MURRAY— The Ohio Valley Conference wrapped up their spring meetings and passed several motions last Friday, with the most notable being a requirement for Saturday games to start before 4 p.m. if the visiting team has a long trip home.
The release from the OVC specifically reads as, “In order to be mindful of student-athlete time demands, the OVC Council of Directors of Athletics approved a motion from the men’s basketball coaches to require Saturday basketball games to begin prior to 4 p.m. local time if the visiting team must travel more than three and a half hours back to campus afterwards.”
This will change some game times for Murray State this year with teams like Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Eastern Illinois, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and others.
What this means for Racer fans is a later dinner time on Saturday’s and for the media it means easier to achieve deadlines. Overall, the majority of the initial reactions on Twitter following the announcement of the change were positive.
“I’ll take a 4 p.m. game over a 7 p.m. game every Saturday,” voice of the Racers Neal Bradley tweeted. “If it drastically impacts our Saturday attendance team, we don’t have the program I believe we have.”
The OVC also conducted a “comprehensive review and assessment of all OVC officiating programs” during the 2018-19 season and “After approving officiating fee increases for several sports in March, the OVC Council of Directors of Athletics capped off the review by approving fee increases for officials in the sports of football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball,” per the release.
There was also a change listed on the release about replay.
“The previous OVC policy on limiting in-venue replays to one per play was adjusted to allow replays to be shown multiple times using the same camera angles that OVC officials have access to during a contest.”
Another item on the agenda was a potential extension for current OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche’s contract and it was approved. DeBauche is now on a “five-year rolling contract that runs from the 2024-25 academic year.” She is the seventh full-time OVC Commissioner after starting the job in July of 2009.
Baseball received a policy change as well in regards to baseball bat barrels. Starting in 2020, a home site administrator will test bats prior to every conference series to ensure “legal equipment (as defined by NCAA Baseball Rules) is used in competition.”
One of the last motions of note to be covered was a motion to “use funds to provide a professional development opportunity for women’s basketball coaches and marketing staffs to help grow the sport.”