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CBB Column: Nicholls State Forfeits a Game?

I ran across a random story yesterday about the Nicholls State and Mississippi State game that was set to take place on Sunday between the two schools. The game was never played due to the wintry weather which blanketed the southern part of the country. The Nicholls State Media Relations department wrote up a recap about the game where they called it a cancellation which is normal in this situation. (Click here for press release.) The important part of the release is below.

Field and weather conditions caused coaches and officials to make the decision to cancel the final game of the three-game series.

The Mississippi State Media Relations department on the other hand calls the game a forfeit in favor of the Bulldogs thus giving the Bulldogs another victory. (Click here for press release.) The quote from the release is below.

Mississippi State’s series finale with Nicholls University, scheduled for Sunday afternoon at Dudy Noble Field/Polk-DeMent Stadium, has been forfeited by the Colonels.

It looks like we have a little controvesy here between the two schools. I had the chance to speak with Nicholls State head coach Chip Durham who said the following about the situation:

We met at 11am, the same time their team was supposed to take the tarp off. There was still snow on areas in the outfield on top of the 5 inches of rain that we got Fri., which made it very saturated. They couldn’t take the tarp off at that time because of the ice and snow still on the tarp. The umpires that we had on Sat.’s doubleheader were from Birmingham and would not come because of iced bridges, so John was going to have to get some local umpires. I was not going to risk injuries for our team with conference starting next weekend just because

John wanted to play. If they played an intrasquad game, that’s great for them. I hope they got better doing it and nobody got hurt, but they weren’t going to do it at the expense of risking injuries to our team.

We did not forfeit, I canceled the game because their field was not in safe playing conditions due to recent bad weather.

Mississippi State’s Media Relations Assistant Joe Dier stated that MSU is appealing to the NCAA for a final decision on a forfeit win.

What do you think should happen in this situation between these two schools? Do you think Mississippi State should get the forfeit win or should the game just be a regular cancellation?

UPDATE (3:15 p.m. ET): The game has been ruled a cancellation.

  • I believe this game should be considered a cancellation.

  • bignick33

    What’s Miss State’s logic behind claim that it should be a forfeit? Are they saying that Nicholls State failed to provide umpires?

  • I think it’s officially up to the home team on if the game is played. If the visiting Nicholls team decides it doesn’t want to play, it forfeits. That’s my understanding of the rules. Even if that’s not correct, it would be the umpires to call it, right?

  • bedgood

    I was at the games on Saturday, and there is much more to this game than snow on the infield. Officially Nichols State got to the stadium at 11:00 am and the tarp was still on the filed, and State left it on because ice was still solid. The refs were stationed out of Birmingham and could not get to the stadium as early as they were scheduled due to ice on bridges. Well Nicholls State decided to leave town at 11 am, 2 and half hours before game time. The rules state that a official has to deem the playing surface unplayable, which in the absence of an umpiring crew, falls on the Mississippi State grounds crew head, whatever his title is. He deemed it playable, which I have been to many baseball games at State, and with the underground pumps at the stadium, it probably was playable, I believe a degreed/certified landscape head over a baseball coach any day. But the Nicholls coach is saying that they didn’t want to risk injury. BS. I have seen their stadium also, I know high school fields better than that.

    But to the real reason, in Saturdays first game, the Nicholls skipper came out of the dugout between innings and got in the face of State’s first base coach, saying that he was heckling the Nicholl’s batters as they were in the box. Well that went on for a while and it almost got ugly. The look in the other State baseball coach’s, minus Cohen, could have killed. They were not happy. Nicholl’s was on the road at a SEC program where the fans heckle, how could he tell who was heckling?? Has Nicholl’s ever played at LSU? Nicholl’s is a bunch of cry babies. They wanted to leave town. The coaches took photos of the field and forwarded it to the NCAA and somebody else deemed it unplayable based on photos.

  • Adam Foster

    What’s the NCAA rule for this kind of situation?

  • The NCAA ruled on this and called it a cancellation after looking over the situation.

    Clarion-Ledger writer Kyle Veazey has been following this story in depth and you can check out his thoughts about this situation at the link below.

  • clifford

    I think a quick phone call to the head of Sunday’s officiating crew would clear up that “misunderstanding” in a heartbeat. Since when can you walk off the field and decide not to play a game? This is a major college sport, not kickball. Somebody is lying, and I’m willing to bet it’s not an SEC athletic director. He would not put his cajones on the line unless he knew for sure he was correct.

    Bedgood is correct, though, Brian. There’s some backstory to this. Apparently Nicholls State’s masonic temple league doesn’t have things called “fans”. And if they do, apparently theirs just sit on their hands and read the paper. Bulldog fans talk. A lot. And most of it isn’t nice. Boo freaking hoo. Coach Durham ran out of adult diapers and got his last one mighty twisted during one inning…awwwww. Why in hades did you schedule an SEC school if you can’t take some friendly diatribes during the game? Cry me a river folks.

    If I were a Nicholls State player or fan, I’d be embarrassed. Walking off the field, taking your ball, and going home…what a way to represent your school.

  • annsba1

    I am a Nicholls State fan and I’m not embarrassed by any of this. The NCAA ruled it a cancelled game. But if it makes you feel better, go on and beat this to death.

  • reallybz2003

    I am a Nicholls fan too. It seems the ruling supports the Nicholls coaching viewpoint also. So Cliff, Nicholls fans say, “suck it!”

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