The cry went up first from the baseball diamond. Amidst the constant report of ball on bat, a voice could be heard, pleading: “Please stop!”
“I thought it was just my first baseman fooling around,” one pitcher said. “He’s always trying to throw me off my game during practice. But he got sick and missed a couple practices, and I kept hearing that voice.”
When the strange phenomenon was finally brought to the attention of head coach Joe Myers, he interrogated every member of the team individually in one-on-one meetings, trying to discern if any one of them was responsible for the prank.
“Not one of them would crack,” Myers said in an interview. “I threatened them with actual conditioning exercises, but they all swore they had no idea where it was coming from. And the funny thing is, I think they were telling the truth.”
Not long afterwards, reports began circulating that a similar voice was being heard just across the road at the softball field. Coach Beth Krysiak declined to comment, but could not stop her players from spreading the rumor of the haunting voice.
After weeks of speculation, Athletics Director Dick Strockbine finally came forward with an official statement: All NCAA sports at the University of Dallas are suspended due to a recent discovery that the ball has feelings, and it is tired of being hit.
“We’ve been investigating this for some time,” Strockbine admitted after the announcement. “But when the ball actually began voicing its discontent, we felt we had to take action.”
Reactions to the decision have been mixed.
“I don’t know why we have to be suspended,” one men’s lacrosse player said. “I guess maybe I heard something, but it’s probably not as big of a deal for lacrosse balls because we catch them in little nets instead of kicking them or whacking them with sticks.”
“I haven’t heard anything,” one exhausted member of the women’s soccer team said. “Coach Pane hasn’t even let us touch a ball since spring season started. I’m just glad we don’t have to run anymore Man U’s.”
Meanwhile, membership in the University’s swim club, which remains safely outside of NCAA jurisdiction, has skyrocketed.
“I’ve got to stay fit somehow,” one athlete was heard to say, “And they can’t tell me that the pool hates being swam in!”
Many other players expressed a hope that perhaps the track and field team could provide a means of continuing in sports, should the ban on hurting the balls persist. However, even traditionally ball-free sports have been suspended.
“All our meets are postponed indefinitely,” one disgruntled runner said. “They want to make sure the ground doesn’t have feelings too.”
Disclaimer: This is the April Fools’ edition of the paper. All stories are fictitious in nature.