It’s time for the University of Miami Hurricanes to right an egregious and greedy wrong. In 2003 UM angered many people in and around the athletic program, belittling and largely ignoring the legacy of former baseball head coach Ron Fraser. The University gladly accepted a $3.9M check from admitted liar and steroid cheat Alex Rodriguez, agreeing to name the baseball park on campus Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.
While Alex Rodriguez may be from South Florida and once signed a letter of intent to play baseball at UM, he never played a single game and never wore the UM colors. Rodriguez turned professional and never once looked back.
Ron Fraser saved college baseball at UM, and much more than that helped to make it the national success it is today. He lived, ate, slept and breathed the game of college baseball, and did it wearing UM colors.
President Shalala and UM’s senior leaders had the opportunity to do the right thing when Ron Fraser was alive and failed. The coach is gone, but the mistake remains. The park should be renamed Ron Fraser Park at Mark Light Stadium. Engrave it in stone. Let it stand for generations to see and learn from. If it means returning the money, do it. I guarantee there would not be one person who would object.
It’s about honoring a man who deserves this and so much more.
February 23 you have a night to honor the coach with his family, friends and well wishers in attendance. Honor the one coach who dedicated his life to the UM, the game, his guys, and the people who loved every night at the stadium. The one who never left for another college job. Never left for a pro gig. Never brought one ounce of dishonor to the game or the school. Don’t waste the opportunity.
Your turn at bat. Let’s see what you’ve got.
Ed Berliner, Fort Lauderdale