As the University prepares to kick off a $2 million marketing campaign, one thing won’t be featured in its advertisements any time soon: a baseball team. Almost a year after the coaching staff and players learned their program would be cut, we ask ourselves: Where are they now?
Several former UA players find themselves playing at universities across the U.S, spanning from the University of Delaware and The Ohio State University to the University of Utah and Louisiana State University (LSU).
Junior Mason Mamarella was among those who received the unfavorable news last July. Mamarella soon transferred to Akron’s rival, Kent State University, and now plays centerfield for the Golden Flashes.
The Flashes’ 30-10 record leads the Mid-American Conference.
“[The transition] was very different at first, getting used to all new teammates and coaches and I didn’t have time to visit campus before school started, so for the first couple weeks I had no clue where everything was or my way around Kent,” said Mamarella. “Luckily everyone on the baseball team welcomed me in, allowing me to form so many new great friendships. The hardest part of this all was leaving my teammates from Akron and trying to stay in touch with all of them.”
As many of the players have moved on, so did former Head Coach Rick Rembielak. After receiving the news last July, Rembielak accepted two positions at Perry Local Schools as its new assistant athletic director and head baseball coach.
Initially it was difficult for players and their families, Rembielak said, but he believes everyone has adjusted well to their new teams and universities.
“I’m still very disappointed about what happened, how it happened and the reason it happened, but the way they have transitioned, I think it speaks volumes about the types of guys we had playing at Akron,” Rembielak said. “I certainly still follow them and keep tabs on how their seasons are going. It makes me glad to see how well they’re doing.”
Mamarella said that nothing about his lifestyle has changed.
“I still live the life of a student-athlete,” he said. “Academically, Kent is no different than Akron.The baseball schedule is still the same except I am wearing a different uniform now.”