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EXCELLENT INTERVIEW WITH PETER O'BRIEN BY STEVE GORTEN- IN DEPTH

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Posted: 1/21/2012 12:24 AM

EXCELLENT INTERVIEW WITH PETER O'BRIEN BY STEVE GORTEN- IN DEPTH 


Steve first to get this story as to how Peter pulled off this high wire act and here is a link to it.  Coach didn't think it was gonna happen.

http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_college_hurri canes/2012/01/obrien-wins-appeal-with-impassioned- speech.html

O’Brien wins appeal with impassioned speech

by: Steve Gorten January 20th, 2012 | 9:19 PM

CORAL GABLES – Before Miami Hurricanes catcher Peter O’Brien was cleared by the NCAA on Thursday to play this season, he was denied.

The senior transfer from Bethune-Cookman, who had passed up a professional contract with the Colorado Rockies and transferred to UM in August to be closer to his ill mother, had filed a request in early fall for a waiver to avoid sitting out a year.

The NCAA told him no around November.

O’Brien appealed, and continued to participate in the team’s fall practices.

“I’m always thinking positive. That’s the way I felt,” a cheerful O’Brien said Friday. “Even when I got denied, I was, like, ‘All right, I’m still good. Everything’s still going to work out.’

Veteran UM coach Jim Morris wasn’t so convinced.

“The longer it went, the less optimistic I was [about the appeal],” Morris said. He added, “[O’Brien] did a great job of handling it because I don’t know how you handle it, to be honest with you. Because I was nervous about it.”

Ultimately, O’Brien was granted a chance to state his case to a special NCAA committee on a conference call Tuesday. It wasn’t exactly the same as a prisoner facing a parole board, but it was nerve-wracking nonetheless.

“I don’t want to get into all the details too much, but basically we went over everything I was going through,” O’Brien recounted. “They were extremely supportive and understood my story 100 percent. Basically what they had to do was hear the truth.

“I spoke to them from the heart. They were really helpful. I just want to thank all the guys over there for making the right decision ultimately.”

Said Morris: “It’s such a huge impact on him and his career to be able to play his fourth year of college. …I think the big thing was him talking to them and them seeing how sincere he was and what was going on. Our compliance people did a great job of setting it up. I had never gone through anything like that.”

Hurricanes first baseman/designated hitter Cade Kreuter was granted a waiver by the NCAA last year that allowed him to not sit out a season after transferring from Southern California, but it was a different situation. Kreuter’s father had been fired as USC’s coach.

After O’Brien’s impassioned speech Tuesday, the player, his coach and his teammates, who had all told him they were praying for him, still had to wait.

“It was like strike three, or we’d get a hit,” Morris said.

At 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, O’Brien called Morris. “You heard anything?” he asked. Nope.

The next morning, about 11 a.m., O’Brien finally heard his verdict. It was a hit.

“It was awesome, such a relief. It felt like a ton of weight had been lifted off my shoulders,” O’Brien said with a broad smile. “I had been thinking about it the whole fall. …I want to thank all the guys here: the coaching staff, the compliance staff, all my teammates, all my friends — a lot of prayers and everything, it really helped out.”

Redshirting this season could have been an option. It was never a desirable one, however.

“Honestly, I didn’t even think about what would have happened if I got denied [again],” O’Brien said. “I couldn’t see myself doing anything else than playing in a baseball game here [this season] wearing orange and green.”

Now the ‘Canes, who otherwise would have unproven Alex San Juan behind the plate, have themselves a seasoned catcher. Morris said he expects O’Brien to be an opening-day starter, hit in the middle of the lineup and drive in runs.

“They say it’s always better to be lucky than good and this is lucky for us that this kind of fell in our back pocket,” Morris said. “This wasn’t something that was designed. Actually, we didn’t recruit Peter out of high school. We were very,very fortunate to get him to come here.”

O’Brien, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound former Miami Braddock High standout, is ranked the nation’s 44th best college prospect by Baseball America. He had a .336 batting average with 38 home runs and 154 RBI in 168 career games at Bethune-Cookman. He also had 1,038 putouts, 148 assists and a .985 fielding percentage.

Some observers believe catcher isn’t the right position long term for O’Brien, who started playing behind the plate as a high school senior. He disagrees.

“I just love being in charge back there, being involved in every play,” O’Brien said. “I consider myself a natural leader. I have a really strong, outgoing personality.”

Added Morris: “You could tell from one day of practice, one day, that this guy is a leader and the impact he would make on everybody. That’s something that’s very, very important to our team, in particular at that position. It’s like being the quarterback of your team.”

O’Brien already has a bond with teammates because of fall practices. And now he’s back home, living with his mother and the rest of his family.

“It’s awesome,” O’Brien said. “My family is really close to me. My little brother plays baseball at Doral. My parents are already setting it up: Friday night game at UM, double-header on Saturday at Doral and then back to a Saturday night game at UM. …They’ll definitely be around here a lot.”

'Did you read THE SCARLET LETTER, Tim?' 'Yes ma'am, I sure did?' 'What was it about?' 'You know what is was about.' 'Yes, Tim. I do, but I don't think that you wrote this paper.' 'It was about a gal ... named Scarlet, of course!'
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Posted: 1/29/2012 6:35 PM

Re: EXCELLENT INTERVIEW WITH PETER O'BRIEN BY STEVE GORTEN- IN 


Sounds like a great kid.  Good for him
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