About The Dominican Republic Sports and Education Academy
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.
Who We Serve:
The Academy will be geared towards three diverse groups: 14-16 yr. olds, 16-18 yr. olds and Special Performance Camp (SPC) attendees.
14-16 year olds:
The main focus at DRSEA will be student athletes ranging from 14-16 years old. This group will be selected through a rigorous testing of both academic and athletic specific abilities. The goal for this age group will be to prepare them both academically and athletically for the pursuit of higher education at either the Academy or another equally qualified Prep School in the United States. While most of the student athletes in this age group will clearly have an option of signing with one of the MLB Academies in the DR when they turn 16 1/2, it would be our goal to prepare these student-athletes to explore their full range of options including continuing at DRSEA through the 16-18 yr. old program or attending a US Prep-School to become well rounded individuals.
Summer/Spring/Fall/ Winter Special Performance Camp (SPC) Attendees
This group will include collegiate teams, elite youth teams and current professional players from all over the world. Attendees will be provided with personal skills assessment and individual training and instruction to maximize their athletic skills. SPC may also include organized competition between attendees in order to implement training and instruction learned while attending the SPC.