Ford says he prefers playing in Big 12

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    Former TCU baseball player Shelby Ford said his sole reason for leaving TCU after his freshman season was the switch to a new conference, plain and simple.”I just didn’t want to play in the Mountain West,” Ford said. “It’s never been known as a baseball conference.”

    Ford said the Big 12 Conference and Oklahoma State, his new school, suit him much better.

    “I’ve always followed the Big 12,” Ford said. “I used to play in showcases at Oklahoma State when I was 16 years old.”

    Head baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said he thought Ford left because of a “lack of insurance to play shortstop,” which was something he said the team could not offer him.

    Ford said that was never the case.

    “I did want to play some shortstop, but I never let that get in the way of what was best for the team,” Ford said. “That did not play a part in my leaving.”

    Ford said one thing he will miss is the familiarity of Fort Worth.

    “My whole family is from Fort Worth,” Ford said. “It was nice to have my family and friends coming to every game.”

    He said his current team is doing a good job of helping him make an easy adjustment.

    “The conditioning can be a little much at times, but it’s been a good first week,” Ford said. “It’s a great environment here.”

    Ford said he got along right away with some of his new teammates, partly because some knew of him before he arrived at Oklahoma State.

    “Some of them said to me, ‘Hey, you’re from TCU, right?'” Ford said. “Coming in, I knew a couple of guys on the team, too.”

    Schlossnagle said his team will miss Ford.

    “He was an All-Conference player,” Schlossnagle said. “He seemed to be well-respected by his teammates.”

    Ford said he still keeps in touch with some of the players on the team and insists there were no hard feelings when he left.

    “I’m still good friends with Chad Huffman and Sam Demel,” Ford said. “I loved all the guys on the team. There was no animosity with coach either. I had a good talk with him, and he was very understanding.”

    Ford said he will be starting at Oklahoma State and will even get some time as catcher.

    Schlossnagle said his team will fill Ford’s void with new recruits.

    “TCU is a great place,” Schlossnagle said. “We attract good players and just continue to reload year after year.”

    No other team sources were allowed to comment on Ford’s transfer.