Parker hasn't decided: football or baseball?

emcgrana@greenvillenews.comJuly 20, 2010 

Clemson's Kyle Parker said Monday that negotiations with the Colorado Rockies could last well into the night today, the deadline they agreed upon for determining whether he would return to the Clemson football team.

In a text message, Parker said "everything is still on the table," which means it has not been decided if he would give up football immediately to concentrate on baseball.

Parker does not want the decision to linger for several reasons, not the least of them being the impact on his football teammates. Practice begins Aug. 3. Major League Baseball's deadline for signing drafted players is Aug. 16.

Prior to the draft, Parker told teams he wanted to give Clemson time to go ahead without him if he chose to drop football, not that he was inclined either way.

Selected by the Rockies in the first round, Parker could sign a baseball contract and play football this season at Clemson. Or he could sign and begin his pro baseball career immediately.

N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson, Colorado's fourth round pick who passed for 31 touchdowns last fall, signed in mid-June, and through Monday played 22 games for the Tri-City Dust Devils of Pasco, Wash., in the Northwest League.

Depending on who reads the body language, there's no consensus on what Parker might do.

One camp insisted he was "gone" since before Clemson's baseball season ended at the College World Series. Twice all-conference in baseball, Parker has discussed how much he achieved the past three years while so much of his attention has been on football.

But Parker likes being the quarterback, playing in front of big animated crowds. Last year he passed for 20 touchdowns as Clemson won nine games and played for the ACC championship. Clemson would be among the ACC favorites this season if he returns.

Others believe he had not decided, which is what Parker confirmed during a brief conversation recently.

Colorado would be inclined to pay him a larger bonus not to play football. The players drafted just ahead of and behind him have received $1 to $1.3 million signing bonuses.

The Denver Post reported that the Rockies planned to spread signing bonuses to Parker and Wilson over several years in case either was injured playing football.

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