CLEMSON -- In one of the most bizarre scenarios in sports, Connecticut outfielder George Springer and UConn ace Matt Barnes were drafted in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft on Monday during their elimination victory against Clemson.
Springer was selected 11th overall by Houston and was informed of his selection by family members as he came off the field following the fourth inning. Springer later left the game due to an apparent leg injury. Barnes' name was called two innings later, selected 19th overall by Boston.
One could understand how the arrangement could serve as a distraction and it was one reason Coastal Carolina's Gary Gilmore wants draft reform. Imagine a college football player being drafted in the middle of his bowl game?
Clemson's Kyle Parker dealt with the same issue last season in the Auburn Regional, when the former Clemson star was drafted during an NCAA game. Parker homered in his first at bat but was a non-factor for much of the rest of the postseason.
In the 1996 College World Series, Clemson dealt with the distraction on an even greater stage and scale as former star pitchers Kris Benson and Billy Koch were drafted first and fourth overall, respectively.
Clemson did not have any players selected Monday but ACC player of the year Brad Miller, a junior, is expected to be drafted early today when the draft resumes.
Fellow Clemson underclassmen Will Lamb and Kevin Brady are also draft eligible and are threats to leave early. Clemson seniors John Hinson and Jeff Schaus are also expected to be drafted.
Clemson signee Daniel Norris was expected to be drafted in the first round.
On the road again
The last time Connecticut coach Jim Penders was on the road for a NCAA regional was as a player at Connecticut, when he faced former Georgia Tech stars Jason Varitek and Nomar Garciaparra in Atlanta in the 1994 NCAA tournament.