LAFAYETTE, La. — Many have said for months that the coronavirus would establish a new normal in society and one of the ways we're already seeing fast change on a national scale is in college athletics.
The pandemic leveled budgets and as a result schools are searching down every avenue for a way to save or make money. For some unfortunate teams, that's meant the end of programs, including baseball.
Last week, a group of coaches led by Michigan's Erik Bakich proposed a major shift in college baseball, rekindling a 20-year discussion in moving back the start date on the college baseball season.
They call it the "New Baseball Model."
Louisiana baseball coach Matt Deggs tells KATC he supports the proposal.
"There are some sharp dudes on that committee," said the Cajuns' coach. "That's why this will gain traction. This is not some shot out of left field. This is from dudes."
The 35-page document boils down simply to postponing the season one month for financial gain, and the of betterment student-athlete health and academic wellness.
More specifically, it allows southern and western schools to grow programs through attendance, while northern schools could save on early season travel, which also benefits the student-athletes who don't spend February and March on the road.
The schedule shuffle also allows fall-ball and the spring training period to be revamped, which the committee says benefits the student-athletes too from both an academic standpoint, and health.
The famed sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews was consulted in this proposal.
The change could lessen baseball head-to-head competition with college basketball, and push the season into the summer.
Deggs like that, saying after all we do call them the "boys of summer." Deggs points out that a later finish also would allow more mid-week attendance by creating a minor league baseball-like atmosphere.
"Get the kids out to the ballpark," he said. "A lot of times these games are being played during the school year. It's tough, get off work, round up the kids. We have homework, they have events as well. I think you'd see a spike in the game."
I spoke with Baseball America's Teddy Cahill in a Mic'd Up Interview about that conversation on Thursday.
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