About the DRSEA
The Dominican Republic Sports and Education Academy (DRSEA), a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, is in the design stages. The DRSEA is planning a sports and education academy in the Dominican Republic aimed at giving talented baseball players the option of attending U.S. colleges and universities on athletic scholarships. The academy is being patterned after one in Puerto Rico that has had a high success rate of placing baseball players there on U.S. college teams.
Land for the academy has been identified in the Dominican Republic, not far from the capital of Santo Domingo. If all goes well, the academy could open its doors as early as September 2010, said Charles S. Farrell, founder, principal and senior consultant for Sports Perspectives International, a sports advocacy, marketing and consulting firm. The ultimate goal of the DR Sports and Education Academy is to level the playing field in terms of full minority participation in the $450 billion a year global sports industry; amateur, professional, and on the educational level.
“The Dominican Republic has embraced baseball more passionately than any other country I know,” Farrell said, “and already, some of the best baseball players in the world come from there. “Sammy Sosa, Albert Pujols, Vladimir Guerrero, Many Ramirez, David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Bartolo Colon, Moises Alou, Alex Rodriguez, Damaso Marte, Alfonso Soriano, Jose Reyes; the list goes on and on. Of the international players on Major League rosters last year, 75 percent came from the Dominican Republic.”
Unfortunately, most rarely obtain even a high school degree, Farrell said. Players in the Dominican Republic can sign professional contracts at 16 ½, so education is usually bypassed in pursuit of the dream of success in baseball.
“We want to provide young baseball players with an option by preparing them both academically AND athletically to succeed,” he said. “The addition of some of these players on U.S. college teams will be the equivalent of getting a 7-foot center in basketball, or a running back who does a 4.2 sixty. One solid hitter and fielder in a lineup could be the difference between a good college team and a great one.”
The academy will be able to take gifted baseball players and prepare them academically for the college classroom. The academic program will exceed the minimum requirements for college eligibility now required by the NCAA. “We not only want them to succeed in college, we want them to excel,” Farrell said.