BREAKING: Coleman suspended two games by NCAA for ‘refusal to play’


Kyle Gorcey

RMU athletic director and softball head coach Dr. Craig Coleman is leaving RMU Athletics on Dec. 7th.

Robert Morris softball head coach Dr. Craig Coleman will serve a mandatory two-game suspension from the NCAA for refusing to finish the second game of a doubleheader against Youngstown State on April 15.

Trailing 16-3 after four innings, Coleman approached the home plate umpire and informed him that his team would not finish the game because pitcher Haileigh Stocks was fatigued.

Since he was in clear violation of Rules and 13.10, RMU is credited with a forfeit loss.

According to an incident report filed by the NCAA, refusal to play “is considered one of the most serious rule violations in that it seriously impacts the opposing team and its individual players, games management staffing, the umpires, fans and is financially damaging to the same.”

The report goes on to say, “For that reason, this violation carries the most serious of penalties, a forfeit and two-game suspension of the head coach to be served the next two regularly scheduled and played games.”

As a result, Coleman – who has been at the helm of the RMU softball program since 1991 – will serve his suspension during Saturday’s doubleheader against Northeast Conference foe Long Island Brooklyn.

The official NCAA Softball Scorers Manual states that a game is not considered official unless five full innings are completed. Thus, none of the statistics are considered valid and Youngstown State is simply credited with a 7-0 win.

That means because Coleman would not play one more inning in order to make the game official and then have the mercy rule take effect, Youngstown State infielder Miranda Castiglione’s two home runs are void and do not count toward her official stats.

Dee Abrahamson, the NCAA Softball Secretary Rules Editor, said that although Coleman had a depleted pitching staff, he was aware of the contest’s stipulations.

“… YSU’s administration would not allow the team to travel for just one game,” Abrahamson said via email. “By not competing in the fifth inning and making the game an eight-run rule regulation game, he made that travel for only one game, denied the YSU players their earned stats and denied YSU’s substitute players an opportunity to play.”

Coleman, who also serves as RMU’s Athletic Director, declined to comment on the forfeit.