The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 10, 2013

Players want an Olympic choice

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

When it was an Olympic sport, USA Softball was a year-round program with a year-round training budget, stipends for players that allowed them to stay in training and significantly greater corporate sponsorship.

Now it’s a summer program.

“We’ve done a great job with what we’ve had to work with,” Eriksen said. “And college players are going to be exposed to greater competition earlier. But it doesn’t lend itself toward training.”

The truth is, were it an Olympic sport, the national team might not have as strong an Oklahoma presence and certainly wouldn’t have near the collegiate presence.

Before, the college players were filling USA Softball’s developmental rosters. Now they’re the national team.

It’s hard to imagine a slugger like OU’s Lauren Chamberlain having to wait her turn to do anything, but that might have been her destiny had her game remained a part of the Games.

It’s an interesting deal.

If the vote goes the way of the diamond sports, they would return to the 2020 Olympics, when most players on the current national team roster would be in their late 20s.

The team that opens play at the World Cup of Softball VIII Thursday night at Hall of Fame Stadium might look a whole lot like the 2020 Olympic team. You know, if there is a 2020 Olympic team and the players choose to stick with the game.

Aimee Creger, the best pitcher ever to come out of Tulsa, who’s bound to see more time in the circle this summer since Keilani Ricketts left the team in a lurch with her sudden departure, doesn’t know what she would do if softball was picked back up as an Olympic sport.

“It’s a hard decision,” she said. “We’ve all talked about it … It’s a tough decision.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • Big 12 Media Days Football Most Big 12 squads won’t shy from tough non-conference

    DALLAS — Never have the words “Final Four” been used so often at a football media gathering. Monday at Big 12 Football Media Days, the College Football Playoff was the hot topic. On Dec. 7, the 12-member panel will announce the best four ...

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commish forecasts end of college sports as we know them

    You really have to read everything Bob Bowlsby said Monday, because kicking off Big 12 Football Media Days, all the conference commissioner did was not only predict the end of college sports as we know them, but explain with fairly ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Tour leader Nibali says he’s ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

    CARCASSONNE, France — Barring a disaster for him on French roads from now until Sunday, the man who looks set to win the Tour de France says he understands that cycling is still paying for its longtime doping plague....

    July 22, 2014

  • McIlroy will emerge even stronger than ever

    HOYLAKE, England — The celebration began long before Rory McIlroy had a chance to drink out of the claret jug....

    July 22, 2014

  • Petrino ushers Louisville into ACC

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Bobby Petrino turned Louisville into a top-10 team nearly a decade ago. Now, more than two years after a scandal derailed his career, Petrino is back with the Cardinals as they enter the Atlantic Coast Conference....

    July 22, 2014

  • Bowlsby:Changes come with a price

    DALLAS — Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spoke in a reserved tone Monday. But what he said to begin the Big 12 Football Media Days news conference painted a bleak future for college athletics....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart still riding high

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tony Stewart heads into the busiest week of his year riding high from a win in his return to sprint car racing. Stewart raced in a sprint car last weekend for the first time since he broke his leg in an extracurricular ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Witness: Sterling must sell to pay debts

    LOS ANGELES — The chief financial officer of Donald Sterling’s properties said Monday that the billionaire may be forced to sell a large portion of his real estate empire to cover $500 million in loans if he persists in refusing to sell ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Mikolas pitches Rangers past sloppy Yankees

    NEW YORK — Miles Mikolas earned his first win as a starter, pitching into the eighth inning Monday night and leading the Texas Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the sloppy New York Yankees. Trailing by a run with none on and two outs in the ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Angels with latest big move before deadline

    Oakland general manager Billy Beane acted boldly, trading top prospect Addison Russell in a deal that brought starters Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to the Athletics....

    July 22, 2014

Facebook