The final NAIA Coaches’ Poll of the season, scheduled to be released today, has been postponed until tomorrow (May 12) because of the Bellevue situation. The poll will be published in this space when it is released.
What is the “Bellevue situation”? The NAIA has ruled that Bellevue has forfeited all but two games of of their entire season, including all of their Midlands Collegiate Athletics Conference games. This action was taken because of Bellevue’s use of an ineligible player, Jon Reed.
Reed was a transfer from Sam Houston State. The problem is, Bellevue was required to get a release from Sam Houston State for the transfer, and did not do so.
Reed was leading the Bruins in hitting with a .492 average. He also hit nine home runs.
Bellevue is appealing the NAIA’s decision. The Bruins were ranked #6 in last week’s poll. Since Bellevue would be one of the top seeds in next week’s National Championship Opening Round, the final poll was delayed so that the appeal could be considered.
Here’s a good story by Marjie Ducey in the Omaha World-Herald about the forfeiture: Baseball: Bellevue plans to appeal forfeit of season.
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Qualifiers the the National Championship Opening Round
The following teams have qualified, so far, for the NAIA National Championship Opening Round, which starts May 18 in nine locations:
Malone (American Mideast Conference)
McKendree (American Midwest Conference)
Tennessee Wesleyan (Appalachian Athletic Conference)
Saint Francis (Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference)
Mount Marty (Great Plains Athletic Conference)
Northwestern (Great Plains Athletic Conference)
Cal Baptist (Golden State Athletic Conference)
LSU-Shreveport (Gulf Coast Athletic Conference)
William Jewell (Heart of America Athletic Conference)
Avila (Heart of America Athletic Conference)
Houston-Victoria (Association of Independent Institutions)
Kansas Wesleyan (Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference)
Rio Grande (MidSouth Conference)
Iowa Wesleyan (Midwest Collegiate Conference)
Texas Wesleyan (Red River Athletic Conference)
Texas-Brownsville (Red River Athletic Conference)
Lubbock Christian (Sooner Athletic Conference)
Lee (Southern States Athletic Conference)
Brewton Parker (Southern States Athletic Conference)
Embry Riddle (Sun Conference)
British Columbia (NAIA West)
Ohio Dominican (Sunrise Conference-Association of Independent Institutions)
Ohio Dominican qualified by winning a best-of-three series against Fisher. In the second game of the series, Nick Venditti of Ohio Dominican pitched a perfect game. Story: Perfect Game Lifts Panthers to National Championship Opening Round Tournament