With the exception of football, and this has been discusssed at length for reasons, virtually all other sports, both men's and women's have done exceptionally well.
Baseball has not. Can anyone offer any explanation? We are never compettitive in the ACC and I see this year we have lost to the likes of Canisius, Cambell and Appalachian State.
A number of reasons. To a certain extent, failure begets failure. Duke isn't very good, which leads to tiny crowds, which don't impress recruits, which leads to teams that aren't very good.
Duke lost its best slugger-first baseman Chris Marconcini-to an ACL before the season started and the run production fell precipitously. Friday starter Marcus Stroman is one of the best pitchers in the country but Duke is having trouble leveraging that into wins. He allowed one combined earned run-plus two unearned runs--in his last two starts, against Clemson and Maryland. Stroman got no-decisions as Duke lost both games in extra innings.
And Stroman is a junior. He'll be drafted in the first round and will be gone.
There are a number of fundamental problems. The first is Coombs. Duke has spent money on the playing field but the infrastructure is still woefully substandard. Seating, restrooms, concessions, the absence of a press box, weight rooms, training facilities, even the coaches' offices. Duke conducts media interviews on the field because there's no other place.
It's not attractive to fans, it's not attractive to recruits. Playing in the Bulls park is a temporary solution. Duke has great on-campus facilities for sports like soccer, lacrosse and tennis. They need the same for baseball. I've suggested in the past that a small, tactical nuke would be a good start.
College baseball allows 11.7 scholarships. You obviously have more than 11.7 players per team. Most scholarships are fractional. That means a player might have to pay half. Half at Duke is a different story than half at a school like State or Carolina if you're paying in-state tuition. So, the talent pool available to Duke tends to be kids from families with financial resources.
Still, private schools like Stanford, Miami, Vanderbilt and Rice have found success on the diamond. Rice used jucos to get back in the game and Duke will not take that route. So, that hurts.
Duke coach Sean McNally is a Duke grad and he was an Academic All-American. He loves Duke, he understands the academics, he understands the culture. He pushes Duke's academics early and often and that's what got Stroman, who is an elite talent. But he needs more support and that starts with a significant infrastructure upgrade. IMO.
Let me add that McNally pushes player development on the recruiting trail. Guys like Alex Hassan, Nate Freiman and Jake Lemmerman are doing well in the minors and moving up the chain. Stroman could be in the majors by the end of next season. He's that good. So, when and if a bunch of his players start making the majors, it should help McNally's recruiting efforts.
Last edited by jimsumner; 04-16-2012 at 11:32 AM.
A question about financial aid when fractional athletic scholarships also have been awarded - Say xyz recruit is from a family of moderate means and would qualify for financial aid at Duke - is a financial aid package worked up first, scholarships, grants, loans, and then a fractional scholarship added to the equation? May the fractional scholarship eliminate the loan portion and or otherwise provide financial aid in excess of the total need based awarded amount? Or, must the athletic scholarship money reduce the financial aid package which otherwise would have been awarded?
In other words, say xyz prospect qualifies for 20k in grants and 5 k in loans. The coach has a fractional scholarship worth 20k. Can that be added to the 25k so that with financial aid from the University the prospect has a total aid package of 45k? If so, that may be partly why Vandy and Rice have been doing well attracting talent.
Where does the Baseball team lift now? Do they use Murray, general student weight facilities, or do we have them in the basement of the Aquatics building like where we had the Basketball team in the late 70s
The name "Alleva" also has something to do with our lack of baseball success. Recall the Hiller situation that Alleva pushed through. Sometimes it takes the AD to actively push for better facilities - maybe our current one is doing that.