How Butler athletic teams travel, challenges they face | The Butler Collegian

Tremendous job by Butler Collegian staff reporters, detailing what it takes to move college athletic teams around the country. A battle we continually face is how to efficiently and most effectively get all of the athletic teams in a university from one place to another while minimizing the associated costs and impact to the student athletes.  This article does a great job of detailing how Butler Athletics deals with some of those concerns.

JAROD LIPSON | STAFF REPORTER | jlipson@butler.edu

ASHLEY FULBRIGHT | STAFF REPORTER | afulbrig@butler.edu

Between finding transportation for 70-plus football players and flights forced to make emergency landings, there is a lot that goes into coordinating and scheduling games for Butler athletic teams. However, it isn’t uncommon for travel plans to get sidetracked.

Flights get rescheduled, classes are missed, and sometimes, teams even leave in the middle of a game to catch their flight.

Primed to defeat No. 6 Texas A&M Aggies, the Butler softball team was dominant during the Texas A&M Invitational earlier in February. With a nine-run lead in the first inning, Butler had a good chance at victory. The Bulldogs, however, were unable to secure a win over their top-10 nationally ranked opponent.

Butler didn’t collapse on the field, but instead were rushed off in the bottom of the third inning.

With a flight to catch, the Bulldogs had no choice but to leave their 9-6 lead behind, calling the game a no-decision. Stats from the game would be erased, and to the casual observer, the game seemingly would have never happened.

“They try to make the flights as late as possible in case stuff like that happens but not always can it be like that,” senior infielder Alyssa Lach said. “So, you kind of just have to see that we’re an outdoor sport and we’re used to it.”

While ineffective in this case, precautions among Butler’s sports teams are generally taken to avoid travel issues.

Five years ago, Butler’s longest commute as a member of the Midwest-based Horizon League was almost 400 miles north to Green Bay. Now as part of the Big East conference, coaches accommodate for trips to schools like Seton Hall and Providence, both of which are located on the East coast.

“The difference now is TV dictates so much of our games and our timing,” Brandon Crone, coordinator of men’s basketball operations, said. “We don’t know ahead of time when we’re playing until basically the season hits.”

Crone is in charge of scheduling for the team and coordinated the time change with everyone involved. This included head coach LaVall Jordan, two associate athletic directors, the bus and charter companies, and the hotel.

“We pulled the trigger and got it done,” Crone said. “Told the people to start packing.”

Oddities aside, teams at Butler have the same goals in mind when traveling: making sure there’s enough time for the game and how much class athletes are missing.

“The number one factor is how to miss the least amount of class,” Crone said. “A lot of times we try to get where you’re practicing on campus, so you’re not having to fly to a place earlier.”

Read the entire article at TheButlerCollegian.com.

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