NCAA Regional Tournament Canceled In Baton Rouge Sparks Outrage Throughout Golf Community
A large group of student-athletes had their seasons, and for some careers, ended today in Baton Rouge as the NCAA ruled that the Regional golf championship would be canceled due to unfavorable course conditions. The decision sparked outrage amongst the teams present as well as many others in the world of golf.
See footage below from the moment the tough news was broken to the group of college-athletes via @golfweek on Twitter.
The NCAA Regional was set to take place in Baton Rouge at LSU's University Club and would give Division I Women's golf teams from around the country a chance at reaching the NCAA Championship in Scottsdale, Arizona.
This opportunity was spoiled by inclement weather, as an NCAA committee ruled that, "Even though the course is playable, it's not playable at a championship level". NCAA rules determined that top seeded teams and individuals would advance to the NCAA Championship despite any golf being playing.
You can hear outcries from the above video that include players saying, "You just said it was playable" and "We can play" while the NCAA committee representative makes the announcement. The NCAA released the following statement on the situation;
The University Club has taken on over 7 inches of rain in the past several days. The Division I Women's Golf Committee, NCAA staff and the Games Committee in Baton Rouge have been in constant communication throughout the past several days about the course conditions that have led to this unprecedented and most difficult decision.
While some coaches who had teams that were slated to compete in the Regional believed that there were ample opportunities to get golf in throughout the past days, the event also had stipulations that play could not be pushed back to Thursday.
Now many of these college athletes are left with no chance at advancing to the NCAA Championship, with others even having their college careers ended at the steps of the Baton Rouge course.
More details on the situation courtesy of @golfweek are below.
See some reactions from the world of golf on the whole situation from Twitter below.
There is clear outrage throughout those that were supposed to compete in this NCAA Regional as well as those who believe these young women deserved their chance to compete, even if conditions were not ideal.
I played golf competitively at a young age and while I can't imagine the preparation that goes into playing in an NCAA Regional, I can feel the heartbreak that comes with having a tournament canceled at the very last moment.
What doesn't make any sense to me is how the NCAA had multiple chances over the past couple of days to let these teams begin the competition, even if it meant potentially having to pause play due to weather. There wasn't any lightening, or even rain, at the time this announcement came. The teams could have teed it up right then and there, but the NCAA deemed that the course was not in proper condition for play.
So who is at fault here? Should the NCAA have communicated better throughout this process? Should the course have had a better game-plan to deal with this type of heavy rain in the midst of a championship?
Whoever is at fault I believe that if the team's coaches could have had the opportunity to come together in agreement that they would allow their players to play, they should have gotten that opportunity. Keep in mind the official representative of the NCAA said the course was playable in the very same sentence that he canceled the tournament.
But, this isn't new of the NCAA to rule with an iron-fist as yet another one of their decisions creates outrage amongst the very athletes and programs that make up the organization.
I wish all of the teams and individuals that were granted qualification to the NCAA Championship the best in Scottsdale, but these athletes deserved to compete. I believe they would have played in a monsoon, given the opportunity. Unfortunately, this is the sad ending to many young golfers’ careers.