According to two official Web sites, Akron will play its third-round match against Northwestern in Evanston, Ill., rather than Akron.
A source tells me that is premature.
My source tells me that the NCAA intended to move the game to Evanston if Akron officials concluded that Lee Jackson Field would not be playable. An Akron official, perhaps unaware of that, deemed the field to be unplayable prematurely. Apparently, that is cleared up, and Akron will have until Friday to work on the field. The weather is supposed to improve, so that seems likely.
NUSports.com, Northwestern's official site, says the teams will play at Northwestern at 1 p.m. Sunday (2 p.m. Eastern). The bracket on NCAASports.com similarly states that the higher-seeded team (Akron) will not maintain its home-pitch advantage.
What annoys me is that the NCAA would not be more open-minded. There are more than two options here (Evanston or Akron). One option is playing at St. Vincent/St. Mary's High School again. Another is going indoors to Cleveland State. A game in Chicago will be more profitable than at a high school or third-party university's complex, but isn't the NCAA's goal to achieve fairness and preserve amateurism, rather than to make a few more bucks?
The only way I could justify stripping a team of home-field advantage is to penalize them for some sort of infraction. However, there has been a historic level of snow this November. Keeping the field in tact must have been a daunting task.
On the other hand, the university does not have completely clean hands. Lee Jackson Field does not have the standard draining system that would prevent a lot of damage.
I will have more information as I hear it.
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