Following the devastating storms in the Oklahoma City area this week, Big 12 Conference officials left the decision regarding its baseball championship tournament to local leaders.
“We wanted them to give us a sense of what to do,” Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda said of the Oklahoma City All Sports Association and government officials. “We wanted them to tell us what was in the best interest of the community as people begin to recover and heal.”
Ultimately, the league chose to postpone the tournament by one day and change its format. It will now begin Thursday and feature two pools. Kansas State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Baylor will be in one pool, and Oklahoma State, West Virginia, TCU and Kansas make up the second pool.
“We are very appreciative of the consideration by the participating teams and the Big 12 Conference,” Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said in a statement. “We encouraged and supported the decision to play the championship in a format comfortable to the Big 12.”
Burda said local leaders initially recommended playing the tournament as originally scheduled, but that Big 12 athletic directors were more comfortable with a one-day delay.
“Most of them didn't get in until late last night,” Burda said of the eight teams. “It's one thing when you hear about a tornado and the destruction and devastation, and it's another thing when you see it and experience it.
“I think once people experienced and saw the devastation, it would've been a challenge for them to get their minds in a baseball state and start playing right away.”
BIG 12 ANNOUNCES POSTSEASON HONORS
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State each placed two players on the coaches' All-Big 12 first team, and four players each on the second team.
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