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Sisqo Wants Nest News and Notes

SisqoAdmittedly, I am not an expert on the rap game and those who inhabit it. But I think we all were our own little Russel Simmons when Sisqo was big back in the late 90s. Granted, that was my wheelhouse of college debauchery and hijinks, but I defy anyone that went to school or lived in that era to not affiliate Sisqo with a little piece of creative genius known as “The Thong Song”. Some will mock this song and Sisqo’s general career as a joke. NOT SO! I mean, just look at the lyrical chops:

She had dumps like a truck, truck, truck
Thighs like what, what, what
Baby move your butt, butt, butt…
… All night long
Let me see that thong

If you say you aren’t continuing the song verbatim in your head, then you are a damn liar. Sisqo turns 37 today and what better way to celebrate than with some Nest News & Notes for your Monday. Unleash the dragon…

NewsNotesLogoNeed a bright spot to your Cardinal news given the assthrashing from last week on the football field? Johnny Watts has you covered. The sophomore shot a career 54-hole low to take third in the Ka’anapali Collegiate Classic in Hawaii, beating nine of the top 100 in the field in the process. Watts won the MAC last spring, but something tells me he may want to clean off another shelf for some soon to awarded things.

NewsNotesLogoWomen’s volleyball dropped a straight set match to NIU on Saturday, but there was good news to be had since thanks to Kent beating EMU the Cardinals have now clinched a spot in the 8-team MAC conference tournament. You’ve got two chances to see the Cardinal volleyballers before that tourney this coming weekend as they have home matches Friday and Saturday with EMU and CMU respectively. Both matches start at 7.

NewsNotesLogoWomen’s soccer was on the short end of the penalty kick stick last week and missed out on a MAC tourney title, but that didn’t stop numerous Cardinals from being recognized for their individual accomplishments and landing on the All-MAC First Team. Chelsy Swackhamer, Leah Mattingly and Alyssa Heintschel all were named First Team selections, along with Lorina White and Abbie Boswell. White was also awarded MAC Defensive Player of the Year while Boswell brought home Freshman of the Year. Only three previous teams in league history had five first-team picks in a season (Miami 2002, Central Michigan 2009 and Central Michigan 2012).

NewsNotesLogoBasketball is right around the corner for both men and women at Ball State, with the regular season commencing on Friday. In case you are still in the market for tickets…

Season Tickets
Men’s: Reserved — $190; General Admission — $115; Courtside — $400
Women’s: Adult — $39; Adult w/ purchase of MBB season tickets — $30; Youth — $30

Single Game Tickets
Men’s: Reserved — $15; General Admission (Adult) — $10; General Admission (Youth, 2-18) — $6
Women’s: Adult — $7; Youth (2-18) — $3

Group Tickets (10+)
Men’s: Reserved — $10; General Admission — $6
Women’s: $3

Men’s Basketball 6-Game Mini Pack
Reserved — $78; General Admission — $48


Chirp chirp.


Ball State Cross Country Lands Three on Academic All-MAC

BSULogoLost in the shuffle of athletic directors, football transfers, and basketball come from behind wins was another feather in the cap of Cardinal athletics as cross country landed three student-athletes on the All-MAC Academic teams. For the second consecutive season, twin sisters Courtney Edon (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) and Caitlynn Edon (New Palestine, Ind./New Palestine) both earned the honor, while sophomore Ericka Rinehart (Angola, Ind./Angola) received the honor for the first time in her career. All three are nursing majors, all three have over a 3.7 GPA, all three are probably markedly smarter than I am as a former marketing guy with a GPA more than a few tenths of a point lower than that.

In all seriousness, though, it’s remarkable when I read of Cardinal athletes that excel in the classroom as well as on the playing field. Being a student athlete in and of itself is difficult and time consuming beyond belief. To be able to do so at a championship caliber while majoring in something substantive and worthwhile (and actually learn it!) is remarkable indeed. Congrats to Courtney, Caitlynn, and Ericka. Go Cards!

President Ferguson’s Email to the BSU Community Announcing Mark Sandy

Paul Ferguson Ball State

President Ferguson is so excited. And he just can’t hide it.

A loyal friend of the Pylon has sent along Ball State President Paul Ferguson’s email message to the Ball State community distributed this morning. He’s excited.

January 8, 2015

Colleagues in the Ball State Community:

There is much excitement in the air as we begin a new academic semester. We added to that excitement this morning as we introduced Mark Sandy as Ball State’s new director of intercollegiate athletics. He was selected from a talented pool of candidates following a nationwide search. I am especially appreciative to the AD Search Committee, led by Dr. Charlene Alexander, for the diligent and highly professional conduct of the search in providing this unanimous recommendation.

Mark has nearly 40 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics, and since 2005, he has served as the director of athletics at Eastern Kentucky University, where he was responsible for all athletic department activities, including NCAA compliance, hiring coaches, strategic planning, marketing and public relations, and fundraising. He understands the invaluable connections among departments at a university and has shown a great ability to forge alliances across campus. With his proven record of success of student-athletes in the classroom and in competition at Eastern Kentucky, Mark will be a great addition to the Ball State team.

During two of his last three years as director of athletics, EKU won the coveted Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner’s Cup, a symbol of overall athletics excellence in conference-sponsored championships.

Before arriving at Eastern Kentucky, he worked for five years at the University of Richmond as associate athletic director and senior associate athletic director. In the latter role, he directed the Spider Athletic Initiative, a $20 million campaign to build an on-campus stadium for the university’s football, soccer, lacrosse, and track teams.

I am confident that Mark is the right person to keep our athletics program continuing in its positive trajectory. I know you will welcome Mark, and his wife, Kitty, as great additions to our leadership team.

With best regards,

Paul W. Ferguson

It’s never official until the new boss sends an email out to the rest of the staff about a new hire, so mark it down. In my experience there’s also some sort of potluck or brown bag lunch, but admittedly this email probably went to way too many people for that. People would bring Tupperware, the lids would get all mixed up, it would be anarchy.

Press conference for the official introduction at 11 on BallStateSports.com.

New Ball State Athletic Director Mark Sandy has a Tough Task

BSULogoThis morning at 11am, Ball State will announce Mark Sandy as the newest Director of Athletics for BSU, as we broke last night (not to toot our own horn or anything). The last two athletic directors hired by BSU have been a study in dichotomy, one becoming the driving force of Cardinal athletics bringing themselves into the 21st century and the other the butt of more than a few jokes. Bill Scholl was the former, Tom Collins the latter, in case you were struggling with that evaluation. Try and keep up.

So with the university batting .500 in its two most recent AD hires and this being the first significant hire made by Dr. Paul Ferguson, new BSU president, it’s safe to say that high levels of success, while expected, are far from guaranteed. Replacing Bill Scholl, who was universally well-liked and personable from student athletes to high dollar donors, is also not the easiest thing in the world. To increase Cardinal successes on the field or court, one of the most important bullet point in the job description, isn’t the easiest thing either. Then throw in the aggravating circumstance of the operating budget and fan support of a MAC program and it’s a tall order. So it’s safe to say that hiring Mark Sandy, current athletic director of Eastern Kentucky University, is an absolutely critical decision and one that brings with it a whole host of issues for Sandy.

On the revenue program side of things, there’s a football program that aside from a rough 2014 is at a level that is satisfactory but the jump to the next level and retaining Pete Lembo will be a massive undertaking. There’s a men’s basketball program that was able to hire an assistant coach from a “name brand” program in James Whitford for the complex reconstruction job that has begun its bumpy road. Women’s basketball is a MAC contender year in and year out. That doesn’t take in to account all the other sports again that may not generate a ton of headlines but are notable programs. Softball, field hockey, volleyball, etc. are all programs that need to be tended to as well and supported en masse for Ball State to be significantly more competitive for the Reese and Jacoby Awards. (Note: The Reese Award is given to the most successful men’s athletic program and the Jacoby Award to the most successful women’s athletic program. In 2014 BSU finished 5th for the Reese Award and last for the Jacoby Award)

From his EKU bio regarding his successes as Colonel AD….

EKU Athletics Under Mark Sandy
• Women’s soccer begins play
• EKU Athletics Hall of Fame initiated

• Jacob Korir finishes seventh at NCAA Cross Country Championships
• Men’s basketball advances to NCAA tournament

• Football ranked first in OVC and Commonwealth of Kentucky in NCAA APR (academic progress rate) report
• Football advances to NCAA FCS playoffs for the first time in 10 years

• Women’s tennis wins first ever OVC championship and advances to NCAA tournament
• Football reaches NCAA FCS playoffs for second straight season

• Men’s tennis advances to first ever NCAA tournament
• 100 Years Celebration for football and men’s basketball

• EKU captures OVC Female Athlete of the Year and Steve Hamilton Sportsmanship awards
• Cross Country teams win fifth straight OVC titles

• EKU wins first ever OVC Commissioner’s Cup (began in 2009)
• EKU Athletics Hall of Fame Room completed

• EKU captures OVC Institutional Sportsmanship Award
• Men’s basketball won a program record 25 games, including a first round game in the CIT postseason tournament
• Women’s golf advances to first ever NCAA regional championship

• EKU wins second OVC Commissioner’s Cup in last three years
• Men’s cross country finishes 15th at NCAA championships

So take a quick cruise above and you’ll notice that there is a consistent and steady improvement across the board. There are facilities improvements, program creation, and all-sport conference success. There’s significant successes in creating a higher profile in the monster programs of basketball and football. And perhaps the thing that no one will mention, much like Ball State competing for eyeballs and interest from IU, Purdue, and Notre Dame fans, Sandy was able to do all of the above with the University of Kentucky’s deathstar athletic program right down the road.

I’m not a fan of the term “homerun hire” because largely every rose has its share of thorns. Poison taught me that. But this is about as close to that as you’re going to find for the Mid-American Conference and Ball State. We’ll be back after the presser at 11 for some other Sandy related goodies.

BREAKING: Sources: Ball State’s New AD Coming from the OVC

Mark Sandy

Eastern Kentucky’s Mark Sandy, the next man up in Muncie for the BSU AD job if sources are to be believed

Admittedly, most things around Ball State when it comes to searches and athletics have more holes in them than the Iraqi Navy, but the current vacancy for the director of athletics has been as tight-lipped as they come. Even your friendly neighborhood blogger has had a hard time tracking down enough viable and credible people who could at least give me the same answers as others have, complicated further by the fact that none were willing to go on the record largely because none of them were authorized to speak about the results of the search.

If our multiple unrelated sources are to be believed (and they usually are based on our/their track record) the new athletic director to be named Thursday in an 11am news conference in Muncie will be the current Director of Athletics at Eastern Kentucky University, Mark Sandy.

UPDATE: Another unconnected high-ranking university source has confirmed our earlier report that Mark Sandy will be named the next director of athletics at Ball State.

In his nine years at EKU, Sandy has had an impressive track record of success on the field/court/playing surface of your choosing for his teams and student athletes, most notably winning the Ohio Valley Conference’s Commissioner’s Cup, which symbolizes overall athletics excellence. His background also has a touch of MAC in it, as he was the former associate AD for marketing and major gifts at Miami University, and not for nothing, but those two areas are pretty important when it comes to BSU. Not for nothing, but Sandy also has served on the NCAA Football Issues Committee and NCAA Football Championship Committee for those who may have demanded that the new AD be a football guy. Surprisingly enough a very notable “football guy” was much closer than some would have thought before this whole thing started, but that is for another day.

Perhaps the best bullet points on Sandy’s resume are his infrastructure achievements and facility improvements. From new playing surfaces to fan amenities like video boards and audio systems are things he’s overseen, in addition to construction efforts like tennis complexes and locker room facilities and multipurpose construction on the football stadium. There’s also the academic side of things if you care to be bothered by the “student” in “student-athlete” where 10 of Sandy’s EKU teams scored perfect on the NCAA’s Academic Progress Report last year.

For all intents and purposes it appears like Sandy was custom-made for the Ball State job, as the initiatives he undertook at EKU are remarkably parallel to what former AD Bill Scholl did while he was running the show in Muncie. I can’t imagine the learning curve or next brass ring to grab for infrastructure would be beyond his reach as he’s been planning that on his own campus. He’s also a former student-athlete himself as a basketball and baseball player at Concord College in West Virginia so the empathy and connectivity that Scholl and interim AD Brian Hardin were known for, and what former AD Tom Collins was most definitely not, is something at which Sandy should excel.

They say that the most honest reviews are those from your peer group, and another OVC AD that I reached out to told me that Sandy is one of the best guys he knows in the business and it be a shame for EKU and the OVC to lose him. So that, to me, speaks volumes about the quality of the hire that BSU may have made.

Is this carved in stone? No. But, as I’ve said from time to time when we get things like Brady Hoke leaving, Pete Lembo being hired, or other goings on, we don’t run things we aren’t at least better than 50% comfortable with. So could these sources be trying to roger us? Sure, it’s possible, but there’s no particular reason why they would. We are pretty nice people and are moms think we are just the best.

This still isn’t carved in stone, but whomever the stone etcher in Muncie is is sharpening his chisel.

Cards Athletic Director Bill Scholl Hired by Marquette

Bill SchollRemember how awesome it was the last couple of years to have a competent Director of Athletics that deep down you knew was capable of doing the right thing at the right time and trusting completely? Put that feeling on pause because Bill Scholl and Ball State announced today that he is taking his talents to Milwaukee as the new Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Marquette.

To the BSU release on the matter…

Ball State Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Bill Scholl has been named Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Marquette University, effective mid-October. Marquette announced his hiring Tuesday morning, Sept. 9.

“This was a very difficult decision to make because of the momentum Ball State’s athletics department has right now and the great people I have had the pleasure to meet and work with at Ball State and in Muncie,” Scholl said. “My wife, Julie, and I have thoroughly enjoyed our time here and will take great memories with us.

“All of our programs are in position to experience and sustain success in the very near future. A major reason Ball State athletics will excel moving forward is due to the exciting, new leadership of President Paul Ferguson. Despite having worked together for just one month, I am convinced he has the vision and great expectations for our athletic programs and will do all he can to provide the resources needed to continue the growth of Ball State athletics. The friendship we have formed was a major factor in making this decision so difficult.”

Scholl took over as athletics director at Ball State on April 30, 2012, and helped lead the Cardinals to new heights almost immediately. Ten total postseason appearances were made by eight different Ball State athletic programs in the last two years, and 13 teams placed either first or second in the Mid-American Conference during his tenure. Highlights of the postseason trips include back-to-back bowl game appearances by the football team for only the second time in school history and the women’s basketball team rebounded from nine wins the season before Scholl’s arrival to earn consecutive Women’s NIT appearances.

Ball State has had 19 specialty award winners from the MAC or Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association during Scholl’s tenure, including six league coaches of the year and five league players of the year. The Cardinals boasted four All-Americans in each of Scholl’s two years and the eight combined All-Americans represented the most in a two-year period at Ball State since the 1990s.

Scholl has hired seven head coaches, four of whom have already led their respective programs to first- or second-place finishes in the MAC, including league titles for baseball and softball. He has also helped lead the Cardinal Commitment capital campaign to raise funds to build and enhance facilities for the football program, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, and golf teams plus baseball and softball programs.

“I regret to see Bill and Julie leave Ball State so early in our time together, but I understand his motivation to seek the Marquette experience,” President Paul Ferguson said. “In my brief time here, the significant impact that Bill had on the athletics department, the university and the community was clearly demonstrated. I will personally miss his integrity and commitment to excellence. We all wish Bill well at Marquette. We will begin a nationwide search for a new athletics director and will find someone who will continue to lead our department forward. Thanks to the current state of our athletics department and the future of the MAC, I am quite confident the talent pool for this position will be deep.”

“I want to thank Ball State University for giving me the opportunity to become an athletics director,” Scholl said. “I will forever be indebted to the leadership of Ball State. I also would be remiss to not thank the incredible student-athletes at Ball State. How they represent this great university, not only in competition but in the classroom and the community, is nothing short of outstanding. Thank you for making my time here so enjoyable.”

Pete Lembo, Head Football Coach
“Bill Scholl is a great man who made a tremendous impact on our department’s culture, image on campus and fundraising efforts. I will be forever grateful for the great working relationship that we had the last two years. I wish him well in this new opportunity.”

Brady Sallee, Head Women’s Basketball Coach
“I’m thrilled for Bill and his family. This opportunity at Marquette is a great fit for him and I know he will knock their socks off up in Milwaukee! When you’ve been in the business as long as I have, you learn how important great leadership is. Bill personifies exactly that. There is no doubt we will miss him greatly, but he has impacted our department deeply and set us all up for a tremendous amount of success. I wish him nothing but the best. Personally, I will always be thankful that he brought me to Ball State. My family and I are blessed to be Cardinals!”

James Whitford, Head Men’s Basketball Coach
“It was a great pleasure working with Bill over the past 16 months. He brought an energy and passion to work every day, and always had the best interest of his student athletes and coaches at heart. Bill is one of the best athletic directors in the country. He will be missed.”

Is this a bad thing? Well, it’s certainly not a good thing, as Scholl has captained the BSU athletics ship to a pretty good spot over the last two years. But whether or not this is a terrible thing is completely contingent on who the next hire is. Newly appointed president Paul Ferguson now has his first major hiring decision so let’s cross our fingers that New Bill Scholl (NBS) is a lot like Old Bill Scholl (OBS) and not at all like Old Tom Collins (OTC). Assuming that the reason for the departure is the simplest one: presumably more money at a more prestigious institution better prepared to compete at a championship level then I have no reason to think that the next AD will revert back to the incompetence that haunted the department in administrations past and take nothing serious away from the fact that an AD departed a program two years after being hired here.

Best of luck to Scholl and his family and he as he and his staff were always exceptionally helpful to the Pylon. I can only hope the next AD is as skilled and helpful as he was and champions the department to continued success on a similar sort of trajectory.

OTP will have some thoughts on possible candidates soon, but the OTPcast just got a whole lot more interesting tonight.

Ball State Releases Basketball Schedule, People Moderately Care


Coach Whitford excels at holding jerseys, it’s good training for banners.

Yes, our bread and butter around these parts is football, and yes, we are going to be pigskin-centric over the next few days as Ball State plays the most “name” opponent of the year in the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday, but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore the other Cardinal sports. BSU basketball announced Wednesday that they have a schedule for the 2014-2015 season, and if that’s you’re thing, then plan ahead. To the release…

Ball State released its complete 2014-15 men’s basketball schedule Wednesday in conjunction with the announcement by the Mid-American Conference of the full league schedule.

The Cardinals will prepare for their 18 MAC games with a non-conference slate featuring marquee road trips to Utah and San Diego State in addition to games against traditional in-state opponents.

“We have put together a schedule we believe not only challenges our team but also offers a good competitive balance as we continue to build our program,” second-year head coach James Whitford said. “It was a good summer of improvement for our players, and we are excited to begin a new season.”

Utah returns the bulk of its team that won 21 games last season, while San Diego State is coming off a 31-win season and its fifth straight NCAA tournament berth. The Utah contest, scheduled for Nov. 14, is the season opener for both teams and is the second game in a two-for-one series that will see the Utes visit Muncie next season to complete the contract.

Ball State will continue its longest standing rivalry when it hosts Indiana State in the 129th all-time meeting between the teams. The Cardinals will play Valparaiso for the 61st time and IUPUI for the 10th time since 2000 with both of those games coming on the road.

The home opener at Worthen Arena is set for Nov. 17 against IU Kokomo, while the remainder of the non-conference opponents include Grambling State, James Madison, Longwood and Bethune-Cookman at home in addition to Eastern Illinois on the road.

Ball State begins its MAC schedule Jan. 7 at Eastern Michigan and plays its first league home game three days later against Central Michigan. As always, the Cardinals have two games against each fellow West Division team, including defending regular season league co-champions Toledo and Western Michigan.

Additionally, the Cardinals drew home-and-home matchups with Kent State and Bowling Green from the East Division. Ball State also has home games against East opponents Ohio and Buffalo while traveling for road games at Akron and Miami University.

The MAC Tournament is scheduled to begin March 9 with first-round games on campus sites. The top four teams will receive byes straight to Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena.

Want the basketball schedule in handy printable form? Then you can go ahead and get that baby right here. The biggest game, and also the most meaningful with the backstory of Rick Majerus is the season-opener at Utah. No “name” Indiana opponent like the Hoosiers, Butler, or Purdue, but there is Valpo, Indiana State, IU-Kokomo, and IUPUI. Fire up!

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.

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!