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NCAA suspends Ben Wetzler for 20 percent of the season

Feb 21, 2014, 7:45 PM EDT

Recently, Aaron Fitt of Baseball America reported that the Phillies turned in Oregon State senior Ben Wetzler to the NCAA for inappropriate contact with an agent, which is explicitly forbidden by NCAA bylaws. Most of the commentary since then have focused on the ethics of what the Phillies did and the unfairness of the power NCAA wields over its athletes. Comparatively little attention has been paid to Wetzler himself, who appears to have broken the rules.

Fitt is now reporting that the NCAA has suspended Wetzler for 20 percent of the season, which includes time he has already missed. He will return on March 3.

Oregon State University came out in defense of Wetzler, calling the punishment “too hard given all of the mitigating factors”. More, from Fitt:

  1. raysfan1 - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:49 PM

    Amen to the second tweet above

  2. chacochicken - Feb 21, 2014 at 7:51 PM

    I am sure Ben has learned a valuable lesson about extortion.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:07 PM

      Yes he has: stay in school and try to get a job in the front office of an MLB team, because it’s a lot more fun to screw over an amateur athlete than to be one.

    • ltzep75 - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:11 PM

      His wrist must sure sting after that, hoo boy.

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    IMO….it’s hard to have a fast and firm opinion about a practice I knew noting about 48 hours ago (college athletes using agents). That said:

    – There doesn’t seem to be much of a misunderstanding here. Either what the Phillies did was way out of bounds or it wasn’t. Seeing as one side is screaming foul while the other is pleading the 5th, the former is looking likely

    – This talk about agents boycotting the Phillies is horse puckey. Leaving aside all cynical reasons why that won’t happen (think $$), an agent has a legal and fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of their client. “I wont take an offer from the Phillies because they once screwed a guy who isn’t you” does not meet that standard of acting in their best interest. Nor does reducing the field of teams from 30 to 29

    – this is long from over. And wont look pretty to RAJ when it is

    – this probably isn’t as bad as Craig is hoping for

    • recoveringcubsfan - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:33 PM

      I agree with you that, sad as it is, there isn’t likely to be any “revenge of the agents” against the Phillies. Agents are going to try to get the most money for their players, and if that money comes from the Phillies then, unless the player has a personal reason to sign elsewhere, that’s where the agent will advise his guy to sign. Now, to repair some of the damage, the Phils might feel like offering a slightly higher amount to certain players and agents in the next few years, which in and of itself can have a large impact on what the team can do. But as far as an agents’ boycott, I don’t see how that would happen.

      • clydeserra - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:56 PM

        but no high school or college jr should trust the phillies. if one were to be drafted, For a high schooler drafted after the 3rd round, there is no reason to sign when a new CBA cold be better for you and the phillies have already shown that they will only deal with your mom and dad in negotiations.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:13 PM

      - This talk about agents boycotting the Phillies is horse puckey. Leaving aside all cynical reasons why that won’t happen (think $$), an agent has a legal and fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interests of their client. “I wont take an offer from the Phillies because they once screwed a guy who isn’t you” does not meet that standard of acting in their best interest. Nor does reducing the field of teams from 30 to 29

      That’s three different scouting agencies hearing that the Phillies will face repercussions based on what they did [BA, ESPN, and SBB]. Jim Callis (MLB.com) hasn’t chimed in other than to say the Phillies, like every other MLB team, repeatedly breaks an MLB rule:

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:45 PM

        Emotions are raw, and people are spouting off. But how does that change the legal responsibilities an agent has? How does any of this justify a 2014 draft pick dropping a round?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        Emotions are raw, and people are spouting off. But how does that change the legal responsibilities an agent has?

        Because there’s a lot more in play than just what the agent has to do. For instance, did you know that teams need the specific players permission to review medical records? Players could easily deny the Phillies access to these records, so they aren’t sure what they are getting their hands on. Players/An Agent could also try to get the Phillies in trouble with MLB per Jim Callis’s tweet.

        How does any of this justify a 2014 draft pick dropping a round?

        Huh?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:21 PM

        Btw, it’s hilarious that some of you still think this is just a Craig trolling the Phillies issue. Start reading some other websites, especially MiLB oriented ones. They are all making a big deal out of this.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:31 PM

        Church – I am not white washing this for the Phillies, read my post. But your first rebuttal is the answer to my second. If an agent “blocks” the Phillies access to a player, that player may drop a round. Heck, depending on the position, maybe more than a round. Walk me through the discussion in which an agent says “The Phillies would have drafted you 3rd, and you want to enter pro ball this year. But gall dang it, they turned in that Oregon St. player! So F them! But don’t worry, the White Sox will take you in the 5th round”

        Supply and demand is pretty clear – 30 is higher than 29. An agent is not acting in a players interest diminishing the pool. If nothing else, allowing the Phillies access may in fact make it MORE likely they are drafted elsewhere.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:32 PM

        P.S – I did not say Craig was trolling. I said he hope this will be bad for the Phillies. I stand by that

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:23 PM

        P.S – I did not say Craig was trolling. I said he hope this will be bad for the Phillies. I stand by that

        You do know who wrote this post right, and who the author roots for?

        As for your agent scenario, this sounds like the same argument people make against Boras. The agent acts for the player, and ultimately does what the player wants. If the player doesn’t want to sign with Philly, and after the first two rounds it’s almost inconsequential when the player is drafted based on the how the CBA is set up, it’s up to the player. While pre-draft deals are done all the time (against the rules as well but no one cares here either), there’s really no way for an agent to create that hypothetical that you mentioned.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 22, 2014 at 9:52 AM

        Church – Craig wrote a lung thy article about this, that us what I was referring to.

        If you take a deep breath and read what I write, you will see we don’t really disagree on much at all. Relax

    • vivabear - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:44 PM

      I’d rather see Revenge of the Nerds again, than revenge of the agents.

    • righthandofjustice - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:56 PM

      Much like international scouts, professional sport teams rely on these “advisers” to provide them first hand information about the college kids the teams seldom spend extensive resources and time to research on and try to sign.

      I don’t think the “advisers” mean they are not going to do business with the Phillies. They are just not going to give any scouting reports to the Phillies.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:09 PM

        Gumming up the works I don’t disagree with. But at the end of the day – all agents hate all teams and vice versa. But if deal fits, it will happen

  4. musketmaniac - Feb 21, 2014 at 8:36 PM

    Dirty phil

  5. historiophiliac - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:28 PM

    El Bravo, I think we have some additions to the douchenozzle list.

  6. billybawl - Feb 21, 2014 at 9:52 PM

    Can someone explain what the real difference is between an advisor and an agent in this context? Is it that the advisor doesn’t get paid if the player doesn’t sign a contract?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 21, 2014 at 10:22 PM

      It doesn’t matter to the NCAA. As soon as someone is paid to speak/negotiate on behalf of the player that’s not a family member, it’s considered an NCAA violation. The language was changed to an adviser when multiple players started using lawyers instead of agents to negotiate their contracts.

  7. genericcommenter - Feb 21, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    The “student athlete” is a myth the NCAA made up to avoid paying compensation for “on the job” death and injuries.

  8. rcj22001 - Feb 22, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    I find it hard to believe that the people in charge of the NCAA -the board and its stout members- would do anything that didn’t favor the student athlete. Ok that was all a lie, of course the chair members, and those that ‘grease their wheels’ are going to screw over anyone possible for maximum profit. It’s the American way, f*** thy neighbor, and it’s disgusting.

  9. campcouch - Feb 22, 2014 at 4:39 AM

    20% ban. How do you compute that? Is this including playoffs and will be retroactive or is it they have no clue how many games OSU will play?

  10. 4cornersfan - Feb 23, 2014 at 6:07 AM

    What kind of rule denies a 20 year old an advisor and representative when he is making one of the most important decisions in his life?

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