Frosty start and rigid opposition to change in spring sports not surprising – Press Pros Magazine

Sonny Coots

Chief Editor

Sonny Fulks graduated from Ohio State University where he pitched four college seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 to 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League. (AA) and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites and for the past fourteen years has been a columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, amateur baseball support, the outdoors, and he holds a music degree from Ohio State University.

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Frozen from the Ohio State weekend series at Purdue, the reason we can’t do better with kids playing baseball and softball seems to be universal…and no relief in sight.

If you pay attention to this stuff now you know that Ohio State’s Big Ten home opener at Purdue was frozen this weekend.

They played the opener on Friday in 34-degree weather and 25mph winds, had two inches of snow overnight and waited until 3 p.m. Sunday to see if the “actual temperature” would hit 28 degrees (per conference rule) continue playoffs. They hit him when the thermometers stalled at 25, I think.

In the meantime, things weren’t much better here at home for the start of the high school baseball season, and many of those games were missed as well. The Ohio State-Purdue series won’t be postponed, and I suspect the same for those high school games. Sorry for your luck, kids.

I did, however, receive a wonderful email from a reader over the weekend, responding to our March 22 comment from Press Pros on why sports administrators are so indifferent to playing baseball and softball anymore. late spring and summer – to give athletes a better competitive opportunity, comparable to what you get with soccer and basketball. There were several responses, and we shared some of them in last Friday’s article. The reader speaks.

But this one from Chuck Faulkner came close to everything to put things in the right perspective. He wrote:

“I loved your article on why we don’t play baseball in the summer. You said it perfectly. Obviously some do it (Iowa), they agree to get along, and they do it because it’s doable and the right thing to do. In the meantime, we’re spending billions studying climate change, a theory that may never happen in our lifetime. But playing baseball in hot weather is not a theory. It can easily be done, and we pass the buck. It is the human condition. We indulge in theories and turn our backs on something real. We say we want the best, but not if we’re shy. Children playing in freezing weather are inconvenienced and no one seems to care.

“Coaches from the South don’t want it (the change). They already have the advantage of warm weather – recruiting and playing under predictable conditions. Purdue Coach Greg Goff

For Chuck, no one was more inconvenienced and frustrated than coaches Greg Beals (Ohio State) and Greg Goff (Purdue) last weekend. They wanted to play and couldn’t.

Purdue baseball is off to the best start in school history (18-1), and every day and every game represents another personal high for Goff and his team.

Ohio State is struggling to overcome youth inexperience, needs to play to improve, and sees the cancellation of games due to weather as just another delay in the process.

For the sake of Purdue and Ohio State, none of this has to happen, if… they could start the season in mid-April and play until mid-July.

And it’s not high school, where naysayers cite responsibility, expense, and threatened summer family time as reasons not to do what’s best for baseball and baseball players. baseball. Like Chuck Faulkner, Purdue’s Goff points to another example of the human condition.

“NCAA coaches should agree to do this,” he said. “But the coaches in the South don’t want it (the change). They already have the advantage of warm weather – recruiting and playing under predictable conditions. If you gave this to the teams in the North, you would have a whole different [competitive picture]nationally.”

Goff is uniquely qualified to speak on the matter. He’s from the South and coached there for 14 seasons — head coach at Campbell University (2008-14), Louisiana Tech (2015-16) and Alabama (2017). He came to Purdue as an assistant in 2017 and became a head coach in 2019 when Mark Wasikowski left to become head coach at Oregon.

While NCAA baseball has been pretty much at the top of the ladder since high school, the same human condition is no less evident.

They all say they want to do what’s best for college baseball…but no one wants to give up an advantage to do it. What Michigan did as an outlier in 2019 by qualifying for the College World Series and winning a game against Vanderbilt in the Finals, is all the proof they need. If you level the playing field, it becomes much more difficult and awkward for someone…everyone!

In the meantime, we dwell on the hypothetical and the theory – things we hope for – while reality stares us in the face. “We are distracted by the rabbits while the elephants pass,” said Mark Twain.

While it’s snowing in West Lafayette!

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