Tucson shut out of spring training this year

2014-01-26T00:00:00Z Tucson shut out of spring training this yearGreg Hansen Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

For the first time since the Diamondbacks, Rockies and White Sox exited spring training in Tucson, there will not be a single game here this spring. That’s unfortunate because the Dodgers and Cubs drew a capacity crowd of over 11,000 at Kino Stadium last March, raising almost $120,000 for the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation. Because the Diamondbacks and Dodgers will play games in Sydney on March 22-23, they will both lose about 10 spring training dates in the greater Phoenix area this year. The D-backs have blacked out their Arizona spring training schedule from March 17 to 25. … Former Arizona swimming coach Eric Hansen and his staff broke NCAA rules when they held a practice on the night of Oct. 19, the same day the UA men’s team was stunned in a dual meet at Utah. But that’s not why Hansen took a leave of absence and ultimately resigned his position. The UA reported the practice to the NCAA; the coaching staff was not permitted on deck for two days as a penalty. Hansen’s resignation was connected strictly to personal issues. … If the timing were different, Salpointe grad Augie Busch might get strong (or stronger) consideration to be Arizona’s swimming coach. But Busch is in his first year as the head coach at Virginia, after spending two years as the head coach at Houston. Only Todd Graham would recommend another early exit. Busch’s staff at Virginia includes ex-UA swimmers Cory Chitwood and his brother, Sammy Busch. … Augie’s father, UA Hall of Fame swimming coach Frank Busch, is now director of the USA National swimming teams. He was in Geneva on business last week. “I’d say I probably travel five times as much as when I was at Arizona,” he said. “I’m at well over 100,000 miles a year; that’s far more than a recruiting season for me at Arizona.” … High school basketball note of the week: The Santa Rita girls basketball team is 11-167 since the start of the 2006-07 season, most of it mirrored by the school’s declining enrollment. The Eagles did not score a point in the second half against Palo Verde last week, losing 57-8. They were also held to eight points or less in four games last season. Times have surely changed: 30 years ago next month, Santa Rita went 28-0 to win the state championship for coach Dave Lynch, whose Arizona player of the year, Paula Pyers, would sometimes draw a near-capacity crowd at the Santa Rita gymnasium.

Contact sports columnist Greg Hansen at 520-573-4145 or ghansen@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @ghansen711

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