Hunter: NCAA rule changes needed

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June has arrived and in the sports world it means the postseason has started on the diamond in the NCAA. I spent last weekend watching the NCAA Division I baseball and softball tournaments even though my favorite schools were already done for the season.

Like always, both NCAA tournaments touched on every emotion as 128 teams in each diamond sport fought for a chance to win the national championship. The action has been awesome from start to finish including upsets and dominate performances from the favorites.

At the same time, a local team, Vanderbilt baseball had to deal with the worst tragedy imaginable with the sudden death of a teammate in a boating accident the day before the Nashville Regional began on June 3. Of course, the Commodores came into the NCAA tournament as one of the favorites coming out of one of the toughest conferences in the nation, the SEC.

In 2014, VU won the national championship, and last year it fell in the best-of-three title series to Virginia during the College World Series. However, this year, they did not make it out of their host regional in the opening round.

Hopefully, we will be respectful and understanding considering what they had to deal with before the start of the 2016 event. Some things are more important than wins and losses and VU will bounce back in 2017 and be in the running for another national title.

Even though, I have enjoyed the action from both tournaments, but these games are way too long. The postseason would ever be better if the NCAA makes a couple of small changes to shorten the length of them.

Some of the baseball games have been lopsided, but it would still go the full nine innings. There needs to be a 10-run rule after seven innings, especially with the tight schedule of trying to play several games in one day at the same location.

Most of the regionals were played in the southeast last week, and a rainy weather system covered the area, which made the schedule ever worse. Another reason there needs to be a mercy rule after a certain inning.

As for the Women's College World Series, the games have been well played but they also take too long for a different reason. Baseball has the same problem andI hope I do not sound sexist.

They need to limit the amount of trips to the mound especially during a close game. Like in college basketball, it takes way too much time to play the final part of it. I understand what is at stake but it takes forever to finish some games.

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David Hunter column
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