Bubba Starling Chooses Baseball, Kansas City Royals Over Nebraska Football

Bubba Starling has decided to forgo the chance to play football at Nebraska by signing a three-year deal with the Kansas City Royals.

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Royals Release Statement On Bubba Starling Signing

The Kansas City Royals won the Bubba Starling Sweepstakes Monday night when the phenom signed with the team over the chance to play football for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The team released a statement shortly afterward:

"We are ecstatic and relieved to have this process behind us and have Bubba in the fold," said Dayton Moore, Royals' Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. "I am extremely proud of J.J. Picollo, Lonnie Goldberg and the entire staff for the work they've done during these negotiations, not just in the Bubba Starling case, but all of the athletes we were able to sign on this very busy day. I'm also thrilled that we were able to come to an agreement with a fine young man from this area who put being a Royal among his priorities in this process. It's now time to get his professional playing career underway."

Starling, who played centerfield in high school, was ranked by Baseball America as the number one high school prospect and the best high school athlete in the draft. The right-handed hitter and thrower batted .481 this spring. In his junior and senior seasons combined, he hit better than .500 with 17 home runs.

Check out Kansas City Royals blog Royals Review for reaction and Nebraska blog Corn Nation to see how the Husker faithful are taking it.

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Bubba Starling Chooses Baseball, Royals Over Nebraska

And so, #BubbaWatch is over now that Bubba Starling has decided to play baseball and sign with the Kansas City Royals instead of playing football at Nebraska.

By signing, Starling will receive a reported $7.5 million signing bonus. His contract is reported to be $7.5M over three years as well.

Had he not chosen the Royals, he would have been unable to re-enter the MLB Draft until 2014.

Starling led his high school football team to an 11-1 record, rushing 172 times for 2,417 yards and 31 touchdowns. On the baseball team, he hit .481 with 9 home runs despite missing time due to a quad injury.

Starling will now avoid the fate of so many Nebraska quarterbacks, though the Huskers and Bo Pelini were certainly hoping to see him in red in 2011.

And so now, the Royals can punch their ticket to the 2012 World Series. Or, perhaps, this comment is slightly more accurate:

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Check out Kansas City Royals blog Royals Review for reaction and Nebraska blog Corn Nation to see how the Husker faithful are taking it.

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Bubba Starling To Decide Between Nebraska Football, Kansas City Royals By Midnight On Monday

For Bubba Starling, Monday, the deadline for MLB Draft choices with college eligibility to sign contracts, is decision day. Starling has two options on the table: one will take him to Nebraska on a football scholarship, the other will take him to Kansas City, where a lucrative contract with the Royals awaits. But with just hours to go until the midnight deadline, nobody is quite sure which direction the gifted athlete is leaning.

At one point, Starling was in Lincoln, working out with Nebraska during the summer and preparing as if he was headed to college. But as fall camp opened, Starling's name was nowhere to be found on the roster, which head coach Bo Pelini said was the plan all along.

Negotiations have reportedly stalled, though it's typical all goes quiet until the last-minute as teams and players bump up against the deadline to ink contracts.

The two sides reached an impasse in mid-July. Starling’s camp has held firm at a $10 million asking price to sign, and the Royals are believed to have offered $7.5 million. There have been no conversations between the two sides in recent weeks, a source familiar with the negotiations said.

It's likely no deal will be done until just before midnight, and if the deadline passes with no resolution, Starling will head to Nebraska to begin his college career as a quarterback.

Should he fail to sign with the Royals, Starling would not be eligible for the MLB Draft for another three years.

For more on Bubba Starling and his decision between the MLB and the college football, stick with this StoryStream. To hear from the Nebraska Cornhuskers faithful, check in with Corn Nation. For reactions from fans of the Kansas City Royals, visit Royals Review.

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Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini Responds To Bubba Starling Rumors

Bubba Starling is faced with a decision that would make any red-blooded American teenager jealous. The 18-year-old two-sport phenom must choose between quarterbacking the Nebraska Cornhuskers, or signing with the Kansas City Royals (receiving a reported $7.5 million signing bonus), and he has until August 15th to figure it out.

Throughout the process, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini has carefully played his hand, supporting his prized recruit as he makes his decision. However, the tide seemed to turn Monday morning as noted ESPN baseball writer Peter Gammons unleashed this bombshell:

Bo Pellini going off on and threatening Bubba Starling is great news for the Royals.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry® Favorite Retweet Reply

 

If this morsel is true, it would likely turn the tide in the Starling sweepstakes. But, as it turns out, the news was as surprising to Pelini as it was to the rest of us. The coach quickly rebuked Gammons' report, addressing the tweet in this statement released by the university:

"As I discussed Saturday, Bubba Starling, his family and I are all on the same page, and have been throughout this entire process. I have a complete understanding of how this situation works, and from the outset we have supported Bubba and his family as they make a very difficult decision. All of our interactions as a staff with Bubba and his family have been nothing but supportive and have been very respectful from both sides. Any information contrary to that is not accurate. It is disappointing that media would comment on the situation without talking to any of the primary parties involved."

As for which side falls on the truth, it's impossible to say. But, in the end, the decision is Starlings' alone, and regardless of who is in the right in this petty matter, one party is sure to be left devastated in the ashes of what could have been.

For more on Bubba Starling and his decision between the MLB and the college football, stick with this StoryStream. To hear from the Nebraska Cornhuskers faithful, check in with Corn Nation. For reactions from fans of the Kansas City Royals, visit Royals Review.

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Bubba Starling Still Undecided Between Nebraska Football, Royals Baseball

Bubba Starling has a choice to make. He can play football at the University of Nebraska, whom he committed to play for this season. He can join the Kansas City Royals, whom drafted Starling with the fifth pick in the 2011 MLB Draft.

He can't, however, do both. And such is Starling's dilemma.

He is expected to choose Nebraska, where he has the option to play football and baseball. By doing so, he would not be able to re-enter the MLB Draft until 2014, not to mention bum out a Royals' organization very excited to make him one of their players.

Royals general manager Dayton Moore has referred to Starling as one of the best pure athletes he’s scouted in recent years. He used the franchise’s 11th top-five pick in history on the wunderkind from Gardner Edgerton High School.

Starling has not made an official decision, though he has "come a few steps closer to making a decision, but I haven’t made a final choice yet." Technically he has until August 15th to make his decision, but he is expected to begin workouts at quarterback and practice drills with the offense at some point next week. He will not enroll in classes.

Starling led his high school football team to an 11-1 record, rushing 172 times for 2,417 yards and 31 touchdowns. On the baseball team, he hit .481 with 9 home runs despite missing time due to a quad injury.

If the Royals do not get Starling, they will receive the No. 6 pick in next year's draft as compensation.

As Starling's decision gets closer, check in with Nebraksa fans at Corn Nation and Royals fans at Royals Review to see where they stand.

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