April 26, 2007
By Douglas Kroll
Doug Kroll is an editor for CSTV.com, focusing on baseball.
Being a two-sport star in college is nothing new. The collegiate ranks have seen its fair share of guys who trade the pigskin for the cowhide each year.
Going back through time, the names stand out of guys that not only excelled as amateurs, but in the pros. There was Deion Sanders at Florida State who even added track to baseball and football. Sanders even played the first game of a doubleheader, ran a leg of a 4x100 relay, then returned to the diamond to play in the second game of the day.
Unlike some who have tried their hand in two sports,
While football and baseball are obviously in two different seasons, there are conflicts that arise each spring when the football team puts on the pads for spring practice during the month of April.
"It was real busy,"
The constant never-ending season can also take a toll on some. By the time football season is over in the winter, baseball practice is only a month away. And by the time baseball season is over in the spring, football practice is only a couple months away. Add in the overlap of fall practice for baseball and spring practice for football, it can take a serious toll on a player's body.
"My body hurts a little bit,"
His baseball coach, Dan Hartleb, doesn't have a problem with one of his best players missing out on some games. This season saw
"If you ask coach Zook, he'll tell you the ideal situation would be for Kyle to never miss football, and for me, it's for him to never miss baseball," Hartleb said. "He's a special athlete and we have to try and make things work for both clubs. We have to try and make both teams better while having Kyle excel in both sports."
Saturday's in the fall can also be tough for the coach, as he watches one of his most hardworking players get tackled on the field. But Hartleb says he doesn't worry about that.
"I'm a big time sports fan, both football and basketball," Hartleb said. "It's like anything else, Kyle can go out tonight and get hurt playing baseball, so am I out there having those thoughts? No. I'm out there cheering for him, hoping he has great success."
But both coaches haven't expressed any concern to
"They've been great with communication and all that stuff,"
The obvious question arises when one comes across a player like
It's an answer that will please either coach. Zook and Hartleb are very understanding of the player they share. After all, the goal is to help the school succeed, and it's something that each has to keep in mind.
"I've talked to coach Zook over the past two and a half years to make sure that we're doing what's best for both programs and to keep what's best for Kyle in mind," Hartleb said.
It's not as if Zook hasn't dealt with this kind of thing before. Going back to his days as head coach at
"I let coach Zook know I wanted to play baseball too,"