San Diego State coach argues schedule decision
SAN DIEGO -- San Diego State baseball coach Tony Gwynn was suspended Thursday for one game after publicly criticizing the way the Mountain West Conference rescheduled a snowed out series at Air Force in March.
Gwynn, regarded as one of the most easygoing players during his career with the Padres, will serve the suspension when the Aztecs host UNLV on Friday night.
In suspending Gwynn, the conference said it considered the fact Gwynn had been privately warned earlier in the season regarding public criticism of umpires.
"I was trying to stand up for my team in what was an unusual situation. In the process I became too exuberant and expressed myself in an improper manner. I'm ready to accept my punishment and move on," Gwynn said in a statement released by the school.
After a three-game series at the Colorado academy on March 24-26 was postponed by snow, the two teams were scheduled to play three straight doubleheaders at San Diego last weekend. Air Force asked the league to waive its makeup policy, and the MWC Joint Council agreed to reduce the series to four games.
The decision angered Gwynn, who told the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was "an absolute joke."
"You want to know why this conference gets no respect in baseball? It's because of stuff like this," Gwynn told the newspaper. "It's hard to get credibility when they do stuff like this. We've got people around the country laughing at what's going on in the Mountain West Conference."
San Diego State appealed, and the league then overturned the waiver and directed that all six games be played. Air Force ultimately forfeited two games, saying it didn't have enough pitching.
"Public remarks of this nature, which criticized the institutions, administrators and governance structure of the Mountain West Conference, as well as disparaging MWC baseball, are not acceptable," Commissioner Craig Thompson said. "There are established internal channels for communication of concerns and expression of positions. We expect those guidelines to be followed."
Gwynn is in his third season as coach at his alma mater. The Aztecs are 17-25 overall and 11-7 in the conference.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press