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How the NCAA Took Away the Advantage from Florida State Seminoles Baseball

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It was a long, exhausting and frustrating day for the Florida State Baseball team and they didn't even play. Inside is a timeline of yesterday's head scratching events.

It seems like forever ago that Florida State won in dramatic fashion with a homerun in the bottom of the 8th inning off the bat of Quincy Nieporte. That is because only one game was played on Sunday, the weather  played a small role in that while the incompetence of the NCAA is the bigger concern at hand. Games were supposed to be played at 12PM and 6PM yesterday but the first game was delayed by weather after one inning of play. Here is a time line of how yesterday played out:

  • 12:00 PM - First pitch
  • 12:23 PM  - Weather Delay
  • 1:32 PM - A photo of Auburn Baseball in the clubhouse watching Auburn Softball is Tweeted out meaning there are still at the stadium.
  • 2:49 PM - A decision to restart the game is made, at 6:30, almost 4 hours from now. A start time for game 6 featuring Florida State and the winner of game 5 has yet to be determined.
  • 3:38 PM - Rain had stopped, tarp still on the field but lightning still in the area.
  • 4:30 PM - Tarp is off the field, weather is clear and there seems to really be no reason why baseball is not being played.
  • 4:39 PM - The 6:30 PM restart time has been pushed up to 6:00 PM. Every effort will be made to start game 6 featuring Florida State and the winner of game 5 Sunday evening but a start time has yet to be determined at this time.
  • 5:22 PM - College of Charleston is at the stadium but Auburn is not.
  • 5:32 PM - Auburn arrives at the stadium.
  • 5:49 PM - Both teams are taking fielding practice.
  • 6:07 PM - Pitchers head down to the bullpen to start stretching and throwing.
  • 6:15 PM - College of Charleston Head Coach Monte Lee is telling people there will not be a second game Sunday night.
  • 6:20 PM - The restart time is changed for the third time, now a 6:45 PM restart.
  • 6:24 PM - Florida State coaches telling people there will not be a second game Sunday night.
  • 6:40 PM - Official announcement is made that game 6 (FSU vs game 5 winner) will be played Monday at 2:00 PM
  • 6:45 PM - Game finally resumes 6 hours and 25 minutes later.
  • 9:12 PM - Game 5 between College of Charleston and Auburn ends.

Why is all this important? Why does it matter that Florida State has to play today instead of last night? A similar situation happened to LSU in the Baton Rouge Regional and the Athletics Director had a very strong opinion about it.

"Regretfully, the game we were supposed to play tonight against UNC Wilmington has been postponed to tomorrow at 12 p.m. Now, you're going to ask me why. The NCAA made a decision. They didn't give me a reason. I don't have a reason, okay. There is a guideline that says that you are not allowed to start a game after 11 p.m. We could have easily started this game at 10:15 p.m. Frankly, it's a ridiculous decision. It hurts from the standpoint that when you're in the winner's bracket, you have a competitive advantage. That competitive advantage has been negated by this decision. It's sad for our team, and it's even worse for our fans. I feel so terribly bad for our 10,000 fans that all showed up here tonight and now have to go home. A terrible decision by the NCAA. Period. That's all I have to say, and if you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them for you."

As far as we know Florida State was also not provided with a reason to why a second game could have been played Sunday night. A second game could have easily be started around 10:00 PM, which is not all that uncommon in regionals given the weather. College of Charleston can now use pitchers that would not have been available last night and position players also had an opportunity to get a full night's rest instead of having to turn around and play another nine innings.

You have to feel for these kids and coaches at Florida State, they are still in the driver's seat as far as advancing goes but as mentioned above the competitive advantage is somewhat negated. The Seminoles will plan to start game 6 today at 2:00 PM, right when the weather is expected to be an issue just as it was yesterday and if needed a game 7 would start at 6:00 PM. In case you weren't aware the Noles are the visitor this afternoon, but that is a entirely other article on the NCAA's bone headed rules.