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college world series

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College World Series Notebook

Florida State coach says Drew made the right move

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Posted: Tuesday May 29, 1998 04:38 PM

  Florida State coach Mike Martin thinks Drew (above) will get at least $7 million (AP)

OMAHA, Nebraska (CNN/SI) - J.D. Drew's college coach says the ex-Florida State star made the right decision in rejecting the Philadelphia Phillies' offer of $6 million after the 1997 amateur draft.

"I think J.D. Drew will get $7 million as a minimum in the next draft," FSU coach Mike Martin said Thursday during College World Series media day. "I'm on his side. All these folks up here saw him play. He's big-time. He's worth it."

Drew, the 1997 college player of the year with the Seminoles, told the Phillies before last year's draft not to pick him unless they were willing to pay him at least $10 million.

Unable to sign him to a contract, Philadelphia lost the rights to Drew earlier this week. His rights go back into this year's draft, which begins Tuesday. The Phillies pick first -- although they can't take Drew without his approval. Oakland picks second .

Drew turned down a late offer that reportedly was better than the four-year contract Philadelphia offered in April. That deal included a record $2.6 million signing bonus, another $400,000 in guaranteed salary and the chance for another $3 million if he made the Phillies.

Drew had been trying to become a free agent. Martin said he felt Drew was worth whatever he can get from his next team.

"Every man or woman in this room, if they had a son that held out for one year and picked up $5 million, we would say that he is very smart," Martin said.

SEC dominates CWS again

Three Southeastern Conference teams -- two-time defending champion LSU, Florida and Mississippi State -- are in the World Series field, down one from last season.

Andy Lopez has the Gators back in Omaha, one of three SEC teams in the field (AP) 

That's still more representatives than any other conference. The Pac-10, with Arizona State and Southern Cal, is the only other league with two teams in Omaha.

Florida coach Andy Lopez was asked why the SEC consistently has some of the best teams in the country.

"I think the answer is sitting right there," Lopez said, motioning to LSU coach Skip Bertman. "The SEC is about LSU baseball. If you don't play with LSU, you don't compete."

Bertman said the SEC's baseball success stems from good weather and a solid fan base. He predicted other conferences might catch up if schools see baseball as a money-maker.

"Athletic directors right now are mired in football, basketball and gender equity," Bertman said. "They don't see the bucks in baseball, but you can't make money off golf and tennis programs."

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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