MANHATTAN, KS. (KSNT)- K-State head baseball coach Pete Hughes spoke bluntly in a statement released on Tuesday, after his team did not receive an NCAA tournament regional bid.
“The Division I baseball committee and the system failed K-State, our program and our seniors,” Hughes said in a statement on social media from K-State baseball.
He believes the Wildcats should’ve received an at-large bid.
“It was obvious that the committee over-emphasized RPI- a flawed metric,” Hughes said. “The regional disparities of the RPI are glaring and still were used as a tool to form, shape and make decisions.”
RPI, or rating percentage index, is a tool used by the committee to gauge the quality of a team’s wins and losses. K-State’s RPI rank was 55.
Hughes says this rating should’ve been thrown out the window when comparing the ‘Cats to other teams they met on the diamond.
“The most important criteria, that has ‘zero’ grey area is head-to-head competition,” Hughes said. “It’s definitive- someone wins and someone loses.”
Hughes is unhappy that Kansas State was not included despite beating Texas Tech and Oklahoma in series, both of which were selected to play in the tournament. The Wildcats even swept OU in three games. K-State had a better conference record than both the Red Raiders and the Sooners.
The Wildcats were listed on the selection show among the ‘First Four Out’ just narrowly missing a regional bid, which would’ve been K-State’s first since 2013.
“We were left out in place of two teams that we finished ahead of in overall conference play and also two teams that we beat head-to-head,” Hughes said. “Why play the games if the records are not valued?”
He continued to express his frustration in the statement.
“When did we stop rewarding winning?” Hughes asked. “It’s inexplicable and disappointing. Our players and community deserved better.”
K-State’s Athletic Director weighed in.
“Couldn’t agree more,” K-State AD Gene Taylor said on Twitter. “A selection system that needs to be changed so the main decision point is not just RPI. [K-State baseball] deserved to be in…”
Many current and past K-State baseball players expressed their frustration on social media yesterday. Read what they had to say here.