*Update at bottom
There will be no talk in this article of vaccinated versus unvaccinated, nor a conversation of testing protocols. At the end of the day, State baseball accepted the risk was ever present and we paid the ultimate price. That said, the thing that upsets me the most about this situation, is how for the umpteenth time, the NCAA has failed the athletes they are sworn to protect and guide. When dealing with the emotions and dreams of young student athletes, NCAA repeatedly showcases their inability to not be a*sholes.
NCAA could not have been more tone deaf or disrespectful over the last 36 hours.
Again, fast forwarding past testing, the fact the NCAA was trying to determine what to do 45 minutes before game time is embarrassing. State was given the option to play with only the 13 vaccinated players or to forfeit on the spot. The choice couldn’t have been easier for State. As Avent mentioned in postgame conference, “it took seconds to decide.”
Here is my first big problem and there is some speculation associated to it…I believe that the NCAA wanted to end it all right there, but knew it would look bad. Furthermore, they knew that State would 1000% want to play, regardless of number of players. Thus, the NCAA hoped that State would play, get railroaded by Vandy, making the Saturday decision and announcement that much easier. Too bad suckers, it was really, really close.
I don’t think that the NCAA was out to get State, but I don’t think they were actively attempting to control and truly work hand in hand with State.
When coaches have no idea what is happening and HUGE decisions are being made less than hour before first pitch, it’s not good. NCAA bet on State failing and they put up a hell of a performance.
The 2am Release
Frankly, this upsets me the most out of anything that happened this extended weekend. NCAA determines that State can no longer participate. In a room, that I assume, has the committee and health officials present (i.e. less that a dozen folks), they decide to publicly notify the decision at 12:10am local time/2:10am Eastern Time?
NCAA Statement from Division I Baseball Committee:
The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee has declared the Vanderbilt-NC State Men’s College World Series game scheduled for Saturday, June 26 at 1 p.m. Central time a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols. #CWS pic.twitter.com/amxdQwkQ6l
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 26, 2021
Maybe there were worries that rumors or news would break before State was notified. But with so few people in the know, they couldn’t keep their mouth shut for another 7 hours? They couldn’t respect State players, coaches and fans to not drop news in literally the middle of the night? Nobody from State’s side was going to be at the ballpark at 7am. Just push to a normal operating hour and work with the school just a little f*cking bit.
Furthermore, when you drop news at early morning hours, it means you’re unconfident and/or uncomfortable. It’s been done before plenty of times by leagues, organizations or individuals speaking out at the weirdest of times. And almost all of them did so somehow hoping it slipped under the radar.
NCAA Throws Douglas County Under the Bus
The NCAA makes their ruling, great. Done right? In their release, the NCAA’s decision was based on the recommendation of the Championship Medical Team and the Douglas County Health Department. Come to find out;
“Douglas County Health Department spokesman, Phil Rooney, said that the health department did not recommend NC State’s removal, but told the NCAA the Department would support whatever decision the NCAA made.”
So the NCAA cowards behind local officials.
The F*cking Attendance Reports
Following each and every games, even after State’s removal, the NCAA throws up an attendance graphic on social. Unregulated crowds of 24k with no masks. How tone deaf are you, that following the removal of a team, you continue to promote how many people you could squeeze into a ballpark?! And if State players wanted to go to the game? Well just take their money and let them in.
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 27, 2021
More from Social
I’d have a good laugh, if I wasn’t so pissed off. Whether it’s the loud graphic that Vanderbilt is moving on to the championship;
CWS FINALS BOUND
— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 26, 2021
By the way, side note. While I hope with all my heart that Vandy gets whooped up on by Miss State, I respect them for even saying, “We aren’t going to retweet that shit…That seems wildly unnecessary.”
Or then there’s this disrespect. As each team is eliminated, they get a custom send off. Except for, you guessed it, State. Same message as Texas and posted AFTER Texas was eliminated. Again, a perfect example of hoping something slips under the radar so you post it at an awkward time. Could have salvaged something with a custom message of support (wouldn’t have made a difference in my mind but, whateves), but instead they once again put in minimal effort.
NCAA could not have been more disrespectful to the players, coaches and traveling parties. The late game time decisions, the early morning releases and the handling of social, were all atrocious. When the College World Series has been soiled by COVID, yet you repeatedly prop up a team that got a pass and then brag about attendance, that’s unbelievable to me.
NCAA took a sensitive matter and tried their best to make some weird example of it, while promoting a legitimate bigger problem.
Go Miss State. GTFO NCAA. Wolfpack Forever.
Wait, wait, wait…there’s more…
This is the headline on the main page of NCAA.com…”A sense of normalcy”…GTFO NCAA