While they’re not exactly the circumstances that you want your prized two-sport prospect to choose baseball under, it looks like a significant hurdle has been cleared in Anthony Alford’s march towards potential baseball stardom.

This, of course, is not necessarily good news.

The Hattiesburg American reported today that the Jays prospect, and freshman quarterback at Southern Miss, has been released from his scholarship by the school– doing so at the player’s request. Clearly it’s a decision reached in the wake of Alford’s recent arrest at the school, and the fact that he stands charged with hindering prosecution and conspiracy to possess weapon on campus, though there are also genuine athletic reasons, too.

The Golden Eagles just finished skulking through an 0-12 season. They’ve fired the head football coach who recruited Alford and have now hired of Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken to replace him, as well as the previous offensive philosophy.

The American‘s Stan Caldwell writes, in as informative piece on Alford’s situation as you’ll find, bluntly titled Alford should focus on baseball, that “even before the incident that landed him in jail, there were serious rumors that Alford was shopping his services, that he’d had enough of USM and was looking to transfer.”

With the hiring of Monken, it is likely those rumors will gain traction. If you’ve watched Oklahoma State play the past two seasons, where Monken was the offensive coordinator, you know he places a premium on quality play at quarterback.

And, let’s face it, Alford’s play as a freshman in the lost 0-12 season that was Southern Miss football in 2012 left an awful lot to be desired.

Fact is, anybody with an open mind who saw him play at Petal could see he really didn’t have the skill set to be a Division I quarterback, at least not in this modern age of spread offenses, which is what Monken says the Golden Eagles will run next fall.

Caldwell insists that Alford, who he saw as a high school player– one that was “effortless” on a baseball diamond– should be playing winter ball in Puerto Rico or Venezuela right now, trying to make up for the reps missed as the Jays let him “indulge his fantasy” in the NCAA.

I don’t know if he’d even be allowed to leave the country, given the charges pending, but Caldwell does calm our jangled nerves on the judicial angle somewhat, figuring that, if he “had to guess, I’d say the odds are pretty good that it will end up being pleaded down to a misdemeanor, Alford will do some community service at some point and the incident will go away.”

Alford would have to sit out a year if he were to transfer to another school to play football, so it makes all the more sense that he embrace his second sport. Trouble is, it’s not exactly like doing things that make sense is his strong suit– not the gun-related incident on campus, and not the choice to play football in the first place.

“The truth may hurt,” Caldwell explains, “but it says here that Alford will never make a living playing football, but if he concentrates on baseball, brings his prodigious talent to the diamond full-time and works hard, he’s got a chance to, not just make a living, but to be a star.”

Now’s the time. More indulgence of football and there may not be another.

Comments (60)

  1. He was released so that he can go to Ole Miss without having to sit out a year.

    • Another report says “Alford would be free to transfer to another school to play football, though he would have to sit out the 2013 season under NCAA rules.”

      Is this wrong? I honestly don’t know.

      • If he wasn’t released, he would have to sit out the year if he were to transfer.

        Since he was released, he can play (transfer) anywhere next year without having to sit out the year.

      • As far as I know any transfer has to sit a year.

        • @Gord Ash

          Russell Wilson (Seattle QB, and also drafted by the Orioles and Rockies) was released from NC State, and transferred to Wisconsin without having to sit out a year.

          Pretty sure those released don’t have to sit out.

          • that was because he had a year of eligibility left and NC state didn’t offer the grad program he wanted

          • I think Russell Wilson used a loophole to go to Wisconsin as a “grad student”. Being released from his scholarship just means that Southern Miss won’t force him to stick it out on campus with them.

          • I think Russell Wilson wasn’t released he graduated but still had a year left of eligibility and went to Wisconsin for Grad school.

      • “Southern Miss quarterback Anthony Alford has been released from his scholarship, freeing him to transfer to another school” and “Pending his academic status, Alford may transfer to another school with three years of eligibility remaining, not including a redshirt season to burn if he’s forced to sit out a year under NCAA transfer rules”

        Via http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/blog/eye-on-college-football/21390817/anthony-alford-former-blue-chip-granted-release-from-southern-miss

        • But i think he would still have to sit out a year. He keeps the years of eligibility, but he cannot play for the next season.

    • Yeah, Alford is really, really, really stupid. Appears to be that he is going to Ole Miss next season.

      • Why is everyone calling this kid stupid for wanting to play football still? Did it ever occur to you that maybe he just likes playing football more than baseball.

        • Most two sport athletes enjoy playing football more. Most of them are also smart enough to stick with the sport they are better at.

          And to answer your next question, no I don’t have anything to back that up with lol

        • Uh… because he’s potentially blowing his chance to be a millionaire baseball player?

          Lots of ballplayers prefer football, or other sports. Lots of guys in all kinds of sports prefer playing other ones. But they recognize, it isn’t about recreation, it’s a business, professional, and there’s a chance to be set for life, financially, if they maximize their talents.

          You just can’t pick up a bat and expect to get anywhere after years having not– ask Adam Loewen. Developing players need reps, and Alford is running the risk of wasting his talent at both by hedging his bets and not fully committing to the sport he has the best chance of success in.

          It’s shitty to say, but when the financial stakes are this high, how much should which one he likes really matter?

          • Ahh because money isnt everything. This isnt even worth debating cuz its not a big deal but Im pretty sure he is well aware of the financial reprecussions of his choice in sport.

            Who is to say he wants to be a baseball player? Who fuckin knows. But that doesnt make him stupid

          • No, money isn’t everything, clearly. But it’s not like it’s an ethical objection he has, it’s not like he doesn’t want to be a professional athlete– he does. He just wants to do it in the sport where he’s far less likely to succeed.

            I mean, you don’t see the potential for massive regret if he turns his back on baseball, fails at football as expected, and ends up… doing what? Maybe he has a nice life, but man, the financial security for him, his family, his grandkids that’s so close to his grasp… it’s a hell of thing to be gambling with.

      • really really really really stupid.

        • Who the hell are you guys to judge him for wanting to play this sport or that sport?

          Granted it may not be the logical choice and he may not be the brightest candle on the cake but who are you to cal him stupid.

          If he enjoys football more than whatever

          • chanse….this is a Jays sight and he was drafted , signed and bonused. Now it was known what he was going to do BUT I am going to call this guy done.

          • *Site

          • I think we can all call him stupid for getting arrested

          • Ok, forget the baseball/football debate..kids fucking stupid for playing with guns, then getting caught and being a shit. You dont add on to it by pissing away your chance to do better for your family after being an embarrassment lately. He should be thankful anyone is still willing to even deal with him

      • It’s not like Alford is a scrub football prospect either. He was the #10 QB and top 100 overall prospect in the nation coming out of high school. It’s certainly not inconceivable for somebody with his pedigree to turn into a legit NFL prospect in the next few years. He has guaranteed money in the baseball bonus money. He’s also certainly no lock to become a major league player and is, at best, probably at least 3-4 years away from coming close to sniffing the big leagues. Once he drops football, there’s no going back. He’s not getting back into football after that. No point in closing that door right now. Especially when he’s only foregoing what, 2 months of the baseball season? I see nothing wrong with him keeping his options open, and I would probably do the same if I was him.

        Speaking of Ole Miss, here’s a former Ole Miss quarterback that didn’t have his baseball development stunted and has turned into a nice little major leaguer:
        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/smithse01.shtml

        • Prospects don’t hold value based on past rankings. Read the article describing his current play-clearly outlining his deficiencies in being able to succeed at the next (college) level. Then, look at his teams record over this last season.

          He WAS a top prospect, but isn’t any longer. I think it would be fair to characterize him as a “project” player with his character issues further limiting those who care to take said project on.

          He should recognize that he’s destroying a chance at a brilliant career in one sport for a wholly mediocore showing in another.

        • He is scrub> His football mentality. He will never play pro baseball.

        • he only plays like a scrub football prospect

        • agreed

        • Brumfield is putting forth a pretty good arguement here in my mind. Also, what are his chances at changing positions eventually? The guy is obviously a pure athlete which is the main requisite for any position in football.

      • Just ask Michael Jordan how that baseball career worked out for him.

  2. How much is AA paying this guy Caldwell?

  3. What position does he play again (in baseball)?

  4. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/12/mike-napoli-red-sox-agree-to-terms.html

    Swish to the Sox? Cherington mentions “working through things in regards to another player”

    Don’t discount the massholes yet apparently

    • That comment was about Napoli– he wouldn’t name him because nothing is official.

      • Ah got it – read it quickly and it seemed off – re-read it and I see what he was trying to convey

  5. Time for a little Twitter love for AA the Younger – put your best Toronto Blue Jays sales pitch together in 140 characters or less to woo Young Master Alford over to the “good side”

    https://twitter.com/anthonyalfordjr

  6. Via Twitter:

    @anthonyalfordjr good luck Anthony wish you the best of luck at Ole Miss go make Mississippi proud.

    Anthony’s response: @brandonmcmellon thanks bro

    Sounds to me he is really, really, really stupid and going back to play college football next year.

    • That’s not exactly a binding agreement to go play at Ole Miss.

      • According to a certain Twitterer I know, you don’t play at Ole Miss you become one.

      • Theres also this reply from someone he seems to know. Obviously, take it for what its worth:

        @anthonyalfordjr no doubt man! I’ll keep trackin ya on the diamond! Hang in there. It will all workout

    • Doesnt say “next year” just says “good luck at Ole Miss”

      Fact is, if he transfers there, he’s going to either switch positions, or be like 4th on the depth chart. Just because he was USM’s highest touted recruit ever doesnt mean hes that good on an Ole Miss team. Ole Miss is in another league then USM (not literally). He probably went from being the 1st or 2ns most talented kis on the team to middle of the pack. If he was good enough to make a difference he wouldve bee recruited there in the first place. I can pretty much gurantee there is no kid from Mississippi that would rather play at USM (and the MAC) then Ole Miss (in the SEC) if they had the choice (and considering the oppourtunities were equal…..that is, I can see a guy choosing to be starting QB at USM then 4th string at Ols Miss, but def not if he actually was good enough to be a starter)

      And he does have to sit out a year. Its not about punishment, its about grades (well, officialy anyways…..the REAL reason is because the NCAA wants the players to have as little leverage as possible). Special dispensations can be made (Penn St was a big one) but Alford does not fall under it. Especialy considering he was released at his request. If that was allowed, every transfer would just ask to be released. I cant i.agine a school denying such a request.

      • This is a flat-out lie. The guy was the #10 QB recruit in his class and a top 100 recruit overall. Southern Miss was coming off of 17 straight winning seasons and finished #20 in the country in 2011 when Alford committed. He would have been the #3 overall recruit in Ole Miss’ class last year. A shitty SEC school like Ole Miss is not necessarily better than a mid-major powerhouse like Southern Miss had basically been.

        • A shitty SEC school is still significantly greater than any mid-major powerhouse

          • MSU is in conference USA and they did win the championship of that conference in 2011.

            ole miss is an sec school with a long tradition of quality football in the best conference in the land.

            they are also academically in different stratospheres, not to mention i seriously doubt they would take a kid with this guy’s baggage.

  7. One move AA (the GM) could do with the Angels is perhaps help facilitate a 3-way between Jays, Angels and Phillies to get Vernon Wells to reunite with best bud Michael Young and Doc; right now, their LF is Laynce Nix and Darin Ruf (who is really a marginal defensive 1B). Angels swallow some cash, and maybe the Jays get their RH platoon DH in Ruf, who led the minors in HRs last year (and is 26).

    And, come on – Lindy Ruf as your combined DH – that is hockey/baseball gold here.

  8. Can you please change the title for the OCD part of me? Southern Mississippi’s standard abbreviation is “USM”…”SMU” typically refers to Southern Methodist, in Texas.

  9. Wow… i just realized that I wasted the last 4 or 5 minutes of my life reading about something to do with fucking college football. Then I remembered that I hate college football to a near loathing degree… oh I can just hear the stupid marching band bullshit in the background, the organized planned crowd cheers and more… fuck… now I wasted another 2 minutes typing this little rant.

    anyways… here’s something I have never understood. When an athlete is being scouted and ranked in two sports and then is signed to play one of those sports professionally complete with signing bonus why is there not restrictions put in place by the signing team that limit that player to only playing one sport being that continuing to play the other sport puts wear and tear on the body and could result in injury thus leaving the signing team out an investment.

    This is the time where if I was AA I would either personally talk to Alford or have someone else in the organization talk to him and say “look kid, we want you to play ball for us, we paid you to sign with us and now that you are left in this situation we really feel you should consider putting your football career behind you to concentrate on being a big league ball player”.

    • I would be surprised if they hadn’t had someone in his ear the entire time he was at USM. If only just a “Hey, how’s it going?” or “Is there anything we can do for you?”.

  10. On thing I haven’t seen mentioned. It seema Alford isn’t cut out ot be a college QB, but there’s no doubt he’s a strong enough athlete to move around the field. He wouldn’t be the first high school QB to turn pro as a running back.

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