The Big Ten also is handicapped by conference restrictions on the number of recruits who can be offered scholarships each year. The inability to "over-sign" makes it difficult for teams that lose a significant number of underclassmen to the major-league draft to replace the loss of personnel the following season.
Since the NCAA tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1999, the Big Ten has received one bid six times, two bids four times and three bids three times. Only four Big Ten teams have advanced past regionals over that span.
The Big Ten previously has asked the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee to consider pushing the season into July and guaranteeing a minimum of two regionals be hosted by northern teams.
The proposals went nowhere. If the same thing happens with the fall-spring recommendation, the Big Ten's Traviolia said, the idea of a summer schedule could become more appealing.
It would work best if other northern conferences were willing to follow suit, Traviolia said.
"That's unknown at this point," he said. "There are some good reasons for doing it. You hate to see these beautiful facilities some schools have constructed to sit idle for the prime months they could be used."
Players typically migrate to wood-bat summer leagues after the college season, and Big Ten coaches say those teams make money off the players developed by colleges. By playing in summertime, perhaps with wood bats, northern schools could generate revenue. Anderson suggested a tournament for northern teams, perhaps culminating with a CWS-like event in Omaha in August.
He figures summer baseball would also result in attendance increases and provide fresh content for the Big Ten's television network.
"BTN will televise baseball whenever the Big Ten plays it," network spokeswoman Elizabeth Conlisk said.
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