Some consider review a waste of money

Monday, May 12, 2008

The recent review of Southeast Missouri State athletics that cost the university $45,000 was interesting.

Southeast women's sports will apparently get a boost financially, which is nice, although considering the success of the majority of those teams, I'd say they're doing pretty good as it is.

The addition of an assistant athletic director to aid in fundraising is a positive move because that's one area that could use an upgrade. But did Southeast administrators need an outside group to tell them that?

I'd say the vast majority of people who follow and support Southeast athletics are primarily concerned with two things: success in men's basketball and football, which has been sorely lacking since the move up to Division I.

The review was not designed to address football and men's basketball specifically, which is why many of the Internet comments I've read and people I've talked to seem to believe the whole endeavor was a big waste of money.

I can't say that I disagree.

*

The system the NCAA uses for its Academic Progress Report is confusing at best.

Southeast significantly improved the sports in which it had fallen under the NCAA's cutoff score of 925 the previous year — football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball — but still fell below 925 in all of them for the four-year scores released last week.

But to see how weird the system is, consider this: Southeast's women's gymnastics team had the nation's top grade-point average last year and has a good chance to repeat as academic national champions this year, yet the squad's APR of 966 fell below the national average for that sport.

The biggest problem I have with the APR is that squads risk being penalized when athletes leave a program, even if those athletes are in good academic standing.

But next year the NCAA will start ammending a system it began using in 2003.

*

The Blake DeWitt story keeps getting better.

Last Monday, the Sikeston product who is the Los Angeles Dodgers' starting third baseman hit his first major league home run.

The next night, DeWitt got his second homer, an inside-the-park job that was part of a 3-for-4, four-RBI night for the 2004 first-round draft choice.

DeWitt, who took advantage of several injuries to make the Dodgers' opening-day roster, was recently sent down to Class AAA for a few days before being recalled.

At the time of his demotion, DeWitt was batting in the .250s. He's raised that considerably since coming back up. He is now at .323 to go along with those two homers, five doubles, two triples and 18 RBIs in 32 games.

That's impressive stuff for somebody who had never played above the Class AA level prior to this year.

*

The Plaza Tire Capahas will hold tryouts for the upcoming season 1 p.m. Sunday at Capaha Field.

People wishing to earn a spot on the nation's oldest amateur baseball team should be prepared to display their skills that day.

Marty Mishow is a sports writer for the Southeast Missourian.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: