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TCU’s Schlossnagle rips new NCAA rule: ‘It’s a dumb rule. It’s dumb. It’s horrible.’

TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle on Frogs’ 2019 season

TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle discusses the Frogs' 2019 season at their first practice.
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TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle discusses the Frogs' 2019 season at their first practice.

TCU coach Jim Schlossnagle isn’t a fan of a new pitching rule being implemented in college baseball this season.

Schlossnagle had a discussion with umpires during TCU’s home opener Wednesday against Abilene Christian, pointing out that a Wildcats pitcher wasn’t following a new rule that requires pitchers to have both feet touching the rubber when in the windup.

“Your stride foot has to be touching the rubber,” Schlossnagle explained after TCU’s 12-4 victory.

“They had pitchers whose stride foot was in front of the rubber. We had pitchers that used to do that and I made them change. I hate pointing those things out, but the rules are the rules. If our pitchers are going to have to abide by them, then everybody else’s are going to too.”

But Schlossnagle lamented the new rule and having to nitpick about it to umpires. He said the NCAA implemented it to differentiate pitchers from throwing out of the windup and the stretch. If nobody is on base, pitchers typically pitch from the windup.

If runners are on base, pitchers will throw from the stretch.

MLB does not have such a rule. Pitchers who pitch from the windup with their stride foot off the rubber include household names such as David Price and Jake Arrieta.

“It’s a dumb rule,” Schlossnagle said. “It’s dumb. It’s horrible. It would basically keep David Price and Jake Arrieta from pitching in college baseball today, which is dumb.

“But that’s what the rules are. I’ve made our pitchers change who used to throw like that, so it is what it is.

“It is silly, but I’ve made all of our pitchers change. It was uncomfortable for them for a while, so we’re going to hold everybody else accountable to that.”

NCAA baseball secretary and rules editor Randy Bruns clarified the rules, saying the windup position requires that the free foot (stride foot) “breaks the plane of the front edge of the rubber.”

“The free foot can be just touching the front edge of the rubber with the heel or could be off to the side of the rubber, but still breaking the plane of the front edge,” Bruns said in an email to the Star-Telegram. “In the set position, the free foot must be completely in front of the rubber. In college baseball, it was increasingly difficult to tell if the pitcher was in the windup or the set, causing confusion both for the batter and any base runners (especially with a runner on 3rd).”

TCU opens a three-game home series against Grand Canyon University on Friday. The Frogs are off to a 3-1 start this season.

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Drew Davison is the TCU and Big 12 sports writer for the Star-Telegram. He’s covered everything in DFW from Rangers to Cowboys to motor sports.

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