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SEC Makes Play Clock in College Baseball Here to Stay PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by Devon Teeple   
Friday, 10 December 2010 08:41

SECIt has been nearly one year since the Biz of Baseball reported on bringing a play clock into college baseball tournaments.

As a quick refresher, the Southeastern Conference, one of the NCAA’s most dominant conferences, suggested a new rule, one that would promote the game of baseball in a way that would arguably benefit the game by speeding it up.

There are two ways you can view this scenario.

The traditionalist will be aghast at such a radical change in the game. A rule or suggestion so far off the beaten path, that the word mockery is putting it nicely.

If you are a new generation of fans, a play clock might deal with some of the problems that have plagued getting games completed in a timely fashion in a society moving at an accelerated pace.

Using personal experience as an example, the game is perfect just the way it is. If you are the casual fan, the one looking for home runs and Playstation like statistics, you want action-packed, high scoring, home run laden contests, all in less than two hours.

Whether the SEC is favouring the latter is up for debate, nonetheless, this change -- this evolution of a rule -- can make the game more enjoyable and television friendly.

The rules are as follows;

The 20-second play clock begins;

  • With no runners are on base
  • A ball is called if the ball is not pitched within 20 seconds
  • A strike is called on the batter, if he is not ready 5 seconds before time expires

The 90-second play clock begins;

  • When the last out is made, and ends when the pitcher begins his windup
  • Batting team is penalized a strike if they are not ready in 90 seconds
  • Fielding team is penalized a ball if they are not ready in 90 seconds
  • Half-inning clock is extended to 105 seconds for televised games
  • Play begins whether the network is ready or not.

A report in USA Today, confirmed that the SEC was the only conference implementing this new strategy when the 2010 tournament began.

Viewing this objectively, a play clock will speed up the game. Previous tournament games eclipsed the three hour mark and did not finish before 1:00 am.

With that said, the NCAA released a statement saying that the play clock will be ruled with an iron fist by the umpires in the SEC, the regular season and on the “Road to Omaha” for the upcoming season.

According to Tim Weiser, deputy commissioner of the Big 12 Conference and chair of the Division I Baseball Committee, these changes will be best enforced “by the umpires at the championships”.

We’ve heard that some conferences are planning to have a visible pitch clock and some aren’t,” Weiser said. “That means umpiring crews in some parts of the country need to be experienced with that clock. That’s why we don’t want to have umpires’ first experiences with the visible clocks be in the championship.”

What once seemed like an experiment has become a reality.

In an age where society wants results as quick as possible, this is the best solution available. If it takes off that is another story, but as history suggests, everything is in need for a change. Better or for worse.


Devon Teeple is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class.

He is the founder of The GM's Perspective, is an intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels. Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada. He can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
George M. Steinbrenner Field to Host "Florida Four" Collegiate Games PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by Devon Teeple   
Tuesday, 16 February 2010 00:37

The Florida Four

For the first time in collegiate baseball history, the elite of Florida collegiate baseball will be in the same place at the same time.

On March 2, 2010, George M. Steinbrenner Field will host the inaugural Florida Four.

University of South Florida (USF), will square-off against the 13th ranked Hurricanes of Miami (UM). The second match-up, is to say the least, a college fans dream with the 9th ranked Florida Gators (UF) confronting their in-state rival Florida St. Seminoles (FSU), who are, according to the Preseason USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 Coaches' Poll, fifth in the nation.

Executive Director of the Tampa Bay Sports Commission Rob Higgins, expressed his thoughts about bringing this event to Tampa.

“We’ve been working with the Yankees for a few years now to bring another premier event to our community,” said Higgins. “We hope it serves as launching pad to Omaha for the four programs. This is a story that will start in March and we hope continues on to June. ”

College baseball at any rank or division level, does take a backseat to football and basketball; sports that do bring in enormous amounts of revenue for their respective schools. However, college baseball gives its viewers and fans something of an arcade feel. The “Ping” of aluminum, a sound that most purists would like to eliminate, does in fact bring an added level of excitement to the playing field.

A weak pop-up to third becomes a duck snort to left, and routine fly balls to right become historic game-ending homeruns, in the bottom of ninth, elevating the ordinary into a 1997 ESPY “Showstopper of the Year.

Opportunity is in fact knocking. These four participating schools, along with the city of Tampa can build an early season showcase into a tradition, reminiscent of The Great Alaska Shootout, held in Anchorage Alaska.

It’s going to be a great night for college baseball in Tampa. It should be a College World Series atmosphere with four great teams,” said USF Head Baseball Coach Lelo Prado. “I hope it's the beginning of a long tradition for college baseball here in the Tampa Bay Area.”

In any event, this will elevate the interest for each school involved, while continuing to expand the role of the New York Yankees and their contributions to the city of Tampa and the State of Florida.

The fans are in for a real treat, as the Road To Omaha just got a little more interesting.


Devon Teeple is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class.

He is the founder of The GM's Perspective, is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels. Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada. He can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Play Clock in Baseball? The SEC to Add Two PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by Devon Teeple   
Sunday, 20 December 2009 22:33

SECBaseball is a game with no time limits. The only one of the four major professional sports that can say that.

In recent years, MLB has made a conscious effort on speeding up the game (to varying degrees of success), making it more fan friendly, as noted by MLB's official rules:

Rule 6.02 principally involves the batter's movement around the plate. Umpires will now quickly ask batters to move from the on-deck circle to the batter's box, will not grant time to a batter once the pitcher delivers the baseball, and will demand that the batter not linger outside the box in between pitches.

As far as Rule 8.04 is concerned, that one involves a prompt delivery of the ball to the plate by the pitcher. The plate umpire will actively encourage the pitcher to take his place on the rubber, warn a pitcher for his first violation of exceeding the 12-second limit between pitches, and call a ball for each subsequent violation by the same pitcher.

The SEC, arguably the most dominant conference in college baseball, has once again taken on an innovator role in college baseball, and will be experimenting with some very entertaining rule alterations for the 2010 season.

The SEC tournament will introduce a 20-second and a 90-second play clock, as well as tournament format changes.

To be politically correct, let us start with the lesser of the two evils.

Beginning in 2010 SEC Tournament play will have the same format as the Big 12 and ACC, where teams are to be placed in two pools and the winner of each pool will play for the tournament title.

The College World Series tournament format is once again, in play, however, there are slight alterations.

Games on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will begin at 9:30 am central, instead of the customary 10:00 am start time, while breaks between games will be reduced to 30 minutes, down from the typical 45-50 minutes.

According to a report by The Birmingham News, a 20-second clock and a 90-second clock are to be initiated during the 2010 SEC tournament, not during regular season play.

SEC Associate commissioner, Charles Bloom, commented on the recent changes.

“It wasn’t just when the games ended. We weren’t hitting any of our published game times all day,” Bloom said in the report. “The clock also lends itself to a bigger issue, and that’s making college baseball more manageable to television.”

Additional details were released from the report;

The 20-seond play clock begins;

  • With no runners are on base
  • A ball is called if the ball is not pitched within 20 seconds
  • A strike is called on the batter, if he is not ready 5 seconds before time expires

The 90-second play clock begins;

  • When the last out is made, and ends when the pitcher begins his windup
  • Batting team is penalized a strike if they are not ready in 90 seconds
  • Fielding team is penalized a ball if they are not ready in 90 seconds
  • Half-inning clock is extended to 105 seconds for televised games
  • Play begins whether the network is ready or not.

This is not something new to college baseball. The Missouri Valley Conference carried out a trial run of these exact same rules during the 1990 and 1991 season.

Game times played out to an average of two hours and 37 minutes. A time that pales in comparison to the average game times of the SEC tournament this past season.  Times ran a staggering three hours and 20 minutes.

Baseball is a game based on tradition, history, and carries a tremendous amount of pride with that. Introducing a game-clock, in my opinion is walking a very dangerous line, something that can change the game completely.

We all know that baseball is a business, and the length of games disrupts regularly scheduled programming, and upsets the fans, the schools and conveners’ when games run into the wee hours of the night, sometimes, past 1am.

Consequently, that is what is great about baseball. It is a game not bound by the rules of other sports.

A team consists of nine players, but the outcome is determined through multiple one on one battles, battles, that do take more time than usual.

Rules are meant to be broken, unfortunately, multiple tweaks and revisions can change it completely.

North Carolina coach Mike Fox, insists these changes are not necessary and the variation is minimal at best.

"My initial take on it is, I hope the ACC doesn't do it,'' Fox said. "I don't see the point in it. Everybody seems to be caught up on the fact that the length of our games is an issue. I just don't see that. I don't know why that's such an issue.

"I just don't see that it's necessary. If you shorten the game by six minutes, so what?''


Devon Teeple is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class.

He is the founder of The GM's Perspective, is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels. Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada. He can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Creighton Bluejay to Play at TD Ameritrade Park, Home of College World Series PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by Maury Brown   
Sunday, 15 November 2009 19:06

TD Ameritrade StadiumCreighton University and the Metropolitan Entertainment & Convention Authority (MECA) have reached an agreement for the Creighton Bluejay baseball team to play its home games at TD AMERITRADE Park Omaha. The MECA board approved a 10-year lease agreement with Creighton at its Oct. 27 board meeting.

(See more images of the new TD AMERITRADE Park Omaha)

Under the lease agreement Creighton will play some home games in 2011 and all of its home games in 2012 at TD AMERITRADE Park Omaha. This includes Missouri Valley Conference games and annual games against in-state rival Nebraska. Creighton games will be part of the TD AMERITRADE Park Omaha suite and club seat packages.

MECA Board Chair Gail Werner-Robertson said the lease agreement strengthens the positive relationship between the two organizations.

“MECA and Creighton have an excellent working relationship and we thank Creighton University President Father John Schlegel and athletic director Bruce Rasmussen for their continued support of our facilities and the City of Omaha,” Werner-Robertson said. “We are proud to have Creighton basketball and now baseball as anchor tenants at Qwest Center Omaha and TD AMERITRADE Park Omaha.”

Creighton University President the Rev. John P. Schlegel S.J., said Creighton Bluejay basketball took a major step forward after moving to Qwest Center Omaha, and he sees the same opportunities for the Creighton baseball program.

“Creighton Bluejay basketball has become one of the nation’s home attendance leaders, and we see excellent potential for baseball attendance growth at TD AMERITRADE Park Omaha,” Schlegel said. “There is great excitement for Bluejay baseball and we are anxious to start playing our home games at the new ballpark.”

MECA President and CEO Roger Dixon said the agreement with Creighton creates new opportunities for additional baseball action at the new stadium.

“As the home park for Creighton baseball, we intend to work together for consideration as a host for Missouri Valley Conference tournament and the regional and super-regional games before the NCAA College World Series begins each June,” Dixon said. “We also intend to keep the park active after the baseball season with concerts and family events. We look forward to the completion of construction and opening of TD AMERITRADE Park Omaha in spring of 2011.”

Source: Men's College World Series, Omaha

 


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A New Beginning Continues In Oregon’s Second Season PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by Devon Teeple   
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 23:10
University of Oregon's PK Park
University of Oregon's PK Park

The Oregon Ducks are preparing for their second season, one that shows promise despite a 14-42 record in '09. A record like that is a failure for some, but for the Ducks, it is a success.

The University and Eugene were without Division I baseball for the past 28 years. That is until last season. Their record may not show it, but they are in the midst of becoming a power in the continuously daunting PAC-10.

PK Park, Oregon’s new home, built near nostalgic Autzen Stadium, is to be fully completed by the home opener March 2, 2010. The $15-$18 million stadium will seat approximately 3,200 fans, with 2,600 chairback seats in the main seating bowl. .

"It looks amazing," said Darrell Hunter, who is part of the Ducks' inaugural class. "Just looking at their football and basketball facilities, you know their baseball stadium is going to be pretty sweet."

George Horton took over this team, a team that one could not compare to his Cal State Fullerton squad that he lead to the College World Series six times, won the National Title in 2004, and was named the National Coach of the Year twice. On the other hand, a coach of his caliber knows that a rebuilding period takes time, and in some instances, a College World Series caliber team is built around pitching. With great pitching comes a stadium that is advantageous to the teams’ style of play.

"It's conducive to the style of baseball that my staff and I prefer to play," Horton said. "You don't make your way to the College World Series without great pitchers and it's hard to convince pitchers to come to a place where the ballpark plays too small."

Their journey begins February 19, 2010 at Horton’s old stomping grounds, Cal State Fullerton. According to the Ducks website, they are set to play three more games that weekend against Long Beach, Pepperdine and Loyola Marymount. From there, a 4-game tilt against Hawai’i before the return trip to Eugene to unveil PK Park.

“We are very excited to announce the 2010 schedule,” head coach George Horton said. “The quality of teams we are bringing in, along with our spectacular new stadium, will create a fantastic atmosphere for the Eugene community to experience collegiate baseball. We are looking forward to opening up the brand new PK Park on March 2-3 against the Huskies.”

A new stadium, a new outlook, and a recruiting class that was ranked 24th in the nation by Baseball America’s evaluation of NCAA Division I baseball classes. That says something about this team, this university, and the way they are viewed by the rest of the baseball fraternity.

“We are very pleased with the quality of the 17 athletes that joined our program in the 2009-10 academic year,” head coach George Horton said. “I commend both coach Andrew Checketts and coach Mike Kirby for their hard work and instincts. The class is laden with immediate and upside abilities that should impact the improvement of our young program. The class is talented and their aptitude seems very special in the early evaluation process. This class has also impressed us with their potential to become leadership players during their careers, and they are also outstanding young men. We all think this will be an extremely productive group.”

A conference championship, and a College World Series berth may be years away, but with their last two recruiting classes in the top 25 of the country, a state-of-the-art stadium, and a coach with a history of winning, the Ducks may rise to the top of the rankings quicker than you might think.


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(SPORTS BASH)


Devon Teeple is a staff member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies. Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class.

He is the founder of The GM's Perspective, is a intern with The Football Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels. Currently, Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada. He can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

 
Attendance Up for Round 1 of Baseball World Cup PDF Print E-mail
NCAA Baseball
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 12 September 2009 18:21

IBAFThe International Baseball Federation (IBAF), released the following attendance info today for Round 1 of the Baseball World Cup:

Further evidence of baseball’s growth in Europe was seen throughout the first round attendance numbers at local sites. 

Leading the way was Regensburg, Germany, which saw crowds in excess of 5,000 for almost all of the three days of competition, highlighted by a Friday night crowd of almost 10,000 fans for USA-Germany…

Friday night’s Jahn Regensburg soccer match drew approximately 5,000 at the same time, which is a solid sign of interest in baseball in Germany

At other sites...

Sweden had a capacity crowd of over 2,100 for Saturday’s final day and strong crowds approaching 1,500 on the others…

Spain had overflow crowds on both Friday and Saturday in excess of the 1,500 seating capacity for their games with Puerto Rico and Cuba

Prague had an overflow of 2,500 for Saturday and crowds in excess of 1,500 for Friday, all positive signs of growth…

Finally the IBAF added that large crowds are expected in both the Netherlands and Italy for Round Two.


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network (select his name in the dropdown provided).

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Oregon Baseball Back in Business PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by Devon Teeple   
Friday, 20 February 2009 21:36

U of OFor the first time in 28 years, the "ping" sound is returning to Eugene, Oregon. The Oregon Ducks are traveling to Moraga, California to battle the Gaels of St. Mary's.

The Ducks are lead by George Horton, who was previously the Head Coach of Cal State Fullerton for the past 11 seasons.  In his tenure there, Horton lead his team to the College World Series six times, won the National Title in 2004, and was named National Coach of the Year twice.

Since there has not been an Oregon baseball team in nearly three decades, it has been quite a journey to get this project of the ground. The program has been built from the ground up in just 17 short months, by constructing a team of 35 players including 20 freshmen.

Horton is optimistic on this upcoming season, “I’m pretty spoiled and pretty confident in myself and my staff,” he said. “We’ve got good athletes here. It’s just a question of whether they believe they’re good enough. I think if they stay in character, from what I’ve seen, I do believe we have a chance to be competitive.”

On the other hand, his players are realistic. “There’s going to be games where we get beat by 12 or so maybe, but we’re going to come back and punch back and make sure it doesn’t keep happening over and over,” freshman second baseman Danny Pulfer said. “We’ll take lumps this year, but we’re also going to put on some lumps.”

The popularity of baseball in Oregon will not be a problem, but the team still has many issues in front of them. Finding a home to play in is one. Previously, the Ducks played in Howe Field, which was built in 1936, and stood until 1987 when it was renovated to suit the softball team. In August, a new $18 million dollar stadium built near Autzen Stadium began.  When complete, the stadium will hold up to 4,000 people. The first phase of construction was complete in time so the Ducks could host their home-opener against defending National Champion, Fresno State. Upon completion of the season, the second phase of construction begins when the temporary bleachers are replaced by a permanent grandstand.

According to Yahoo Sports, Oregon's decision to bring back baseball to Oregon was not without its headaches. "To make room, the Ducks discontinued their wrestling program following the 2007-08 season and added varsity women’s competitive cheer. Proponents for the wrestling team filed a lawsuit against the school, which was dismissed last October. Supporters of Oregon wrestling included a son of author Ken Kesey, himself a former wrestler. Some also questioned varsity competitive cheer, which is not recognized as an NCAA sport. The team has not yet started competition and is separate from the school’s cheerleaders and dance squad."

Overall, enthusiasm and hope are back in Oregon in their return to PAC-10 baseball as the memories of the Oregon State Beavers and their back-to-back National Championships are still in the air. With 31 NCAA Division 1 conferences, the Pac-10 is currently ranked 3rd in the nation. The Ducks are indeed in for an adventure but as Coach Horton sees it, this is a challenge he is looking forward to. “Although we’re young,” he said, “we’re looking forward to matching up our team with the other teams and seeing where we’re at."

MORE ON THE RETURN OF BASEBALL TO U of O:

Baseball Returns to U of O After 26-Year Absence


Devon Teeple is an author for the Business of Sports Network. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & Gateway Grizzlies.  Devon is a former student within Sports Management Worldwide's Baseball General Manager Class. Devon is the founder of The GM's Perspective and is a intern with The Footbal Outsiders and contributor with the Plymouth River Eels.

Currently Devon is a Branch Manager at a financial institution in Southern Ontario Canada.  He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Cuba Ranked as #1 Baseball Team in World by IBAF. U.S. Ranked Third PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 13 January 2009 19:23

IBAFFor the first time ever, Tuesday, the International Baseball Federation (IBAF) released its World Rankings, with Cuba sitting comfortably at the #1 overall position.

Developed in conjunction with Scott Goode, a sports information director from Harding University (Arkansas, USA), the rankings are based on a point total which IBAF member federations (teams) earn from IBAF-sanctioned events in a four-year window, or a period of time that encompasses two IBAF Baseball World Cups.

“The IBAF is long overdue for World Rankings,” said IBAF President Dr. Harvey Schiller. “The level of competition worldwide grows stronger every year, and we need to begin to recognise the federations that are fielding teams and performing well, whether it is in an intra-continental tournament or a World Cup.”

Asia led all continents with three teams in the top five, headlined by Korea who surged to 2nd place behind a 2008 that saw it take home two IBAF World Championship events – the “AAA” 18U Junior Worlds in Canada and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The United States of America is in 3rd place, and Japan and Chinese Taipei came in at 4th and 5th places, respectively.

(Click here to view the complete IBAF World Rankings)

Teams earn points based on their finish in an event. A tournament winner takes home 50 points, second place, 40; third place, 30; and fourth place, 15. From there, points are divided evenly among the remaining teams in the event to ensure balance between tournaments that feature different-sized fields.

Once points are rewarded based on a team’s finish, that amount is then multiplied by a number based on the strength of the event. Major world championships, such as an Olympic Games, IBAF Baseball World Cup or World Baseball Classic, all receive 4X multipliers. Minor world championship events (Junior, Youth or FISU University Worlds, or the Honkbol Tournament, for example) have a 1X multiplier, and all other continental championships receive multipliers from 1X-.25X based on how many teams in the top-10 of the current IBAF World Rankings compete in the event.

(Click here to view a breakdown of how points are awarded)

The Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, Panama, and Australia round out the top-10, with Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Italy, Venezuela, China, Spain, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Germany, and South Africa making up the other half of the top-20. In total, 45 of the IBAF’s 126 member federations were listed in the inaugural rankings.

“We are confident that our rankings accurately reflect the performance of our federations over a four-year period,” said Schiller. “We are also proud to say that our top-20 features federations from six continents, further proof of baseball’s continued global growth.”

The multipliers used for the IBAF World Rankings are based on current standings. Theoretical rankings at the time of events prior to 2009 were not considered. The rankings will be used for promotional purposes only and will not necessarily be used by the IBAF or any other governing baseball body to organize events, nor are those groups required by the IBAF to do as such. New rankings will be released following every event recognized or sanctioned by the IBAF.

Source: IBAF


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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Omaha Granted 25-Year Extension for College World Series PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by Maury Brown   
Thursday, 12 June 2008 20:34
2008 College World Series

The College World Series won’t be moving anytime soon.

That’s because the NCAA has reached an unprecedented agreement to keep the CWS in Omaha till 2035 – a 25-year extension. According to The Associated Press , “The new agreement will take effect in 2011 when the CWS moves from Rosenblatt Stadium to a 24,000-seat downtown ballpark.”

The reason? NCAA president Myles Brand said that Omaha’s commitment to a new stadium was a factor in the long extension.

 
No Three-Peat for Oregon State. Miami #1 Seed PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 27 May 2008 09:55

OSU Beavers - Back-to-Back '06-'07The Oregon State Beavers won’t be a three-peat this year in the College World Series, that’s because OSU was not selected for the tournament based upon there regular season record. The Beavers were the fifth school and the first in 10 years to repeat as national champions last year.

This year, there would no chance. As reported by ESPN:

Oregon State (28-24) did not receive an at-large bid, despite having five series wins against teams in the 64-team field, including Arizona, Arizona State and Georgia. The Beavers, the first defending champ not to make the tournament since Georgia in 1991, will not have a chance to join Southern California (1970-74) as the only schools to win three straight titles.

"The committee struggled long and hard and, quite frankly, probably wouldn't have struggled as long if Oregon State had not been the two-time defending national champion," said Templeton, also the athletic director at Mississippi State. "The thing that probably was the determining factor was their 24 losses and who some of those losses were against. It was a tough call, but we felt that there were a couple of other teams that were more deserving."

Who wound up with the #1 seed? The Miami Hurricanes who went 47-8.

"There was a lot of discussion about who the No. 1 seed should be, and quite frankly, North Carolina and Arizona State all got a strong look at that position," Division I selection committee chairman Larry Templeton said. "At the end of the night, Miami's play toward the end of the season, particularly winning the tournament -- and we were watching that tournament as the selection process was going through -- probably convinced the committee."

 
Wrigley Field to Host '08 Under Armour All-America Game PDF Print E-mail
NCAA Baseball
Written by Maury Brown   
Friday, 23 May 2008 10:12

Under Armour at Wrigley FieldUnder Armour and Baseball Factory today announced that the 2008 Under Armour All-America Baseball game will be played at the historic Wrigley Field on Sunday, August 17. Previously called the Cape Cod High School Baseball Classic presented by Under Armour, this marks the first-year that Under Armour will serve as the game's title sponsor. This is the first-ever high school All-America game to be played at Wrigley Field.

The game is airing live nationally on ESPNU at 1:20 p.m. CDT.

The 2008 Under Armour All-America Baseball Game, powered by Baseball Factory, will showcase thirty-six of the nation's best rising juniors and seniors, competing in a Baseball Factory versus Team One Baseball match-up. The players are selected by a committee of Baseball Factory and Team One Baseball scouts.

Since the game's inception in 2005, 39 participants have been selected in the Major League Baseball draft including Josh Vitters (No.3 overall pick in 2007, Chicago Cubs) and Philippe Aumont (No.11 overall pick in 2007, Seattle Mariners). The game provides the players the opportunity to perform in front of numerous scouting directors and player personnel decision makers from Major League Baseball. Approximately 100 scouts and college coaches attended last year's game to evaluate the Under Armour All-Americans.

Tickets will go on sale at 3:00 p.m. through cubs.com and tickets.com. All tickets will be $5 and seating will be general admission.

Source: Under Armour 

 
Lynn University Has 2005 National Championship Revoked PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by The Staff   
Tuesday, 17 July 2007 10:49

Lynn UniversityThe NCAA has revoked Lynn University's 2005 Division II softball national championship due to improper payments made to players from a former coach.

All of the Knights’ 54 wins from ’05 will be erased. Their losses will remain on record. As reported by the AP:

"The violations that we saw involved in this case were of major consequence and proportion," said Bruce Kirsh, chairman of NCAA Division II Committee on Infractions.

Former coach Thomas Macera gave two players a combined $3,188.61 to pay for tuition and books in 2005, the NCAA said. The NCAA did not refer to Macera by name, but said the "former head coach" committed the violations.

Lynn was proactive after finding out about the violations, and made the NCAA aware of the issue. Lynn also declared self-imposed sanctions including two years of probation and a reduction of scholarships this past school year.

 
Baseball Returns to U of O After 26-Year Absence PDF Print E-mail
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NCAA Baseball
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 14 July 2007 04:37

University of OregonNCAA baseball is returning to the University of Oregon after a 26-year absence, it was announced yesterday in Eugene, OR.

U of O has been the only university in the Pac-10 without a baseball program. Baseball was cut after the 1980-81 season due to financial reasons.

To make room for baseball, the U of O wrestling program was dropped.

The announcement comes on the heels of Oregon State University’s back-to-back College World Series Championships, raising interest in the region for collegiate-level baseball.

But, according to Oregon athletic director Pat Kilkenny, the recent visibility of OSU’s success and the reinstatement of baseball at U of O was purely coincidental. As reported by the Oregonian:

"I think that's awesome what they did at Oregon State," Kilkenny said. "(But) take this in the spirit it was intended, I almost wish that it wouldn't have happened, because I think there's too much attention given to what happened in Corvallis and something that we were doing, which was totally separate."

Kilkenny further added:

"It became very clear that we needed to make some adjustments to react to the changing times and the changing appetite as it relates to intercollegiate athletics," said Kilkenny, citing the athletic department's financial future and the "significant growth" that college baseball has made nationally in recent years.

U of O will start with 3.4 scholarships for its first season and build toward the NCAA maximum of 11.7 for the 2011-12 season. Kilkenny said he would look to hire a baseball coach "as soon as possible," and that the new coach would play a role in assisting the search for a new baseball facility.

Eugene’s Civic Stadium, where the Class A Emeralds play, is seen as a viable interim facility.

 


 
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