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Erstad favors adding third full-time assistant, clears up Big Ten’s standing on failed NCAA proposal

April 24, 2019 GMT

The NCAA stirred the college baseball and softball pots last week when it voted down a proposal that would have given schools the option to add a third full-time assistant coach.

Two conferences — the Big Ten and Big 12 — opposed adding another assistant, while the other Power Five conferences were in favor of it. When the proposal reached the NCAA Council last week, it was shot down.

During his weekly radio show on “Sports Nightly,” Nebraska baseball coach Darin Erstad made clear his preference to have a third full-time assistant coach. In fact, the Big Ten coaches were unanimously in favor of it at their fall meeting.

However, Erstad cleared up a misconception attached with the recent decision by the NCAA.

“It never got to the (Big Ten) ADs,” Erstad said after host Greg Sharpe acknowledged that the nay vote was pushed for by Big Ten faculty representatives. “There’s some people out there saying that one AD in the Big Ten was the only one in favor of it (and) that’s just not an accurate statement.”

The legislation, which was sponsored by the Southeastern Conference, had overwhelming support from coaches. Associate head coach Ted Silva and assistant coach Mike Kirby make up Estad’s full-time staff. Curtis Ledbetter is the team’s volunteer coach.

“Our ratios are off quite a bit compared to other sports and we’re just trying to get that on par,” Erstad said on “Sports Nightly.” “I get it, though. There’s a chain reaction of adding coaches to other sports and then other sports after that, and where do you stop? Money is not grown on trees at every university, that’s for sure, but it’s definitely something that the Big Ten is taking a lot of heat (for) and I don’t think that’s right, because that’s not accurate.”

It appears the full-time coaching proposal will go back to the drawing board. In the meantime, Erstad sees another way the NCAA could help improve college baseball.

“If we’re going to spend money on college baseball, just my personal opinion, is more scholarships,” he said. “I mean, 11.7 for 27 is just not enough. Kids don’t want to walk on, they want scholarships and 25% minimum that you could put on it. No other sport has that. I don’t understand why we can’t use our 11.7 for all 35 guys (on the roster).”