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Big 10 Commish Wants Special Treatment in College Baseball

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Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delaney thinks northern schools are getting a raw deal when it comes to college baseball.

And, he wants to level the playing field.

Delaney is once again lobbying for northern schools to have equal access when it comes to the College World Series.  In the past, he’s asked for a later start, moving the beginning of college baseball to late March/early April, and moving the College World Series to July.

He’s also asked for a return to “regional” regionals, insuring that the north and northeast would have representation in Omaha.

And, now he’s suggesting the College World Series be expanded by two, adding two northern schools each year.

Delany has altered course, seeking greater access to the CWS without undermining southern schools. Thus, the idea for a 10-team College World Series.

Four regionals — and two super regionals — would be set aside for northern teams only. If more than 16 northern schools made the NCAA field, they would spill into other regionals. But the format would guarantee two north teams in Omaha. That would encourage investment and give opportunity to everyone, Delany says.

But neither the NCAA nor schools in the South are interested.  They want to see the northern schools do what they did:  invest money in baseball.

Delany’s critics say his league hasn’t matched the south’s investment in baseball.

The notion that a school like Rice, with 3,000 undergraduate students, has an advantage over Ohio State is “a joke,” (Rice coach Wayne) Graham says.

“I’m for everybody getting a shot,” Graham says. “But the question becomes, are you really not getting a shot?”

Graham suggests northern programs take a page from Nebraska’s book. Find a young, smart coach like Dave Van Horn. Find a recruiting niche and a style conducive to the weather. Travel south two or three weeks in February and March to build strength of schedule.

“(Van Horn) didn’t go up there and say, ‘You gotta change this (rule) or that,’” Graham said. “He got busy.”


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