Big 12 baseball: Expanding instant replay big topic in baseball

College baseball finally added replay at the College World Series last year after a botched call in the 2011 CWS. But Omaha is the only place replay is used in college baseball. Several Big 12 coaches believe if the technology is available, us it.
by Michael Baldwin Published: May 24, 2013
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Major League Baseball is discussing using replay beyond home run calls, evolving to trap plays and fair-or-foul balls down the lines.

College baseball finally added replay at the College World Series last year after a botched call in the 2011 CWS. But Omaha is the only place replay is used in college baseball.

Several Big 12 coaches believe if technology is available, use it.

Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday endorses using replay for home runs in postseason games.

“With as much that is at stake in those games, it's pretty sensible that they use it,” Holliday said. “It's hard at the lower levels because of the lack of cameras and different venues we play in. But maybe in postseason when you have TV cameras everywhere.”

Oklahoma coach Sunny Golloway said replay could expand not only to all postseason games but all conference games.

“With the Sooner Network, almost all of our games were televised,” Golloway said. “We could certainly utilize it at the University of Oklahoma. There would be a couple sites it wouldn't be available, but most places would have it.”

It's not unanimous. A handful of coaches feel there's no need to rush to use replay at the college level.

“I'm pretty much a traditionalist,” said Kansas coach Ritch Price. “I understand calls go one way or another and can affect games. Calls have affected games since the first year they started playing this great game. Whether it's right or wrong I feel that's part of the game. Let umpires umpire and let us play.”

College baseball finally caved in after Florida's Brian Johnson hit a ball that bounced back into play at the 2011 CWS. Replays clearly showed the ball hit a railing and was a home run. It was ruled a double. It was a non-factor. The Gators won. But it sped up replay discussions at the collegiate level.

Nothing is on the docket for expanding college baseball replay. But it makes sense in postseason games. NCAA and conference officials could make it a requirement to host regionals, super regionals and conference tournaments.

One key to any replay system is fans want quick, accurate decisions. Long replay delays are abhorred in all sports.

“When we get other people to model it for us, which is Major League Baseball, that should help us implement it to where it's not a huge delay in the game. That will be the issue,” said Baylor coach Steve Smith. “We've made such strides speeding our game up.”


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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