Southern Miss will have a voice in the room when bids are handed out for the NCAA's college baseball tournament over the next four years.
USM athletic director Bill McGillis will help determine future collegiate baseball tournament fields after being appointed to a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee, USM announced on Friday.
"I'm very honored to have been selected to serve on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee," McGillis said in a press release. "In many ways, my appointment is really a tribute to Southern Miss and our great baseball tradition. I am looking forward to contributing in every way possible to advancing the great sport of college baseball. This is a terrific opportunity for which I am both truly humbled and excited and I can't wait to get started."
McGillis will be a part of the 10-person committee that selects the annual 64-school tournament field. His four-year tenure on the committee begins on Sept. 1 and continues through Aug. 31, 2020.
The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee is responsible for selecting, seeding and bracketing the entire 64-team tournament field, which currently includes the automatic qualification of 31 conference champions with the remainder of the field selected as at-large choices by the committee.
The NCAA Division I Baseball Championship includes three rounds of play - the regionals, super regionals and Men's College World Series. The Men's CWS is held in Omaha, Neb., each year.
School and conference administrators are nominated by their conference.
USM is all but certain to earn a postseason bid when the 2016 tournament field is announced on Monday. The Eagles also have a shot to host an NCAA Regional with a strong close in this week's Conference USA Tournament in Hattiesburg.
2 prospects drop commitments
A pair of the Coast's top football prospects decided to drop their verbal commitments and reopen their recruitment on Friday.
St. Martin senior receiver Kalem Reddix, who had been committed to Southern Miss, and Long Beach senior defensive lineman J'arius Warren, who had verbally pledged to South Alabama, both announced their decisions Friday.
Reddix said he planned to wait until signing day on Feb. 1, 2017, to make his decision known.
"I just wanted to open up my recruitment to all colleges just to make sure I'm not blocking anybody out," said Reddix, who committed to USM on April 7.
Reddix also holds scholarship offers from Middle Tennessee, Tulane, Louisiana-Lafayette, Troy, Southeastern Louisiana and Jackson State. MTSU is the only offer he has received since committing to USM.
Reddix said that he plans to keep USM among his options.
"They're still in the mix," he said. "I'm not closing anyone out."
Warren also holds offers from Navy, Louisiana-Monroe, Tulane and Southeastern Louisiana.
"With all the new opportunities I just want to take time and visit everyone and make sure that I am making the right decision for MY FUTURE," Warren posted in a statement on Twitter.
Martin signs with CFL
Former Southern Miss star receiver Casey Martin signed as a free agent with the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League on Thursday.
Martin, who transferred to USM from Houston after his sophomore year there, finished his two-year career at USM with 135 receptions for 1,456 yards and nine touchdowns.
The slot receiver had a breakout campaign as a senior in 2015, pulling in 80 catches for 925 yards and seven scores. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound Martin had four games of at least 100 yards receiving.
Martin was also USM's leading receiver in his junior season, pulling in 55 receptions for 531 yards and two scores.
Martin joins former USM standout running back Tory Harrison in the CFL. Harrison, who is with the Calgary Stampeders, rushed 55 times for 273 yards and caught 18 passes for 172 yards and five touchdowns in 2015.