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NC State’s game against Vanderbilt declared a no-contest; Wolfpack’s season over

An incredible year ends in the worst possible way.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-NC State v Vanderbilt Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Overnight—literally in the dead-ass middle of the night—the NCAA ruled that Saturday’s game between NC State and Vanderbilt is a no-contest because of COVID-19 protocols, and that’s how NC State’s season comes to an end.

Nothing quite sums up the NCAA’s pathetic existence quite like dropping this at 2 a.m. and then moving forward like nothing happened. No one from the NCAA will have to offer an explanation or answer any questions that might clarify exactly what happened, and as usual the organization gets to shirk anything amounting to accountability.

The fact that four vaccinated players tested positive leads to some questions about the veracity of the tests themselves, so it’d be nice to know, for example, how many times the guys were tested in the last 24 hours. Seems like that would be a straightforward piece of information to offer.

Ultimately, this is a heartbreak that could have been prevented on NC State’s side by getting everybody vaccinated. Vaccinated players are not subject to the same testing protocols so if everybody’s vaccinated then there’s no problem. But this is also a group that had guys get COVID a few months ago, and if they felt like they didn’t need the shots after having the virus, that’s at least understandable.

There’s enough blame to go around, and the NCAA isn’t out to get anybody, it’s just incompetent. Which is why it’s particularly frustrating that it gets to issue a ruling and say nothing about it, but that’s how those spineless bureaucrats roll.

As awful as I feel right now, I know the players are taking it much worse, and I’m gutted for them. This sucks and it’s going to hurt for a long time.