. The best part about it is Boras probably does this crap all the time and 99 times out of 100 the client doesn’t get pulled off the mound, but this time he did. Hopefully Andy Oliver realizes that the reason this happened wasn’t bc two lawyers out of ny are spiteful, it happened bc he broke NCAA rules and Boras enticed him to do so. Do yourself a favor Andy, change agents again and at the same time why don’t you send a thank you card to the new york guys for not letting you sign with MIN out of high school for $400k when your now going to get min 4 million. Pretty big decision wouldn’t you say.
    Obviously im in the Baratta corner (unlike this author Heitner), but everything I have said has been fact. Poor Andy Oliver? Maybe, because he doesn’t know any better, but how about pointing the blame where it should be, Scott Boras, who once again tried to use his invisibility to push a client and it finally caught up to him. Sad thing is, Andy probably see the writing on the wall.

  • http://SportsAgentBlog.com Chris

    While I am NOT a fan of some of Boras’ tactics, it seems like some of you have “Boras Envy,” or are just jealous. Lets get ALL of the facts before we assume anything relative to Oliver, Boras, or Barattas.

  • jon

    concerned parent you obvisouly didnt watch any game he pitch this year. if you did then you would have seen him go 9 innings in almost very game. he did everything he could to give the cowboys a chance to win. thats not very selfish to me. so if you would please explain how he turned his back on the university, players, and coaches. or how he turned his back on the advisor, maybe he didnt like what they were doing so he left, much like someone that transfers schools.

  • http://sportsagentblog.com Darren Heitner

    @Jeremy-

    I am not taking Boras’ side nor Barattas’ side, I am merely stating the facts as they currently stand. The NCAA will investigate and a lawsuit will commence. I will let both entities be the judge in this matter.

  • steve

    I was reading and don’t normally comment. I feel like some of you have never played or came close to the game in your life. You spend you time writing useless comments, for example steven would you teach your son to ring up a debt with someone and then put his wool between his legs and not pay when it came time to do so. I think players transfering schools such as jon mentions they are penalized or made to sit out a year. So oliver sitting out a game or two while awaiting his millions isn’t so bad. I am not the only anti boras fan he and this made me think even less of how he treats his players, why dont we ask the opinion of a-rod, sheffield, or kenny rodgers what they think about him. He uses tactics on teams, on players, agents, and now he screwed over osu and Oliver. He thought it would go un-noticed or someone would back down to perhaps one of the biggest agents out there. This should be a lesson to players out there that when or if you have an agreement you better follow through with it. Oliver whos your next agent going to be because it seems as though you change your mind and if I was the next agent I would bill by the second

  • http://sportsagentblog.com Jason Wulterkens

    Andy’s oral agreement to pay $350/hr seems like a pretty straight forward legal question from first year contracts, no?

    As for the Boras letter, I’m having a hard time fathoming how in the world that letter PER SE implicates any of the cited NCAA rules. That letter is obviously not any sort of “benefit” as the drafters intended that word to mean, and per the definitions they chose to include within the rules themselves.

    In fact, I’m struggling to find any solid proof of any improper actions on Boras’ part. Sounds like a lot of Boras haters will grasp onto anything…

  • gary

    To me, Oliver made the mistake (maybe with Boras’s help). One signs a agreement with a Party A for certain services to be rendered which Party A does. Party A basically carries forward your debt to them. Without paying for their services, you cut your relationship with Party A to go with Party B. I would think their bill would be due immediately upon your termination of their services and for them to expect this would not be at all out of line.

  • former teammate

    I played with Andy and anyone who says he has character issues or is selfish should realize that you’ve never met him. He is pretty much the nicest kid you could ever meet, soft spoken, real polite, no ego even though he is one of the best college pitchers in the country. don’t bash the kid and doubt his values and his dedication to his team when you don’t know anything about him.

  • http://SportsAgentBlog.com Chuck

    Too many assumptions all the way around. Starting with- just because the First Advisor group sent out a bill for the amount it did, why should anyone assume it is correct, or not. Here’s to hoping all of the facts come out.

  • http://sportsagentblog.com Darren Heitner

    I would not be surprised if a settlement is reached between Andy and Baratta for a smaller figure.

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  • mike

    Jason:

    The Boras letter is a violation of NCAA rules because as part of his everyday practice he does not engage in assisting clients in legal collection matters. He is an agent. Scott Boras does not assist the “non-student athlete” in collection matters. What is Boras’ interest in assisting a student athlete in a collection matter that in and of itself is unrelated to “advising” a player? Therefore, the student athlete is receiving a benefit that the non student athlete is not receiving. Thats the view from the NCAA’s prism.

  • http://SportsAgentBlog.com Robert

    I know someone who is a Compliance Officer with the NCAA, and he said, while he is not on this case directly, it is his understanding from those NCAA officials that are on the case that Barattas themselves called the NCAA and provided them with the Bill and Boras Letter. It seems to me that issue #1 is that to the degree that any or all of that Bill is legitimate, it should be paid. But the more long term issue for Barattas is— why not just sue to get the fee if Oliver wouldn’t pay it? Why try to get short term retribution by contacting the NCAA and pretty much cut your own throat as to getting clients in the future. Players will be leery to get involved with Barattas and other agent groups will really use this type of tactic against them. The business is competitive and cutthroat enough without having the added disadvantage the Barattas will be facing. Unless, as someone earlier pointed out, this is their “going out in a blaze of glory” act.

  • http://SportsAgentBlog.com MA

    Mike, (comment 27) I totally agree with you. However, my guess is that is one small part of this entire set of facts. There is an expression in the law about coming into Court with “unclean hands,” and I wonder when the NCAA hears from Oliver himself, if Barattas could pass that test?

  • http://sportsagentblog.com Jason Wulterkens

    Mike:

    “Material benefits include money, transportation, dinner, clothes, cell phones, jewelry, etc. However, benefits may also include, but are not limited to, activities such as tryout arrangements with a professional team and coordinating tryout schedules.”

    Where are you getting that “assisting” a “client” with collection (and the letter itself is not proof of that, by the way; it just asks to “discuss” the matter, which is hardly assisting with legal collection) is a benefit?

    And even if it is given that he was “assisting,” why assume that said assistance is not under the umbrella of player advisement? Does the NCAA clearly spell that out anywhere?

    I’d need to see these alleged infractions cited explicitly in some NCAA rule.

    Boras is an attorney, by the way, not just an agent. He has a duty to help his clients. In this matter, all I seem him doing is attempting to mediate a settlement of a lower payment to Baratta. But he is doing that in a LEGAL context for the client, not as a benefit to a student athlete.

  • JEFF-Y

    My question is specifically who signed the contract with the NY Law Firm?

    If it were only Andy, he presumably was a minor at age 18, and there never was a contract to begin with, i.e. any contract signed just by Andy would be void at fact value. It noticed that the law firm billed his family, so did they sign?

  • http://sportsagentblog.com Jason Wulterkens

    Depends on the jurisdiction, and also whether or not he then rescinded the contract within a reasonable amount of time upon turning majority age. I think. Contracts was awhile ago.

  • Marc Isenberg

    Excellent work by Darren and the commenters.

    To Robert, regarding your comment: “I know someone who is a Compliance Officer with the NCAA, and he said, while he is not on this case directly, it is his understanding from those NCAA officials that are on the case that Barattas themselves called the NCAA and provided them with the Bill and Boras Letter.”

    Please tell you acquaintance at the NCAA to keep his/her mouth shut. I don’t care how close your relationship is to this person, it is completely unprofessional (and against NCAA policies!!) for someone working at the NCAA to comment on pending cases.

    posted some additional comments on this issue…
    moneyplayers.typepad.com

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  • Cruz

    Can you have an oral agreement to pay legal fees or must it be in writing? Anyone know NY law on this issue?

    Also seems that Boras has a couple of lawyers working for him, aside from being a lawyer himself. Presumably, one of the services Boras offers is legal counsel for clients? If so, then how is there an issue here? If the Baratta group could offer legal services, then why couldn’t Boras do the same thing?

    Any idea if the Baratta group is licensed under NY or Oklahoma state regulations dealing with student athlete representations? Seems that if they aren’t, then their claims would be barred.

  • Ed

    Agents (aka parasites)! These guys are attorneys that know far more about the law, NCAA regulations, and right/wrong than any highschool kid and his father. These guys didn’t do anything for Andy to make him what he is or give him the opportunities that he, himself, has worked hard to earn on the mound every Friday. These guys are talent scouts…they look for talent and then swoop in to try to make money and don’t give a crap about the kid. From my son’s experience they offer to provide advice but don’t mention that there is a cost….they don’t mention that it is agains NCAA regs to accept this advice without payment…and kids/Dads don’t think that the advice provided is really worth any money anyway.
    The way this reads is that the Barattas provided “advice” and then when Andy switched Advisors they sent him a bill (some 2 years after they started providing advice—-for an ungodly amount of money–come on 17th round vs 1st round—this should be standard advice not worth a cent). The kid/Dad when presented with a $113K bill got scared and mentioned this to their new advisor (i.e., Boras) who then acted outside NCAA regulation for their own self-interest! Since this all happened less than 2 months ago…who is to say that Andy wasn’t going to pay the bill. Who is to say that Boras’ weren’t going to charge Andy for something that they new was wrong, if they didn’t…… Bloodsuckers…..sure Andy has talent and will some day make alot of money….IF, IF he stays healthy and PERFORMS EVERY FRIDAY from here out. Oral contract—B.S.–this is how these guys work! The NCAA doesn’t care about Andy…or how these kids who are given a partial scholarship (maybe $20,000 for tuition, food, or books to play College ball but no walk-around money to live on)—-they care about maintaining the semblance of amateurism by coming up with alot of rules that only attorneys know to keep schools making millions/billions of dollars every year in the name of student-athletic competition…..when we all know that College sports represent big money and the only person not getting rich for all of the talent and hard work they bring every week is the kid….most play year round and only make $5-$10K in tuition or less….I wonder if anyone out there would put in the time and sweat for $6/hr for a dream of hopefully making it big. Then to have the NCAA tell a team of players that their #1 pitcher is ineligible the day before they start Regionals…..who is the victim? Who is being victimized? The purity of the game? Andy and his teammates by a bunch of money hungry parasites!

  • Bill

    Ed: You should allow the facts to bear out before you draw any conclusions. How do you know that Andy was not at one time a potential first round pick coming out of High School.? The round makes no difference when you consider he was asking for 1,000,000 out of high school. How do you know that if not for the Baratta firm’s advice, he would have signed with the Twins for 200,000? How do you know the Olivers were not aware there was a cost attached to the advice. The teams are bloodsuckers looking to take advantage of these kids. The Baratta group educated the Olivers and convinced them (against the Twins interest and the Baratta’s own finacial interest) that Andy should go to college. I am getting tired of reading about poor Andy Oliver. What about disloyal one-way Andy Oliver who (at the suggestion of Boras I’m sure) figured he could take the Baratta advice for free.

    FYI, Baratta is licensed in NY. Boras is not licensed in Oklahoma as he should have been when he flew into Oklahoma in mid March and met with Andy and his father on the campus of OSU. Something tells me the Attorney General’s office in Oklahoma will be visiting with the Boras Corp. The Baratta were not required to be licensed in Oklahoma because the relationship with Oliver commenced in Ohio and NY and the Barattas never set foot in Oklahoma. Lets place the blame where it should reside: Scott Boras. I doubt Boras has lost any sleep over this if he even knows who he is.

  • Bill

    @ Cruz:

    Jason:

    The Boras letter is a violation of NCAA rules because as part of his everyday practice he does not engage in assisting clients in legal collection matters. He is an agent. Scott Boras does not assist the “non-student athlete” in collection matters. What is Boras’ interest in assisting a student athlete in a collection matter that in and of itself is unrelated to “advising” a player? Therefore, the student athlete is receiving a benefit that the non student athlete is not receiving. Thats the view from the NCAA’s prism. My guess is that the NCAA asked Oliver if Boras either notified him that there would be a cost for writing the letter or sent him a bill. Oliver probably told the NCAA he did not. Boras group failed him by failing to follow simple rules. BORAS thinks he is bigger than the NCAA anyway so what does it really matter.

  • Todd

    I know Andy personally from his days with Wareham on Cape Cod. He is a great kid and he truly does care about the team. Last years Wareham Gatemen team was one of the worst, and he did mention a few times that he was hoping that he could go out and pitch well to spark a winning streak…….this is coming for a SUMMER team. If he cares about winning this much during the summer, I’m positive he cares even more while in college. He is a great kid and I know he wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize his chance – or his team’s chances – to succeed.

  • Cruz
  • http://sportsagentblog.com Darren Heitner

    I have the entire complaint filed by Andy and his new attorney. I will get to it sometime this week. Filing a complaint in court is different than a judgment being handed down against a party.

  • Cruz

    It’s just interesting to see Oliver’s side of the story after seeing the Barrata talking points by a poster on your site earlier.

  • Cruz

    Are you going to post a copy of the complaint? Do you have any other insight from the parties involved?

  • http://sportsagentblog.com Darren Heitner

    I promise an updated post by Tuesday.

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  • rhonda

    While I sympathize with, and withhold judgment of, Andy Oliver’s predicament, I take exception to comments that imply that his absence from the NCAA tournament cost his team a trip to Omaha. He is just one person, not the whole team. This does a great disservice to Wichita State, the team who beat OSU in the regional…the same team who had beaten OSU (with Oliver STILL on the team at that time, mind you) earlier in regular season play. Just because you’d prefer to rewrite history doesn’t mean the outcome would be any different. However, if by some fluke of nature, someone in here has psychic abilities, please give me the winning lottery numbers for next week.

  • Wally

    Rhonda –

    Darren simply stated that OSU was hoping to have him on the bump to help OSU advanced to Omaha.
    He never said it was a lock. While congrats to the Shockers, I don’t think anybody can argue with Oliver pitching in the regional would have completely changed the way teams approached the regional stillwater.

    Wally

  • Ken

    Rhonda

    Please at least realize that you are wrong about regular season play. OSU defeated Wichita State during the regular season.

    I think it made a huge difference in the outcome of the regional that Oliver couldn’t pitch. OSU was forced to start a catcher who had previously pitched two innings all year before being asked to pitch. OSU also was forced to bring in a right fielder to try and close the game. There was a very good reason Oliver was OSU’s Friday night starter the whole season and almost everyone would agree would have been the most talented pitcher appearing in the Stillwater regional had he pitched.

    Just be thankful Oliver did not pitch in the regional which certainly has to be factored into Wichita State’s good fortune. I personally think if Oliver would have been available the outcome of the regionals would have been the same as what happened during the regular season.

  • rhonda

    Ken,

    You are right and I stand corrected about the regular season game. But, as long as we are discussing hypotheticals, don’t forget to “factor in” Clinton McKeever, whose grand slam sent a message to the team who cut him the year before. That young man was on a mission that I’m not sure even Oliver could have prevented. That’s the problem with speculation; no one knows what would have happened. Oliver could have had a bad night, as all pitchers do occasionally. Personally, I wish he could have been there so we wouldn’t have to listen to the “what ifs.” Yes, OSU may have won that game with Andy, but they still would have had to play the Shox again without him, and McKeever would still be there with something to prove. Anyway, I’m sure things will work out for Oliver. The cream always rises to the top.

  • Ken

    Rhonda

    The more likely scenario had Oliver pitched was OSU would have been in the cat bird seat with your Shockers needing to win two games in a row rather than OSU needing two wins in a row. In that likely scenario it would have been Wichita State needing to get deeper down into its pitching staff.

    I am well aware of McKeever. I saw him participate in fall drills at OSU. OSU gave him every chance to make the club. Just because he had this supposed mission had no relevance to the scenario that would have played out had Oliver been available to pitch.

    In fact it was obvious the Shockers during the regular season had a pitcher on a mission who was recruited by OSU but ended up being the losing pitcher while trying to close out the regular season game the Shockers lost to OSU.

    Again, be thankful your Shockers were fortunate enough to not have to face what would have been the best pitcher in the Stillwater regional. Many people thought OSU would pitch Oliver in the first game against Western Kentucky but OSU had already decided to pitch Lyons against Western Kentucky before Oliver was suspended and then Oliver against Wichita State.

  • rhonda

    Ken,

    With all due respect, you’re still talking “likely scenarios” like you’re an actual psychic. I’m still waiting on those winning lottery numbers, by the way. I do seem to recall that in not one of the games where the two teams faced each other was there a blowout.
    You downplay McKeever’s motivation, but you and I both know that inspiration can be manufactured. Look at Florida State, for example. They milked their shortstop’s injury (caused by a bad throw by the second baseman which forced the SS into the slide) and the team used it as a rallying point thereafter. And, yes, it’s true that our starting pitchers didn’t have their “A” game in the final two games in Florida. But, you are talking ifs, ands and maybes, because you DON’T KNOW any more than I do how it would have played out had Oliver been on the mound. Don’t fret. I’m just a silly female who was under the impression that it was against NCAA rules to have an AGENT while still a college athlete. But, I could be wrong…and I’m sure you’ll tell me if I am. Does that make me a psychic too?

  • http://sportsagentblog.com Darren Heitner

    Let me interject for a second now. The whole OSU vs. Wichita State issue we really don’t know. All I said was that “his teammates and university paid the price.” His non-involvement may have, or may not have changed the outcome of the game vs. the Shockers.

    My main concern is this statement, “I’m just a silly female who was under the impression that it was against NCAA rules to have an AGENT while still a college athlete.” Maybe the NCAA/OSU does have a valid argument that Baratta played a larger role than what is defined as an “advisor” by NCAA rules, but I think both organizations need to look around them. They are fighting a battle against a small guppy when there are much bigger fish to be tackling.

  • I know more than you

    Ken,

    You seem to be an expert on every thing WSU and OSU related….You mentioned OSU throwing Oliver in their first game of the regional. Clearly if you knew anything, you would know he was ALREADY SUSPENDED! It just wasn’t public knowledge yet. Now get out of your parents’ basement and do something with your life!

  • rhonda

    To “I know more than you,”

    I don’t think that’s what Ken said. I believe he meant that HAD Oliver NOT been suspended, he would have been saved for the second game to face WSU, contrary to the popular notion that the ACE pitches the opener.

    To Darren,

    You are right. There are bigger fish to fry. Dare I say, “we’re going to need a bigger boat.”

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