06/18/09 — OPINION - Drafted player not recognized by MOC

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OPINION - Drafted player not recognized by MOC

By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on June 18, 2009 1:55 PM

Long before B.J. Dail arrived in Mount Olive, his performance on the baseball field and his actions outside spoke for themselves.

After watching Dail help guide the Trojans to a second-place finish in Conference Carolinas and reportedly violate an unspecified team policy toward the end of the season, the college has made a statement of its own.

Dail was chosen in the 17th round of the Major League Baseball draft by the Chicago Cubs last week, but wasn't recognized by Mount Olive's athletics Website. Dail's teammate Rich Racobaldo was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals and received plenty of notoriety from the college.

Dail's name along with several other members of the 2009 squad have also been removed from the roster on the MOC baseball page.

A former University of North Carolina pitcher, Dail nearly saw his career come to an end on June 15, 2008. Dail sustained serious injuries after being pinned under the truck of teammate Ryan Woolley while the two played for the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod League.

Differing stories of what actually happened that night have surfaced in the past year. Woolley and Dail know what truly occurred, and Dail hasn't forgotten hospital stays to recover from a fractured skull and broken ankle.

Woolley registered twice the league limit on three breathalyzers that measure the alcohol in your system. He received a sentence that includes submitting to drug and alcohol screens, undergoing counseling and performing 100 hours of community service.

Woolley, who pitches at UAB, lost his license for 210 days and earned two months of probation for an additional charge of negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

Just months before the near-fatal accident, Dail was dismissed from UNC for violating an unspecified team rule. The Millbrook High graduate was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 32nd round in 2006, but chose to play for the Tar Heels.

Dail's rocky past was no secret when he arrived at MOC prior to the 2009 season. In his first appearance with the Trojans, the right-hander threw four-plus innings of two-hit, scoreless relief and logged four strikeouts.

In his final home start, Dail set a single-game school record for strikeouts (15) in a complete-game victory over Limestone (S.C.) College. Dail concluded the season 7-0 with a 2.97 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 632/3 innings on the mound.

Former Trojans pitching coach Aaron Akin recently described Dail as "the best pitcher I've ever coached."

Too bad future MOC baseball players won't read about Dail's accomplishments. However, they're sure to hear the rumors of his and other Trojans violating a team policy around the conclusion of the 2009 Conference Carolinas baseball tournament.

And they'll see that those players involved in the incident have been overlooked on the baseball webpage.

It's understandable to distance yourself as a program from athletes who get in trouble. It's something entirely different to completely ignore what that athlete did for your program.

MOC may never forgive Dail and his teammates for their actions off the field. But forgetting them is a mistake, too.