Southern Miss coach on season suspension: ‘Some things are bigger than baseball’ – Clarion Ledger

Posted: March 19, 2020 at 12:44 am


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For the first time in his 36-year coaching career, Scott Berry sent his players home for a full spring break.

The Southern Miss head baseball coach said he has seen canceled games and postponed dates but never anything like this.

The remainder of the 2020 college baseball season isin limbo.

The NCAA canceled its winter and spring championships last week. Conference USA has also suspended all games and spring practices until April 5.

"It is frustrating the fact that I'm supposed to be coaching a baseball game today," Berry said on Saturday. "But you know with everything in life, in how this coronavirus is, I think certainly you cannot question the decisions that are made because this is bigger than baseball. This is bigger than any person."

Berry said the life lesson is that things can come to an end quickly. He said he told his players the situation was out of his control, and it's a part of life. He also told themto remember the people who are terminally-ill and fighting for their lives.

"They would give anything to be a college baseball player who had their season on hold," Berry said.

Senior teamcaptain Matthew Guidry had a 72-game on-base streakbefore the suspension. Senior right-handed pitcher Alex Nelms had been accepted into medical school prior to the season.

While reports that the NCAA is going to grant an extra year of eligibility have surfaced, there is still uncertainty around which seniors will exercise the option. Berry said if the proposal was approved, the amount of seniors returning would be on a situational basis.

He said some may not want to delay their career outside of baseball, while others would choose to continue their college careers. He said it's "great" that the NCAA has started down the path to give players another year of eligibility because of this year's shortened season.

USM basketball: Jay Ladner reflects on first season as coach

Berry said it is too early to know how the decisions of seniors would affect the Class of 2020.

In the meantime, Berry has started to spend his time with a new activity. The season for turkey hunting began on Saturday but since it usually coincides with baseball, he has been unable to participate.

"With what's happened now, that's the next best thing," Berry said.

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Southern Miss coach on season suspension: 'Some things are bigger than baseball' - Clarion Ledger

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March 19th, 2020 at 12:44 am

Posted in Life Coaching