Koerner Remains Upbeat Despite Baseball Being Dropped In 2022 For North Carolina Central

On February 11, 2021, North Carolina Central University announced that they will no longer sponsor baseball.This announcement becomes yet another blow to the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, who will have three additional teams, that play baseball, migrating to other conferences for 2022. Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M will be taking their talents to the Southwestern Athletic Conference and North Carolina A&T State will be moving to the Big South Conference. Howard, Morgan State, and South Carolina State do not sponsor baseball. 

For North Carolina Central, Koerner says his team and his coaching staff are focused on competing hard this season, for personal pride, and hopefully, a championship in their final season of baseball. The players and staff have started their last season of baseball as Eagles with a 3-0 sweep of Army this past weekend. 

Related Article:  https://blackcollegenines.com/north-carolina-central-wins-two-and-looks-to-sweep-army-on-sunday/

During the Black College Sports Network/Black College Nines HBCU Baseball Round-Up, Koerner says “We are going to see it through…our guys are have handled this well. Players are extremely focused and motivated.” He went on to say that you can blame the pandemic and the economics of the pandemic. He says most universities are struggling through the pandemic, and unfortunately the baseball program was a casualty of it.

When asked how he will motivate his players this year, Koerner says it comes down to pride and character. Just because the program will not be around next year, it does not negate the work that the players have already done. The players owe it to themselves to compete because of the hard work that they have put in to prepare for this season. They owe it to their family and the players who came before them to represent the efforts that everyone has put into this program.

Koerner was asked what he expects this off-season to look like, he says he will focus his effort to help his current roster find new places to play. He says that he will have to see how the season plays out for himself and his staff, but he remains focused on taking care of the current student-athletes. He says he hopes Major League Baseball or some other organization steps up and helps out this program.

(See Full Interview Below)

What seems to be forgotten is that the student-athletes who play baseball have gone through a 12-month period from hell. In March of 2020, their season was cut short due to COVID-19. Less than one year later, most of those same players find out that their beloved university is cutting their baseball program, the sport that they love. Don’t forget the incoming freshmen of this year, who are now expected to go play elsewhere. With their season just now coming back after a long offseason that not only cost Eagle fans the 2020 season, but it also at times put into doubt if there was going to be a 2021 season. Could this be a rallying cry for coach Koerner and his players?

Michael Coker, of Black College Nines, pointed out that, “each game the Eagles play in, they very well will have a chip on their shoulders, with everything to gain and nothing to lose.” Since the announcement, the team’s attitude is “we have unfinished business.” 

Perhaps, this season could be marked as the best team in the history of the MEAC baseball program that may never play a season again. As of February 22nd, the Eagles are the highest rated HBCU at www.masseyratings.com, with a ranking of 159. The next highest rated HBCU’s are North Carolina A&T State at 201 and Southern at 216.

Our hearts at the Black College Sports Network and Black College Nines go out to Koerner. Since taking over the helm at NCCU, he has worked hard to build the program and has gained respect among the collegiate coaching ranks.

Courtesy of A.D. Drew, The Black College Sports Network, and major contribution from Michael Coker, Black College Nines.

About The BCSN | The Black College Sports Network is the first online media outlet dedicated to LIVE coverage & broadcasting of HBCU sporting events on a weekly basis. The BCSN is the flagship product of the JERICHO Broadcast Networks (JBN).

About Black College Nines | Black College Nines is an online media outlet dedicated the preservation of Historically Black College and University Baseball.

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