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Ball State Softball Has a New Assistant Coach

One of these people is BSU's new assistant softball coach. I'm hoping it's the guy on the right.

One of these people is BSU’s new assistant softball coach. I’m hoping it’s the guy on the right.

One thing you’ll notice (if you haven’t already) is that OTP is doing it’s darndest to make sure that all of the BSU athletic endeavors receive adequate coverage around these parts. Football will probably always be “our thing”, or at least until we change the name of the site, but that’s no reason not to keep you up on ALL of the goings on in the Cardinalsphere. It’s the least we could do.

Today’s BIG NEWS is that Ball State softball has hired a new assistant coach, one Alex Gray to come do his thing in Muncie from the metropolis of Storrs, CT and UConn. The BSU release…

Alex Gray, an assistant softball coach at Connecticut for the past two seasons, has been named an assistant coach for the Ball State softball program according to head coach Tyra Perry.

Gray served as the hitting coach at UConn, while also working with the infielders and outfielders under head coach Karen Mullens. He helped a pair of Huskies earn All-Big East Second Team accolades in 2013, while the team combined to post 40 home runs which stands as the second-best single-season total in program history.

“Alex is a great hire for us,” Perry said. “He is very well-rounded in that he has a baseball background, spent several years as a high school softball coach and has experience at the collegiate softball level. His passion for the game will bring great energy to the program.”

Prior to joining the staff at Connecticut, Gray spent three seasons (2009-11) as the head softball coach at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Ga. He led the Vikettes to a 67-34 record and was named the 2010 and 2011 Region 1-AAAAA Coach of the Year. His team’s won regional titles in 2010 and 2011, with the 2010 squad posting a 24-8 overall record, advancing to the round of eight in the state tournament and finishing the year ranked eighth in the state. Gray was also named the head coach for the South All-Star Team in the 2012 Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Softball Showcase.

“I am honored to be joining the Ball State Softball program,” Gray said. “I would like to thank head coach Tyra Perry and director of intercollegiate athletics Bill Scholl for the opportunity to be a part of the Ball State family and the supporting community of Muncie. I am ready to contribute towards the program’s success and Coach Perry’s vision for Ball State Softball.”

Gray served as the head softball coach at Richmond Hill High School in Richmond Hill, Ga in 2009, leading the Lady Wildcats to a 15-13 record and a berth in the state playoffs. He was the school’s head junior varsity softball coach during the 2007-08 season. Gray also served two seasons as the head golf coach and one year as the head junior varsity girl’s basketball coach at Richmond Hill.

In 2006, Gray was the community head coach of the freshman team, and the community assistant coach of both the varsity and junior varsity softball teams at Lowndes High School. He was the director of athletics at Bible Baptist School in Savannah, Ga. for the 2004-05 school year, as well as the head coach of the varsity boy’s basketball and baseball teams. Gray began his coaching career as an assistant coach for the Valdosta State University softball team in 2002, helping guide the program to a Gulf South Conference championship.

Gray was a four-year letterwinner in baseball, playing two seasons at both Young Harris College (1998-99) and Valdosta State University (2000-01). He was first-team all-conference selection at YHC in 1999, while earning the Baseball Spirit Award at VSU in 2001. Gray was a .342 (122-for-356) career hitter in his two seasons at Valdosta State, racking up 20 doubles, 12 home runs, 64 runs scored and 77 RBI for the Blazers.

Gray earned his associate degree in recreation from Young Harris in 1999 and his bachelor in speech communications from Valdosta State in 2002.

Admittedly, I am in no way a softball expert, but pulling an assistant coach from a school like UConn is a big deal in my book. I also am in no way a racy novel expert, but from heretofore, I shall refer to Coach Gray as “50 Shades” or “Coach 50 Shades”. Perhaps even “Coach 50″ if I’m in a rush. I encourage you to do the same.

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Ali Landry Wants Monday News and Notes

Note to future girlfriends... Doritos do not make you look like this.

Note to future girlfriends… Doritos do not make you look like this.

In case you haven’t noticed, the Pylon has been eerily silent lately. If in fact you hadn’t noticed, thanks a lot, jerks. If you had noticed and assumed that Fearless Leader, RV, and Jason were too busy out saving the world amidst myriad tragedies and issues, then you should continue under that assumption. But as Occam said in his razor, the simplest explanation is often times the right one, and this is no exception. Coupled with a significant increase in real life workload thanks to some changing personnel landscape at the office and a promotion for me with virtually no news coming out of BSU footballland that couldn’t be quick hit on Twitter, and the result is a couple of weeks of a Pylon-free existence for you. That ceases to be the case now, as we are only five Saturdays away from the 2014 premier of the Fighting Football Cardinals. The offseason has been a whirlwind of news, so the short break the last couple weeks has been nice. No new locker rooms, no new buildings, no transfers in or out, and the chance to take a breath.

But what would a triumphant return to regular posting be without a news and notes post? Today’s celebrity is birthday girl Ali Landry, the poster child for Doritos-eating youths going through puberty in the late 90’s. She was a former pageant star and also was married to AC Slater Mario Lopez, and if you ask me that was the peak of her life career. In a moment of confession, I at first had her confused with Ali Larter and was really excited to use  the Varsity Blues whip cream bikini photo. Alas, we have to settle for the pitchwoman for Nacho Cheesier Doritos who celebrates her 40th birthday. On to the news and notes….

NewsNotesLogoPreseason Watch Lists are a good way for a program to generate some buzz and headlines in a long and boring offseason. Take last year for example, when it seemed like everyone who donned a BSU jersey was on some sort of list. This season, Jordan Williams has landed on the Biletnikoff Award Watchlist for the top WR, Jacob Richard has been named to the Lombardi Award Watchlist for the nation’s top down lineman, and Quake Edwards has been named to the Doak Walker Award Watchlist for the nation’s best RB. Good luck to all.

NewsNotesLogoJuly is preseason countdown month across the internet, and USAToday’s Paul Myerberg’s is usually one of the most well-documented and fair. He also used OTP’s Obama-ized Lembo icon as his Twitter avatar for a while, so suffice to see, Paul is A+ in my book. He ranks the Cardinals at #57 in his piece here. He ranks Indiana #69, so there’s that also.

NewsNotesLogoSpeaking of countdowns, the Orlando Sentinel ranks BSU #46 in their preseason previews. It always entertains me to read MAC previews from folks who don’t cover the MAC, especially when they act like the defensive unit will ultimately decide the fate of the team. I agree the defense is important and may even be the more productive unit this fall. But counting on your defense to win you a MAC title is like bringing a spork to a gatling gun fight. (via)

NewsNotesLogoI’m not sure what Rant Sports is, but if you can get past the pop ups and ads, they rank BSU #50. There. I saved you the click. (via)

NewsNotesLogoFrom the hardwood, the BSU Sports mothership takes you All Access with new BSU basketball assistant coach Danny Peters. (via)

NewsNotesLogoIn not-sports-at-all-but-definitely-more-important-news, BSU has implemented new Student Conduct standards for sexual assault, cyberstalking, and posting nude photos on social networking sites. As most who frequent OTP know, I’m in the field of higher education when not being a sarcastic prick on the internet, and it’s safe to say that creating an environment where students feel safe to come forward about such things is not an issue, it’s THE issue in higher ed at the moment. Between Jameis Winston, the Notre Dame sexual assault/suicide case, and the US Department of Education’s reveal of 55 campuses that were under scrutiny for their handling of sexual assault, it will be the issue of the next while in education. You can check out the details of BSU’s new policy here.

NewsNotesLogoIn happy trails news, BSU police chief Gene Burton is retiring July 31 after 34 years of service. I would estimate the number of parking tickets Burton’s office gave me to be 7 and the total number he was ultimately responsible for over three-plus decades of service somewhere in the neighborhood of eleventy billion.

 

 

Baseball Has Three Drafted

BSULogoThe big news of the last couple days was the times and television for the football Cardinals for the fall. That was until the Cardinals had three players selected in this week’s MLB draft. T.J. Weir, Sean Godfrey and Nestor Bautista all heard their names called Saturday in the 17th, 22nd, and 32nd rounds respectively. Weir was selected by the San Diego Padres, Godrey by the Atlanta Braves, and Bautista by the Florida Marlins. With their drafting, BSU has now landed 55 players in the MLB draft. Per BSU’s release notes…

A senior pitcher, infielder and designated hitter, Weir ranks ninth in the nation with 117 strikeouts and 15th nationally with 16 games started on the mound. He finished second in the Mid-American Conference in strikeouts and tied for third in pitching victories (8), while ranking tied for third in games started and fourth with 99.2 innings pitched. Weir struck out a career-high 14 batters versus Western Michigan April 19, which was the highest single-game total by a MAC pitcher this season. He struck out at least eight batters in seven outings this year plus hit three home runs, with five doubles, two triples and 17 RBI in his 109 at-bats. Weir completed the season with an 8-2 pitching record and a 3.61 earned-run average.

Godfrey, who was named to the Louisville Slugger Collegiate Baseball All-America Third Team, was named the 2014 MAC Player of the Year. He batted .333 in 237 at-bats for the Cardinals in 2014 with nine home runs, 22 doubles and 57 runs-batted-in. Godfrey ranks nationally in doubles (9th), runs-batted-in (17th), total bases (30th with 128) and hits (45th with 79). Godfrey became the 15th player in Ball State history honored by an All-America team and the eighth to earn third-team honors.

Bautista was 3-1 in 18 appearances for the Cardinals in 2014 and tallied a 3.55 ERA. He pitched 25.1 innings, allowing 10 earned runs and striking out 25 batters. Opponents batted a mere .233 against Bautista, which was the best mark on the Ball State pitching staff.

“What a great day for Ball State baseball,” Cardinals’ head coach Rich Maloney said.  “It is exciting to see these players realize their dream of playing professional baseball.  To become a national program players getting to play at the next level is a prerequisite.  Each of these student-athletes earned their degrees, which makes me very proud.  They exemplified the true meaning of student-athlete.”

Congrats and Go Cards!

Ball State Announces Coaches Caravans

dodge caravan

If they want to be literal, they’ll caravan in a Caravan. I’m not optimistic.

Well hello there, BSU fans. I hope you’re having a stellar Monday. If you’re not, I have some good news for you, assuming you live in Muncie, Fort Wayne, Indianapolis, or Chicago and would like to meet the power brokers of BSU athletics. Because much like Big and Rich, the likes of Pete Lembo, Bill Scholl, James Whitford, and Brady Sallee are comin’ to your city, only without Cowboy Troy or the little person they always play with.

Your relevant dates to start penciling in:

Muncie:
Thursday, May 22
The Players Club (Yorktown)
In conjunction with the CVC Golf Classic
Noon to 1 p.m.

Fort Wayne:
Thursday, May 29
Champions Sports Bar & Restaurant
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Indianapolis:
Saturday, May 31
Victory Field (Comcast Room)
In conjunction with the Indianapolis Indians Outing
4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Chicago:
Tuesday, June 3
Harry Caray’s Restaurant
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. CST

It’s a great chance to be a part of some CVC events and also get your very own photo opp with CPL, Coach Whitt, Coach Sallee, or Bill Scholl. Hell, maybe even all four. Suitable for framing and makes a wonderful Christmas card. If you celebrate Christmas. Do they send cards for Hanukkah or Kwanzaa? If not, they should. And they should put pictures of BSU big wigs on them. For more information and especially to register for the Indy and Muncie events, please contact the Ball State Alumni Association at 765.285.1080. If you’re hitting up Chicago or Ft. Wayne, enjoy spending some time at a sports bar type place with the BSU folks. Mozzarella sticks or nachos make a wonderful appetizer. You’re welcome.

Make Sure to Watch Jeopardy on Friday for Some BSU Love

(Photo: Carol Kaelson photo provided by Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

(Photo: Carol Kaelson photo provided by Jeopardy Productions, Inc.)

If you’re following the Pylon on Twitter (and if you’re not, you should be) you saw us put something out yesterday about an intersection of two of our favorite things: Ball State University and random knowledge. On Friday, Ball State senior Alex Sventeckis will be in the Jeopardy College Tournament against someone from Ohio State and someone from Middlebury College creating what I like to call “Must See Television” in my household.

When I was living in DC, I tried out for Jeopardy, and let me tell you: It’s hard. You have to sit in a lecture hall with one of those crummy raise-from-the-side-desktops that are always wobbly and not at all accommodating for a man of any substantive girth for starters and it only gets worse from there. From there, assuming you didn’t bomb the quiz while your internal organs played a nice little game of twister thanks to the desk, you get a “screen test” where you do a fake game to (I would presume) ensure you are capable of being on camera without sweating through your collar (I did) or screaming out inappropriate things when nervous (I didn’t, surprisingly enough). There’s also an interview, but seeing as how I can only assume I came across as a mix of Tommy Boy in his little coat and Ricky Bobby during his first interview, I didn’t get to that stage. But I digress… Alex did. And he’s representing you, me, and everyone associated with BSU.

His dream category? Fraternities. Go on….

Side note: All the dudes except the nerd from Vandy and the asian kid had facial hair. Alex is Team Clean Shaven. Stay tuned…

I know what you’re thinking. “Alan, Friday is Valentine’s Day! There’s no way I can pull watching this off! I’ve got romancin’ to do, jack.” Don’t worry, we’re way ahead of you with your various strategies and choose your own options within them:

  • STRATEGY 1: THE LOYAL CARDINAL
    • Step 1: Say to spouse/bf/gf: “Honey, it’s such a rarity to see BSU get such national attention, would it be ok if we watched this and then went to Applebees/St. Elmo’s/McDonalds and then came home for dessert/board games/sexy fun time?”
    • Step 2: Watch Jeopardy
    • Step 3: Enjoy your meal
    • Step 4: Enjoy “dessert”
  • STRATEGY 2: THE BUY JUST ENOUGH TIME
    • Step 1A: Say to spouse/bf/gf: “Honey, that outfit is great but I just don’t think it shows off how sexy you are. Maybe you could try something on a little more bold?” -OR-
    • Step 1B: Say to spouse/bf/gf: “Oh. You’re going to wear that?”  (NOTE: Risky move, but fortune favors the bold)
    • Step 2: Watch Jeopardy
    • Step 3: Enjoy your meal
    • Step 4: Enjoy “dessert”. (Quality of dessert directly related to which Step 1 you choose above)
  • STRATEGY 3: THE SINGLE GUY
    • Step 1: If already single, proceed to step 4. If in relationship, proceed to Step 2
    • Step 2: Say to spouse/bf/gf: “Honey, I’ve given this a lot of thought and I have decided I would rather watch a college tournament Jeopardy game than spend even one more minute with you in this hot garbage of a relationship”
    • Step 3: Sidestep slap/punch/jab
    • Step 4: Watch Jeopardy alone
    • Step 5: Order pizza
    • Step 6: See if anything good is on Cinemax after midnight
    • Step 7: Sob
    • Step 8: Play a game of Flappy Bird
    • Step 9: Sob harder
    • Step 10: Cry yourself to sleep. Alone. Like always.

So be sure to check your local listings for when Jeopardy airs, choose your strategy wisely, and watch your plan come to fruition. You’re welcome.

Where to Spend National Signing Day as a BSU Fan

What is this alien technology?! KILL IT!!!

What is this alien technology?! KILL IT!!!

Wednesday morning, two things will happen:

  1. College football fans the world over will turn their attention to a group of 17 and 18 year olds as they make the decision about where they will attend college in the fall. For some it will be tremendous fanfare type of activities with hats on tables, television cameras, and crowds. For others, it will be a simple fax to a football office much like the one at Scheumann Stadium in Muncie. Speaking of…
  2. Fax machines will get more attention tomorrow then they get any other day of the year. I am not quite sure where the fax machine in my office complex is if I needed to use it, but tomorrow, facsimile machines will be all the rage. I’m not sure why an email isn’t sufficient, but it’s the NCAA so sense and rationale have no place here.

For Ball State fans, it isn’t likely that any highlight packages or signing day coverage on the ESPN family or the major recruiting sites like Scout, Rivals, or 24/7 will feature Ball State recruits, a table full of hats, or their comings and goings. Thankfully, Ball State has you covered as they plan on blowing the roof off the MAC recruiting house by doing something no other MAC school is cranking out. Want to hear what Pete Lembo has to say about recruits? You got it. Missing the dulcet tones of Joel Godett? They’ve got you covered. Need a front row web seat in case a major recruiting surprise comes through? You know it. Want to hear Tom Davis’ hot sports takes on all things recruiting related?! YOU DON’T GET A CHOICE. TAKE YOUR TOM DAVIS AND ENJOY IT.

From the BSU release on the Signing Day festivities and how you can keep up with the Cardinals…

Ball State’s football staff will present its 2014 recruiting class Wednesday with a live web stream from the Fisher Complex and an evening reception at the Alumni Center. Both the internet show and signing day party are free to all Ball State fans.

Ball State athletics and Ball State Sports Link will provide its National Signing Day Special from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The live online web stream on http://www.ballstatesports.com will feature Jeff Weller and Luke Martin with production and taped interviews by Ball State’s Joel Godett.

Growing from the success of previous signing day web broadcasts, this year’s show will feature:

  • Multiple interviews with head coach Pete Lembo
  • Live interviews with all assistant football coaches, including new defensive coordinator Kevin Kelly and new offensive line coach John Strollo
  • An exclusive interview with early-enrollee freshman quarterback David Morrison
  • Perspective on this year’s Ball State class from 247Sports.com National Recruiting Insider Steve Wiltfong and Ball State football beat reporter from the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Tom Davis
  • Videos and brief biographies of every signed recruit
  • Up-to-minute announcements of signeesIn addition to talking to every member of the Ball State football coaching staff, interviews with head coaches from many other Ball State athletic programs will occur.

The Signing Day Celebration event will feature Ball State head football coach Pete Lembo and the remainder of the coaching staff as they present their 2014 recruiting class from the Alumni Center. This free event to the public starts at 6 p.m. With complimentary heavy hors d’oeuvres, popcorn, snack mix plus Pepsi products, water and coffee. A cash bar will also be available.

Lembo will lead a program at the Signing Day Celebration introducing each of the new recruits while the assistant coaches will add stories of the recruitment of the new Ball State Cardinal and what fans can expect from him in the future.

To view the live web stream Wednesday, log on to www.ballstatesports.com.

We have always harped on the athletic administration pre-Lembo that there wasn’t anything cool or exciting being done to put BSU on the level of the major athletic programs. This is yet another step in the right direction. I would highly advise that you pencil in some time on your work calendar to make sure you can catch this webcast. I’ve found things like “Status Meeting”, “EOY Projections”, or “Waxing” seem to facilitate the fewest questions from curious calendar onlookers. That’s assuming you able even to make it in to work at all.

From everything I’m hearing, tomorrow is going to be a ridiculous snow day in East Central Indiana as old man winter again backhands Cardinal nation. You might as well settle in with a blanket, a laptop, perhaps a mimosa or three, and get yourself educated on what may very well be one of the top 2 or 3 recruiting classes in the MAC. What else are you going to do? Go out and build a snowman with your kids? Well, TOM DAVIS > your children. It’s science. See you all around here tomorrow for the Signing Day festivities.

Response to Ball State’s Saturday Snow Make Up Days

tombstone

I’d like to take a minute and mourn the passing of one of the most beloved things at Ball State University…. fun. Fun was adored by all and one of the hallmarks of the campus and the people who inhabited it. Since its birth 66 million years ago when a paleolithic dweller asked his cave neighbor to “pull his finger”, it was a staple for most everyone. That all came to a close in Muncie, IN on January 22, 2014. Clearly, with the decision to make up classes on January 6th and 7th canceled by inclement weather on future Friday nights and Saturdays, fun has met its demise in a cruel and unusual way. It is preceded in passing by the original Dill Street and survived by angst, shock, and outrage.

Friday night classes. Saturday morning classes?!? SATURDAY AFTERNOON CLASSES?!?!?! Have you no shame? In the words of Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler…

really-seth-and-amy

There is no better day for a college student than a snow day. It’s so fulfilling. It’s so right. I was a college student for four years, a grad student for one, and I’ve been a college staff member for going on 11 years now and just so you are aware, the glory and amazeballs of snowdays don’t go away once you get your diploma. I’ve witnessed neither a woman I love walking down the aisle nor the birth of one of my children, but I find it almost impossible to believe that the joy I get when I receive that text message that the university is closed is surpassed by those things. Equaled? Perhaps (though I doubt it). But actually beating the anticipated exuberance of chilling in track pants while watching Price is Right? That ain’t happenin’, Jack.

Snow days are what is good and pure about education. It teaches students of any age that life sometimes throws you unexpected positive curveballs in the form of an ice storm or a blizzard that allows you to do one of any critical activities:

  • Uh… drink, maybe? Typical response: HE SAID DRINKING!!!! OH NOES!!!! Here’s the thing: I understand that most .edu people would prefer that students are diligently studying in Bracken Library and have no time for things like flip cup, beer pong, or giant metal cans of beer that $3 solo cups are needed for. I would also like to think that an evolved society and (allegedly) some of the brightest minds in higher ed are capable of understanding that there is a big plot of land  between being a teetotaler and getting blackout drunk, getting behind the wheel, crashing into a busload of orphans, and then falling down concrete stairs killing yourself in the process. You can live in the gray between those two black and white extremes. It’s ok. And perfect for snowdays.
  • Binge watch your favorite television shows or Netflix que. The nerds who advanced technology to the levels we enjoy today deserve at least a little bit of attention and gratitude by enjoying their product when classes are canceled. Lord knows you ungrateful females certainly didn’t thank them in high school or college in any way, shape, or form.
  • Sleep. Sleep long. Sleep hard. Sleep all damn day if you want to. Why? Because your ability to do so once you leave is minimal at best. If you’re a family person, forget about it. From birth to when they get their license being a coach/chauffeur/general parent takes priority. If you’re a career person your soulless asshat of a boss will take great delight in sucking your lifeforce from your body. And not in the good way. They will do it via projects and tasks that you will complete, they will take credit for, and in the grand scheme of things means absolutely nothing. So there’s that.

It really doesn’t matter how you spend your snow day. What matters is that it’s yours. YOURS! It’s not for JoGo and her merry band of Higher Ed commission flunkies to reclaim like a snow day repo man. The argument Gora fronted was, “We have an obligation to our students. We don’t reduce their tuition costs, so we have an obligation to the instruction time.” When I read that, I immediately began to do the handwank motion. (Unfamiliar with that? Here you go.)

In theory, sure, I get it. Students have paid A for B and they expect B to be delivered. If I pay Papa Johns for a large pie and some cheesesticks, I don’t care if it takes Peyton Manning himself to get that mediocre pizza to my front door. I have little time for excuses. FEED ME YOUR TERRIBLE NO SAUCE PIZZA, JOHN!!! That’s in theory. There are exceptions, though, when it comes to practice Dr. Gora, where things like acts of God make what I’ve ordered and paid for either delayed or outright canceled. Things like, oh, I don’t know, a blizzard? Pretty sure that counts. And more importantly, for people to buy in to that flimsy Presidential rationale, it would mean there would need to be a student who has gone to the Provost and demanded money back from their tuition because they did not receive the amount of instruction days that they had paid for. I would hope that no one attending my university feels that way. If on the off chance someone did that, I’d rather the University just release their name so we can all teach them how to not be an ungrateful asshole instead of holding the students, faculty, and staff hostage on a Saturday.

Cuba Gooding Jr. Wants BSU News and Notes

cuba gooding jrHowdy there, friends and neighbors. It’s the first workday of 2014, and the first opportunity you’ll have to misdate things for the next few weeks. Of course, this was significantly more troublesome and hard to remember back when things like personal checks were written, but considering how I haven’t written a check in probably two years, perhaps we can all get the date right for once. A guy can dream.

What’s also special about this particular day, short of it being the first day you couldn’t roll out of bed about noon and immediately start day drinking while watching wall to wall football, is that it’s the day of birth of one Cuba Gooding Jr. You remember him, right? For me, he’ll always be Rod Tidwell, the feisty Arizona Cardinal repped by Jerry Maguire on his road to redemption. He won an Oscar for his performance. Then he played the Navy diver with Robert Deniro and it seemed like everything was coming up Cuba. The next few films were anything but notable, well received, or good. There was the movie about the dogsleds, the movie about the gay boat trip, and a dozen other terrible attempts at cinema. Fastest drop from winning an Academy Award? Gotta be in the running. Wherever Gooding Jr. may be today, I hope he at least gets a longer break to take off his paper hat, put down his squeegee mop, and enjoy his 46th birthday.

To the news and notes!

NewsNotesLogo From Mobile, there’s a pretty solid piece about the Cardinals first practice and a good photo gallery of the goings on. Nothing necessarily news-worthy, but scrolling through some photos and reading a non-beat reporter perspective on the Cardinals is a good way to spend the afternoon.

NewsNotesLogo Chris Johnson from Sports Illustrated breaks down the GoDaddy Bowl, and you’ll want to check it out if for no other reason than it’s a national writer giving the Cards some credit and expecting a victory. So there’s that.

NewsNotesLogo Some quotes from BSU and A State players and administrators about the Go Daddy Bowl and Mobile in general. From all I’ve read and heard, people are stoked that this was the bowl and team that BSU ended up with. It certainly beats Boise.

NewsNotesLogo Men’s basketball traveled to central Virginia to take on James Madison, but it was JMU that came away with the W beating BSU 73-68. I would imagine a 2-8 start isn’t what James Whitford had in mind, but this early part of the schedule has done the Cards no favors, with 5 of the last 6 on the road. The Cards out the non-conference season on Friday at Worthen Arena versus Oakland City at 7pm.

NewsNotesLogo Women’s basketball is doing markedly better than their male counterparts, with a 5-6 record, a win last weekend at IPFW, and their MAC opener Saturday at Akron. On the individual side of things, senior guard Brandy Woody was named this week’s MAC West C0-Player of the Week following a terrific stat line from IPFW: 22 points and four assists, including 13 of 14 from the free throw line.

NewsNotesLogo Men’s volleyball opens their season on January 4th versus UC-Irvine at home at 7:30. You’ll get the chance should you go to check out senior Matt Leske who has been named to the pre-season all conference team for the MIVA conference. The Cards were picked to finish 5th by the league head coaches.

NewsNotesLogo Your BSU Tweet of the Day comes to us from @RebeccaEstherS:
BSUTotD

Move in day at BSU was one of the best days of my life. It was the beginning of a tremendous experience and something that if I ever had the chance to go back and revisit a time in my life, my times at BSU would be probably number one on the list. I’m jealous of those who are starting the next chapter of their lives in the next few days.

Big Papi Wants Monday BSU News and Notes

ortizOh, Monday. You reared your ugly head once again and the lovely budding relationship with me and the weekend was cut short once again. One of these days perhaps you’ll stop doing that. But since you did, I guess we’d better check in on the happenings around the Nest for the weekend and celebrate some celebrity birthdays, right? Right. Thought so.

As a baseball fan, David “Big Papi” Ortiz is one of the ones I’ll probably be happy to tell my kids I saw play. While I am fully aware a good majority of Americans don’t care for baseball like they used to, thanks largely in part to megahuge contracts and steroids, it’s still the American Pastime, dammit. And Papi is one of the most clutch players to play the game. As a Yankee fan, I’m obviously a little anti-Sox, and no player is more representative of the Sox return to dominance than Ortiz, but to overlook his impact on the diamond over the last decade would be not accepting reality simply because he was cheered for by rude Massholes. And that just wouldn’t be fair. Papi turns 38 today and I would be willing to wager his birthday parties are not at all unfun. Off we go…

NewsNotesLogo As if 2013 wasn’t already the Year of the Cardinal and their wide receivers, Willie Snead was announced as a semifinalist today for the Biletnikoff Award for the nation’s best wide receiver. The other nine names are household ones in college football so it’s nice to see such a talented and deserving player make the cut despite not having ESPN slurp and slobber him all week long. That’s the definition of talent.

NewsNotesLogo Your BSU football team is off from game action for the next two weeks, next taking the field on Black Friday. It’s the final home game for a fantastic senior class, it’s a chance to hit double-digit wins and move the Cards to 10-2, and with a win the Cards are still alive (albeit perhaps not as of Wednesday pending other games) for a MAC Championship. Some people will want to skip the game because they would rather go and buy a bunch of wondersale type things at whatever retailer is around them, but as a former retail employee who worked black Friday: there are very few worthwhile sale items that the employees haven’t already pulled back and reserved and you won’t get what’s left unless you’re there at the asscrack of dawn. Which still leaves you time to go to the game. Excuses? You has none. See you Black Friday.

NewsNotesLogo For those of you who didn’t spend much time on the web looking for BSU things on Friday afternoon, the recreation and wellness center, some residence halls, etc. were put on lockdown after reports of a man with a gun filtered to police. The photos on Instagram and Twitter were scary and working in higher ed while things like  Virginia Tech and NIU happen make you realize just how bad something like that could be. No one and, more importantly, no gun was found in the complex and from all reports, the students and staff along with police and first responders did a great job with a difficult situation. A+ y’all.

NewsNotesLogo Andy Thorpe, who should be your go-to recruiting expert for BSU football, has a great piece about two Cardinal recruits that are on track to play against each other in the Indiana 5A Championship game. You can check that out here.

NewsNotesLogo BSU women’s volleyball clinched a share of the MAC West title and the #3 seed in the upcoming MAC Tournament by beating Western Michigan on Saturday. The Cards are back in action against WMU again on Friday in the tournament. The Broncos are the 7th seed. Oh, by the way, that was the first win by BSU on Western’s home court since 2006. Nice job, ladies.

NewsNotesLogo At the end of last week, the BSU cross-country team had their season end at the NCAA Great Lakes Region Championship. Though the Cards’ season is over, five of the six competing runners posted career bests in the event. I am most definitely not a runner, but the term “career best” is transcendent across every sport. (via)

NewsNotesLogo BSU head baseball coach Rich Maloney announced the signing of eight recruits for the BSU baseball program on Friday. Welcome to the new Cardinals and batter up! Unless you’re a pitcher. Then it’s batter down. But you get the point. (via)

NewsNotesLogo BSU men’s basketball is back in action tonight at 7 at home versus Southeast Missouri. Game tips at 7 and you might as well jump on the BSU Basketball Bandwagon now while there is still space.

NewsNotesLogo Your BSU Tweet of the Day comes from @jessica_moak:
BSUTotDIt’s funny, but I hear that from alums all the time and usually from people who thought once they were done with BSU they would kick that Muncie dirt off their shoes and never look back. Yet, even now, a decade later, there are crisp fall days or sunny and bright spring days when I would give just about anything to be back in Muncie and reliving some great years. Don’t take it for granted kiddies.

Coach Whitford Wants Thursday Ball State Notes

james-whitford1Hello there, friends. How’s your Thursday? Mine is just delightful. What’s that? There was a football game last night? Hmmm. Didn’t watch. Did I miss anything? Of course I did. Ball State basketball signed the first class of the James Whitford era, inking four recruits including one from Canada by way of Connecticut. Admittedly, I’m more of a BSU pigskin guy than BSU basketball but if his recruiting prowess is any indication of the success we’ll see on the floor, then perhaps that balance may shift a bit going forward.

One of my fondest athletic memories while I was a student at BSU was the infamous Maui Classic that saw BSU throw a loss on Kansas and UCLA back to back and play Duke tight for a half. Guys like Petey Jackson, T Smith, and Brian Burns colored my time there and I do hope to one day soon be able to pencil in BSU to the Sweet 16 in my office bracket that will inevitably be ripped to shreds after the first Thursday of the tourney.

NewsNotesLogo Whitford and the Cardinals inked high school teammates Jeremie Tyler and Rashaun Richardson from Arsenal Tech in Indianapolis along with another Indiana product in Sean Sellers of Greensburg. Francis Kiapway, from Canada by way of St. Thomas More School in Connecticut, also signed. (via)

NewsNotesLogo It wasn’t all men’s basketball yesterday, as Brady Sallee inked three recruits of his own. Moriah Monaco (Dover, Ohio/Dover HS), Khadijah Moore (Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Memorial HS) and Brionna Simond (Milwaukee, Wis./Riverside University HS) have each signed NLI’s to play basketball at Ball State. (via)

NewsNotesLogo As we mentioned on Twitter last night, news broke on the football front about an hour before the game that running back Horactio Banks tore his ACL in practice earlier this week. The injury bug struck again in-game when Quintin Cooper broke his leg. Both players are done for the season. A real shame for a team that’s been relatively injury free. Get well soon from the Pylon to both of them.

NewsNotesLogo Speaking of injuries, it was good to see Connor Ryan out there again catching balls from Keith Wenning. Now, if we can just get KeVonn Mabon and Chris Shillings back, that receiving corps is back to full strength.

NewsNotesLogo People sometimes know our fine university because of Dave Letterman, Papa John, or Garfield the Cat. The hard core BSU faithful will remind you about things like Joyce DeWitt and Bob Ross. The Huffington Post infuses BSU into the national stream of consciousness for the Ball Brothers’ rockin’ mustaches. For real. (via)

NewsNotesLogo Your Ball State Tweet of the Day comes to you from @allygarrett_:

BSU TotD
I don’t seem to remember BSU being exceptionally windy, but I’m going to take her word for it. My advice: skip class. It worked for me.

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