RCTC releases statement on softball controversy

Posted on May 6th, 2009 – 1:16 PM
By Michael Rand

Rochester Community and Technical College released a statement this afternoon regarding a controversial situation between the school’s softball team and the team from Central Lakes College in Brainerd. You can read more about the issue in a story we wrote that ran in Tuesday’s paper and remains online. Just click this link. Several high-ranking officials from the school, including President Don Supalla, met with head coach Jean Musgjerd today to discuss the subject after the school was hit with negative feedback. Here is the statement:

It is unfortunate that this situation took place at a time in the game where it has garnered so much attention. We regret that the ruling resulted in miscommunication of information that cast a negative light on all involved. Thankfully, both teams have advanced to regional play.

According to Mary Ellen Leicht, acting executive director of the NJCAA, Coach Musgjerd was acting with integrity and sportsmanship by exercising her right to appeal for the base awards call. Coach Musgjerd, an experienced and distinguished coach, asked for an interpretation of the rule and game officials made the ruling. John Haller, MCAC State Softball Tournament Director commented that he had contacted a veteran umpire who said that he had the same call at a St. Cloud State University game earlier this year that was immediately ruled an out.

We congratulate both teams on their success this season and wish them well in post season tournament play.

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Here is a little more fallout from the story:

*The story itself has nearly 200 comments and has generated a pretty good — if lopsided — debate about rules (and thankfully, the distasteful comments lobbing personal attacks on the Rochester coach seem to have have been eradicated).

*The topic got some nice run yesterday on Barreiro’s show … getting in just under the gun before the big Favre news broke. You can have a listen here (it starts roughly 40 percent of the way through that long clip).

*Deadspin picked it up.

*Keith Olbermann picked it up and ran with it on last night’s MSNBC Countdown (#1).

*It’s on SI.com’s Hot Clicks, somewhere below the bikini pictures.

*The Rochester Post-Bulletin followed up with some fresh quotes from Musgjerd. Good stuff in there.

*Tim Droogsma e-mailed us his thoughts via his blog. Droogsma is a man who wears many hats, but most importantly in this case he has been a softball umpire for nearly three decades.

*We’ve received plenty of other feedback, including one classic, shoot-the-messenger e-mail rant from an RCTC backer that included this: You should be VERY proud of yourself. Do me a favor and get the facts straight next time. [Ed note: We did]. If you are a TRUE journalist you would have gotten accurate information from BOTH sides instead of playing favorites. [Ed note: We did talk to and quote both coaches]. I loved that every other sentence had what the CLC coach or players or fans had to say about it and wow, NOTHING from the RCTC side. [Refer to last parenthetical]. Had you gotten your facts straight you would have already known that BOTH teams had already qualified for their respective regional tournaments. [Ed note: That was mentioned in the story].

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