Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Jim Ruppert: UIS, city should team up for new ballpark

The following was written by Jim Ruppert, sports editor for The State Journal-Register. It was published in the May 21, 2013 edition.

"The University of Illinois at Springfield is looking for a new baseball coach. That makes three times in the four years UIS has had a baseball program that the Prairie Stars will start the season with a new head coach.

Time will come when the Prairie Stars will be competitive in the Great Lakes Valley Conference and on the NCAA Division II level. That day will come when there is coaching stability, and there won’t be coaching stability until a perfect fit is discovered. And that perfect won’t take place until there are some on-campus facilities that make UIS baseball more attractive for coaching candidates and players.

All that being said, it’s time for action. It’s time the university and the city formed an athletic partnership unlike one ever formed in the 40-plus years Sangamon State/UIS has been a part of the Springfield landscape.

I have personally talked to UIS athletic director Kim Pate, Springfield Mayor Mike Houston and Paul O’Shea, planning and design coordinator for the city of Springfield, about this project. The longer we wait, the less of a chance we have of ever having it work."

Read the full article online