Major League Baseball is slated to begin its COVID-delayed regular season later this week, and a former Mountaineer was supposed to be on the mound as the opening day starter for Baltimore on Friday, July 24 in Boston.
However, John Means has developed a sore arm this week, which will keep him from pitching on opening day. Still, he’ll definitely be a major factor in the Orioles’ rotation this year.
A native of Gardner, Kansas, Means spent two seasons playing for WVU (2013-14) after transferring to West Virginia from Fort Scott (Kansas) Community College. Drafted by the Orioles in the 11th round in 2014, Means spent the next several years climbing through farm system.
After a short stint with Baltimore at the end of the 2018 season, Means earned a permanent spot with the Big League club in 2019. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound lefthander earned a job as a starter and thrived, posting a 12-11 record and a 3.81 ERA on a Baltimore team that otherwise struggled (54-108). He was named a member of the American League team in last summer’s the All-Star Game. Means was second in the A.L. Rookie of the Year balloting, in 2019.
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A controversial proposal by the federal government in regards to international students at U.S. colleges has been dropped.
A couple weeks ago Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced a rule that would have forced international students whose original college went to online-only classes to either leave the country or transfer to another school that was holding in-person classes.
With over one million international students attending colleges in America, that policy was met with immediate disdain from many, and a number of colleges quickly filed lawsuits.
The Trump administration has been pushing for all schools to return to in-person instruction, despite the pandemic scare, and this rule regarding international students was viewed as a way of advancing that agenda.
Because of the significant criticism, though, the federal government backed away from the proposal.
Such a rule potentially could have had a significant impact on West Virginia University as a whole and Mountaineer athletics as well.
While WVU president E. Gordon Gee has stated often this summer that he intends for the University to re-open its campus to in-person classes for the fall semester, which starts Aug. 19, the fact that Morgantown is currently seeing a significant spike in coronavirus cases makes it a possibility that Gee may have to reverse his plans and go back to exclusively online classes. WVU finished the spring semester with online-only instruction, as the campus, like many in the country, shut down in the face of COVID-19. All summer school classes at WVU this year have also been exclusively online.
International students are an important part of WVU’s enrollment and also Mountaineer sports rosters. The University reports 2,315 international students among its total enrollment of 28,406. Last year, West Virginia had 52 international student-athletes spread among 14 of its 17 varsity sports teams.
Now with this reversal, though, all international students, including those at WVU, can breathe a little easier and not fear what would happen if their colleges were forced to revert to online-only instruction.