Blog Entry

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

Posted on: August 16, 2011 1:09 am
Edited on: August 16, 2011 1:14 am

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Nebraska's brief flirtation with Kansas City-area wunderkind quarterback/baseball prospect Bubba Starling came to an end late Monday night, as Starling came to terms with the Kansas City Royals. According to Nebraska RapidReporter Brandon Vogel, negotiations between Starling and Kansas City went down to the last hour of the August 15 deadline imposed on MLB draft picks; Starling was the fifth overall pick of the draft

Starling had been on campus at Nebraska since July attending classes, but he never reported to practice, and Nebraska left him off its 105-man practice roster when it convened last week. This was a mutually agreed-upon decision, though, and even Peter Gammons' potentially damaging report that Pelini had lost his temper and threatened Starling didn't really jibe with the larger pattern of supportive behavior displayed by Pelini and the rest of the Nebraska staff in their handling of the Starling situation.

Here's what Pelini had to say in a statement issued after Starling's signing:

"Everyone associated with our football program at Nebraska wishes Bubba nothing but the best in his future with the Kansas City Royals organization," Pelini said. "I know this decision has been very difficult for Bubba and his family, as it would be for anyone in his position. In the end, Bubba was in a win-win situation regardless of his choice, and we respect the decision he has made. I personally will root for Bubba in every game except when he plays against the Indians!"  

Starling's deal is worth $7.5 million over three years. It's pretty hard to pass up that kind of money for the comparatively scant benefits college football offers its student-athletes.


Since: May 7, 2011
Posted on: August 16, 2011 6:20 pm

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

Wise choice by Starling to accept the offer made by the Royals....."get dat money man" because that's a whole lot of money to be turning down. It's not like he can't go back to school if it doesn't work out as far as a baseball player. If that were to happen he can always go back to Nebraska and tryout for the starting QB position. Unlike Henson he played college football(Michigan),then signed a contract to play for the Yankees and never made it as a successful baseball/football player.Money mouthCool

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: August 16, 2011 6:17 pm

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

Fortyacres71....seriously?  Nice post.

Since: Oct 15, 2010
Posted on: August 16, 2011 3:58 pm

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

Odds are actually pretty good that he will see playing time in Omaha.  The KC Royals AAA team plays there.

Since: Oct 14, 2010
Posted on: August 16, 2011 1:54 pm

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

Nice post, World, except that Bubba won't be playing in Omaha.  Bubba will not be in the college world series, he is going pro and will hopefully be playing in a Major League park one October.  If he flames out in baseball he can always take a shot at college football so maybe you will see him in Lincoln.

Since: Sep 17, 2009
Posted on: August 16, 2011 1:52 pm

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

Yes, technically you can say that Bubba Starling spurned Nebraska in favor of Kansas City.  However, when it comes down to it, this is a business decision.  Bubba and his family have decided that at this time Bubba is going to pursue the business of baseball on the professional level rather than the business of football at the collegiate level.

The fact that Bubba Starling came to Lincoln this summer can be looked at in two ways.  One is that he was using this simply as a negotiating ploy to put pressure on the Royals to try and get more money.  Second, he wanted to be sure to be in Lincoln to start the process of becoming acclimated to the town, the university and many of his potential future teammates should a contract offer not meet their expectations and he decided to play football.

What actually happened is that Bubba Starling came to Lincoln, enrolled in a minimum number of classes so ad not to start the elgibility clock, but start his college experience, while also working out with teammates.  As the cutoff date of 8/15 got closer and the begnnning of fall practice approached  another decision had to be made.  Would he continue with his college prep and thus begin practice or should he wait until after the 15th?  The decision to not participate in the beginning of fall practice was a joint decision between the Nebraska coaching staff and the family.

Bubba and his family did not want to put him into a position in which he could get injured, should the Kansas City offer meet their creiteria.  Nebraska coaches did not want to have him participate not only from the point of view of injury, but also that it would not be fair to him or the other players on the Nebraska football team that he participate.  Coach Pelini first and foremost is Nebraska's football coach and thus has to make sure that his team is prepared for the upcoming season and realized that no matter what decision was made by Bubba Starling, the team he has is the team he will have moving forward.

Peter Gammon and others have made statements that are way off the mark on what took place between Coch Pelini and the Starling family.

Now the other result of Bubba deciding not to join the 105-man roster is that it took away some of his leverage.  Now with the announcement of the $7.5M bonus, it appears that all of this squabble about coming to Lincoln and then not being put on the 105 roster meant nothing.  It was anticipated right after draft day that the singing bonus would be in the area of $7.5M.

Now as a Nebraska fan, I am disaapointed that Bubba will not be playing football and baseball for the Cornhuskers this coming school year, but I think he made a wise decision.  Now does this mean that the door is completely shut for him to play football at Nebraska, no.  The only thing this did for sure was close the door on him playiong baseball at Nebraska.

There are many examples of similar situations in which the person made it in the big leagues, Matt Holliday, Joe Mauer, and Carl Crawford to name a few.  there are others in which the decision to play baseball did not turn out so good and they ultimately made their way back onto the college football field such as Chris Wienke and Brandon Weedon.  There have been many others on both of those lists, as well as players that made the decision to play college baseball instead of signing a professional contract out of high school.  Each decision has to be understood on its own merits.

Since: Dec 10, 2008
Posted on: August 16, 2011 12:03 pm

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

first of all pelini didnt yell at starling nebraska knew the situation from day 1. second he didnt spurn us because he didnt fully enroll in nebraska so that was the first sign he wasnt gonna stay n play and second he didnt show up to fall camp and was told not to unless he had made a full decision(parents n coaches agree it was the best move). third he grew up in KC and love the royals, so as soon as he got drafted by him 95% of husker fans knew it was done deal

i have nothing against him good luck and i hope you have a good baseball career, i wasnt fooled you cant pass that money up. i never for a sec thought he would play plus if he had turned them down he was so far behind learning the offense wise he would have redshirted..are you gonna turne 8 million to sit on the bench??? H3LL NO. good luck bubba

Since: Oct 6, 2009
Posted on: August 16, 2011 11:35 am

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

Oh well

Since: Apr 20, 2008
Posted on: August 16, 2011 11:26 am

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

It's not like he spurned "The Ohio State" where he could have made some real mone. Good Luck Bubba!!!!

Since: Sep 27, 2006
Posted on: August 16, 2011 11:26 am

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

I'm a citizen of Husker Nation. As much as I would have liked to have seen Bubba Starling wearing the scarlet and cream, there's no question the young man made the best decision for his future.

As talented an athlete as Starling may be, there are no guarantees in sport - unless of course you just inked a $7.5 million deal with the Royals. Should he make it to the the next level, an MLB career on average is longer and more lucurative than a career in professional football.

It will be interesting to follow Starling's career. There are numerous stories of top prospects who do not pan out in MLB and return to the college ranks to play another sport. Naturally, everyone from the Big Red wishes Bubba every success. But should professional baseball turn out not to be his career path he would certainly be welcomed back in Lincoln.

And as far as spurning the college experience for millions of professional baseball dollars?  You can bet Starling, his parents and his agent had already contracted with Lloyd's of London for a multi-million dollar insurance policy to protect him against a career ending injury had he chosen football. 

Good luck Bubba. We may not see you in Lincoln but we will see you in Omaha. Welcome to Nebraska!

Since: Sep 25, 2007
Posted on: August 16, 2011 10:38 am

Bubba Starling spurns Nebraska, signs with Royals

A few years ago there was a high school senior from Stillwater, Oklahoma. He was a highly regarded quarterback and was ready to go to Oklahoma State. His decision to play baseball seems to have worked out ok for him. His name is Matt Holliday. $7.5 million over three years? Let's be honest. A lot of the middle aged folks on this board have never seen and will never see that kind of money. All this guy has to do is to be wise with how he uses the money and he is set for life. Best of luck to him.

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