baseball-d1 flag

Anne M. Peterson | The Associated Press | February 22, 2014

Oregon State appeals Wetzler's suspension

Ben Wetzler Oregon State Baseball

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Oregon State starting pitcher Ben Wetzler must sit out the team's first 11 games under a penalty imposed by the NCAA.

Wetzler sought the advice of a representative from a sports management group following last summer's Major League Baseball amateur draft. The left-hander was selected in the fifth round by the Philadelphia Phillies, but he ultimately decided to return to Oregon State.

Wetzler, who went 10-1 with a 2.25 ERA last season, is eligible to return on March 2. With a career record of 24-6, he is seven wins shy of the school record.

The NCAA notified Oregon State that it was looking into the matter in November. The school and Wetzler cooperated fully with the investigation, Oregon State said in a statement Friday.

Wetzler didn't receive any compensation from the representative. A university release Friday called the punishment "too harsh" given the circumstances.

"Although the evidence was unclear, the NCAA found that Wetzler's adviser did have prohibited contact and that a violation of the 'spirit' of the NCAA bylaw occurred," said Steve Clark, OSU's vice president for University Relations and Marketing. "It was clear from the beginning, however, that there was no intent on the part of Ben Wetzler to circumvent the rules. He was trying to do the right thing."

The Beavers proposed a penalty of 10 percent of the season, half of the NCAA's punishment.

"NCAA rules allow a baseball student-athlete to receive advice from a lawyer or agent regarding a proposed professional sports contract. However, if the student-athlete is considering returning to an NCAA school, that adviser may not negotiate on behalf of a student-athlete or be present during discussions of a contract offer, including phone calls, email or in-person conversations. Along with the school, a student-athlete is responsible for maintaining his eligibility," the NCAA said in its decision announced Friday.

Clark maintains that Wetzler trusted the representative to look out for his best interests.

"A student-athlete sought advice on whether to go pro or return to school. He received that advice, and now he is being punished by the NCAA for making a decision to complete his education — a decision that we should all applaud. This is inexplicable," Clark said.

The university is appealing the decision.

"Oregon State University continues to support Ben in this matter," athletic director Bob De Carolis said. "He is a great example of a student-athlete who turned down a significant sum of money from a professional baseball team to return to OSU to complete his academic degree and collegiate eligibility."

Wetzler was scheduled to be Oregon State's starter on opening day but was a late scratch. The Beavers, who were ranked as high as No. 2 in the national preseason polls, are 4-1 in the midst of an eight-game Arizona road trip to open the season.

These teams lost their first game of the College World Series and still won the national championship

Here's why there's still hope for teams that lost their first game in the 2019 College World Series.
READ MORE

The 25 NCAA baseball champions who went undefeated in College World Series play

Nine schools have gone undefeated in Omaha en route to winning the College World Series since a format change in 1999. Here's the full group of 25 since the CWS started in 1947.
READ MORE

Here are the college baseball coaches with the most College World Series victories

Here's a look at the 12 coaches who have the most wins in the College World Series.
READ MORE
Division I
College World Series
June 15-26, 2019
TD Ameritrade Park | Omaha, NE

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners