Wednesday, July 13, 2016

News digest, July 13

Julius McDougal (Stillman College photo)

Claflin grad helps save Stillman program
Stillman College in Alabama has reversed an earlier decision to drop baseball, in part because of the efforts of Claflin graduate Julius McDougal. The Alabama school will drop out of the NCAA Division II Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and compete in the NAIA Division I Gulf South Athletic Conference.

Stillman started the season 3-20, then went 24-4 over the rest of the year, losing to Claflin in the SIAC championship game.

Stillman promoted McDougal, a 2012 Claflin graduate, from assistant coach to head coach after the 2015season. He was an all-SIAC player at Claflin and had a .325 career batting average.

Commentary: I like any situation where a school reverses its decision to drop baseball.

Stillman story on

Stillman official release

High schools must have pitch count limitations
The national governing body for most high school athletic programs has instructed member associations to formulate a pitch count limit in an effort to protect against overuse of pitchers and the resultant possible arm damage.

The National Federation of State High School Associations announced the new guidelines earlier this week.  Administration and enforcement of the policy will be the responsibility of each state group, such as the S.C. High School League.

Commentary: I believe this is a good move, but I think enforcement will be a problem. Umpires can't - and shouldn't have to - be record-keepers on this matter. Some schools will have parents or students willing to keep a pitch count, but others won't.  What happens is both teams have someone keep a pitch count and there is a difference in totals? Do throws to first count? Should warmup throws between innings count? Should throws in the bullpen count? I don't have the answers, just questions.


Policy change could help service academy students' pro prospects
A recent change to policy at the U.S. service academies could make it easier for students at West Point, Annapolis and the U.S. Air Force Academy to pursue a pro career while still fulfilling a military requirement.

Graduates will be given the opportunity to apply to fulfill their two-year post-graduate commitment in the reserves as opposed to active duty.

Commentary: I like the idea, but believe allowing gifted athletes to be treated differently from other students isn't good. Will a gifted musician or artist or someone with other extraordinary talent be allowed to apply for the same exemption from service?


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