Originally created 01/24/04

A-Rod picked for Miami's board of trustees



CORAL GABLES, Fla. -- American League MVP Alex Rodriguez has made another commitment to the University of Miami, the school he nearly attended after high school.

Fifteen months after donating $3.9 million to the school's baseball program, Rodriguez has been appointed to its board of trustees.

Former Miami standout and NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar also is on the board, which approves coaching hires and played a role in Miami's move from the Big East Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference last summer.

Rodriguez grew up near campus, signed with Miami out of nearby Westminster Christian High and came close to playing for the Hurricanes - about 50 feet to be exact.

He was on campus, walking to his first class in fall 1993, when a Seattle Mariners scout stopped him just before he got to the door. The Mariners had drafted Rodriguez with the No. 1 overall pick in the amateur draft and offered him a $1 million contract. But A-Rod's mother turned down the deal.

The scout persuaded Rodriguez to skip school, and by 2 a.m. the sides agreed on a $1.35 million contract.

Rodriguez agreed to a record $252 million, 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers in December 2000. His donation to Miami in 2002 was the largest to the baseball program.

A-Rod also has vowed to return to the university and get a degree.