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in Staffel 3 24.06.2019 04:39
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OMAHA, Neb. Carlos Santana Jersey . -- Virginia pitcher Josh Sborz slips a pinch of chewing tobacco between his cheek and gum every now and then, even though the NCAA banned the substance 20 years ago, "I enjoy the taste. Its not like Im addicted to it," Sborz said. "I just enjoy it, definitely. I do it maybe once a month or every other week." Sborz said this weeks death of Hall of Fame baseball player Tony Gwynn might give college players some pause. Gwynn died at 54 of oral cancer believed to be connected to his long use of chewing tobacco. "It should have an impact when such a star-studded players life was ended by the addiction he had. Its sad," Sborz said. Whether Gwynns death has any real impact is an open question and it comes amid some concerns: Baseball players acknowledging using spit tobacco at least once in the previous month rose from 42.5 per cent in 2005 to 52.3 per cent in 2009, according to the NCAAs quadrennial survey substance use trends among its athletes. Results of the 2013 survey have not yet been released, though preliminary results suggest a drop since 2009. About 15 per cent of teams in each NCAA sport are asked to participate in the anonymous survey, with a total sample size of about 20,000 athletes. Among all male athletes, 16 per cent acknowledged using tobacco in 2005 and 17 per cent in 2009. Sborz said he thinks the survey is "skewed" when it comes to ball players. "All those people dont do it every day," he said. "If people do it every day, thats where it becomes a problem. If they do it once every week, I dont see any issue with it." Minor-league baseball banned tobacco in 1993, a year before the NCAA. Tobacco is not banned in the major leagues. Though tins of tobacco arent visible in college dugouts like they were before 1994, that doesnt mean players arent dipping when theyre away from the ballpark. "Its 100 per cent part of baseball culture," said Virginia second baseman Branden Cogswell, who estimated half his teammates chew tobacco at least occasionally. "Its kind of a habit for people, kind of a comfort thing. Ive never been a part of that group, but so many guys do it. People take those risks. Its their choice." Dave Keilitz, executive director of the American Baseball Coaches Association, said he was surprised to find out so many baseball players were using tobacco. "I think most of our coaches, if not all of our coaches, are very aware of the danger and also dont want their players using it," Keilitz said. "In my 20 years of doing this, I havent seen any evidence of that taking place in dugouts, in games. I hope the same holds true in practice sessions." Keilitz said his organization adamantly opposes the use of smokeless tobacco and participated in the making of a video that illustrates the dangers. Virginia coach Brian OConnor said he chewed during his playing days in the late 1980s and early 90s. Like Keilitz, he was surprised so many players acknowledge using tobacco. "If kids are doing it, theyre doing a heck of a job of hiding it," he said. The NCAA said the ban was put in place as part of its charge to protect the safety and welfare of athletes. The penalty for violating the ban was left to the committee that oversees each sport. The Baseball Rules Committee instructed umpires to eject any player or coach who is using tobacco or who has tobacco in his possession. Enforcement was spotty until the committee made it a point of emphasis in 2003. In spite of the warnings the players receive, Texas coach Augie Garrido said he knows some members of his team chew tobacco. "Theres a lot more of it in Texas," he said, "because its not only about the baseball. Its about hunting, its about fishing, its about being a man." As for Sborz, he started chewing for a simple reason. 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