Kentucky baseball
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Kentucky Baseball Forcing Visiting Teams to Stay in Dorms is an NCAA Tournament Travesty

As the Kentucky Wildcats prepare to host the Lexington Regional of the NCAA Baseball Tournament, players and coaches of visiting schools will be forced to stay in University of Kentucky dorm rooms as all hotels in the surrounding area are booked.

By the "surrounding area," we should be clearer. There are no hotels within an hour of Lexington, where the University of Kentucky is located, per Ben Upton of 11Point7, a college baseball podcast. Part of the reason? The Railbird Music Festival, headlined by Zach Bryan, is taking place on the same weekend.

By forcing NCAA athletes to stay in dorms, and making the schools pay to do so, the NCAA is dropping the ball.

As mentioned, players and coaches will stay in the dorm rooms, but parents and fans will need to travel about an hour to attend the games. The three other teams besides Kentucky in that regional are Ball State, Indiana and West Virginia.

Upton's tweet featured an "On-Campus Housing Guide," detailing room types and cost, linens, common areas, housekeeping, team meals and security. The residential suites are $92.50 per night. These are two adjoining rooms that share a bathroom. And, oh yeah, it's $1.50 to wash and $1.50 to dry a load of laundry!

Granted, who knows how much of an upgrade this is compared to a standard hotel room, as Stephen Schoch points out, but the shared bathroom is a big deal.

This saga has spurred on some fantastic memes, including those featuring Pawn Stars, a show that, over the years, has become a gold mine for "best I can do" related content.

For those unsure of where to stay this weekend, Aria Gerson, a Vanderbilt beat writer for the Tennessean, offers some tips, including Elizabethtown and Bardstown.

In addition to this tournament and the music festival, even more events are happening, as Aaron Gershon of TheCatsPause247 mentions.

So, while it may not be a hotel room, at least visiting coaches and players will have their rooms cleaned daily, hotel-like linens, and meals provided to coaches and players throughout this endeavor. But how did this all happen?

How the NCAA, Kentucky Dropped the Ball in Lexington

Kentucky infielder Jake Plastiak (26) in a game between the TCU Horned Frogs and the Kentucky Wildcats on March 05, 2022, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, KY. (Photo by Jeff Moreland/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kentucky was chosen to host a regional because it's one of the best teams in the country, undoubtedly. The Wildcats, 36-18, owned the second-best RPI in all of college baseball thanks to a difficult schedule.

But given the fact that the school can't properly accommodate teams when hosting a regional, maybe the NCAA shouldn't have awarded them it.

The NCAA awards regionals based on merit, but considering how much money can be made at each site absolutely comes into play, according to NBC Sports.

That would explain why the SEC contains a record eight of the regional hosts — Alabama (40-19), Arkansas (41-16), Auburn (34-21-1), Florida (44-14), Kentucky (36-18), LSU (43-15), South Carolina (39-19) and Vanderbilt (41-18) — which is half of the 16 sites. SEC schools are generally well-equipped for this sort of thing.

Clearly, though, Lexington did not make sense as a regional host regardless of the program's performance this season. Some think this regional could've been awarded to a school like Campbell, who went 44-13 and ranks 14th in RPI. However, Campbell's stadium can only seat less than 1,500 people. Kentucky's $49 million stadium can hold more than 7,000 people for NCAA Tournament games. That's on par with many other host stadiums.

And considering the team is already tweeting that tickets are selling fast, it seems Kentucky is a better choice to make more money. So the only real losers in this situation? The players, coaches and staff members for Ball State, Indiana and West Virginia, who will be crammed into dorm rooms after embarking on the journey to Lexington.

The Regional beings Friday, June 2 at noon ET. Kentucky will take on Ball State before Indiana and West Virginia have the nightcap at 7 p.m. ET.

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