Seton Hill Softball has been shut down.
All of our hard work may end up meaning nothing as the NCAA has laid down their punishment.
I understand that you all may not be aware of the NCAA rules for softball teams in Division II, but they are pretty straightforward and strict. For the conditioning part of the fall and winter seasons, which we are in right now, each college softball team is permitted to practice as a team for 8 hours every week. As for the specifics, I am not sure. Because there are certain allotted hours for individual instruction and team instruction that I have been unable to find in a document somewhere. What I am sure of, however, is that our team went over hours. For several weeks, we were over by more than an hour, which according the NCAA apparently is unacceptable.
And so now, we are not allowed to practice as a team, at all, ever, for the remainder of the semester (as of Friday, November 19th). Our other more impactful punishment is the NCAA's right to make us forfeit up to 5 games for our spring season and we could be potentially unable to attend the Conference Tournament (our playoffs). Basically, our season could potentially be meaningless.
Some say it's the players fault for not bringing the issue to the coach's attention. Others blame the coaches who should be aware of the rules and regulations of the sport that they are coaching. But who to blame should be the least of our worries at this point in time. We are in serious trouble right now and in jeopardy of losing a season that we have worked so hard for. So there are two outcomes that we could have in the next few months:
1. We could give up. We could find out that whether we win or lose, a championship season is not going to be allowed and figure "What's the point?" Our seniors could quit, based on the opinion that they might as well enjoy their final year instead of working for an impossible goal.
2. We could fight. We could take our punishment in stride and work twice as hard on our own as we would've with the team. We could say that whether we go to the Conference Tournament or not, we're going to play like we know how and prevent other teams from moving onto the tournament by winning everything we can.
I know that there will be a few girls from our team who choose option 1. I can't blame them, it's the easiest and most sensible way to respond. But I would hope that the majority of us would choose option 2. It doesn't matter what our coaches think, or what the NCAA thinks, we can only control ourselves. I don't know about the rest of my team, but I'm not ready to give up on the game that I have been playing for so many years.
P.S.-Check out some of the NCAA bylaws in the document below.