Eye on the Ball Radio Show

Eye on the Ball with Jay Gonzales and Steve Rivera: Jay Johnson and Eric Rhodes


Tuesday’s Eye on the Ball radio show on KVOI (1030-AM) included Arizona baseball coach Jay Johnson and Arizona Bowl vice president of communications of Eric Rhodes.

Johnson talked about the abrupt end of the Wildcats’ season because of COVID-19 and how the coaching staff and players are trying to remain active in their own way.

Johnson touched on the players’ questions about their futures, including the seniors who have their eligibility restored next season.

“I was definitely in agreement with (the NCAA’s decision) regardless of how it directs our program (with scholarship limits),” Johnson said. “On fundamental principle, it was the right thing to do. I mean, we only played 15 games and it was something out of all of our players’ control.

“It’s kind of like an injury. If they all had got injured 15 games into the season, they could have appealed it and get another year of eligibility.”

Johnson also commented on the MLB draft and the uncertainty involved with that in terms of COVID-19 with potentially limited rounds, expectations for next season, the debate on one-and-done for college basketball as opposed to the three-year eligibility rule for college baseball, his thoughts on why he felt his team was destined for a good season this year before it was all cut short and his analysis of young local players who could become Wildcats.

Rhodes discussed the Arizona Bowl’s involvement with AZSportsTogether Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Organizations from across the state have formed in a collective effort to provide emergency relief funding. Fans can purchase raffle tickets for the opportunity to win elite-level experiences.

Participating organizations include the Arizona Bowl, Arizona Cardinals, Arizona Coyotes, Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona State Athletics, University of Arizona Athletics, Cactus Bowl, Cactus League, PlayStation, Fiesta Bowl, Grand Canyon University Athletics, Northern Arizona University Athletics, Phoenix Mercury, Phoenix Raceway, Phoenix Rising, Phoenix Suns, Scottsdale Charros and Waste Management Phoenix Open.

PRIZE PACKAGES:

Arizona Bowl: 4 Stadium Club tickets with VIP pregame party passes, including food and beverages for both, on-field experience and tour, 4 tickets for private players party

Arizona Cardinals: 4 VIP tickets with pregame hospitality in Big Red Brew Haus or Red Zone Tailgate, pregame field passes to watch teams warm up, ability to attend postgame press conference, Cardinals fan gear package

Arizona Coyotes: 4 on-the-glass tickets with BMW Club access and food & beverage, watch pregame warm-ups from the penalty box, behind the scenes tour with Tyson Nash/Paul Bissonnette, post-game player meet-and-greet, autographed jersey, stick and puck from team captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson

Arizona Diamondbacks: 4 premium tickets in the D-backs Dugout Box, watch batting practice/national anthem from the field, keepsake photo in the D-backs dugout, behind-the-scenes tour with Luis Gonzalez, ballpark treats delivered right to your seats

Arizona State Football: 4 game tickets in the Athletic Director’s suite with pregame sideline passes and parking pass (Due to NCAA rules, individuals in grades 9-12, and junior college, are not permitted to be involved in this VIP experience)

Arizona State Women’s Basketball: You and a guest will attend pregame shoot-around practice and pregame team meal, inside access to locker room for pregame/halftime/post-game coach talks, and seats on bench during game plus 2 tickets for other attendees, game day polo (Due to NCAA rules, individuals in grades 9-12, and junior college, are not permitted to be involved in this VIP experience)

University of Arizona Football: 2-4 tickets (depends on game and availability) in Athletic Director’s skybox for a home football game, experience to join the Voice of the Wildcats Brian Jeffries in the radio booth before the game (Due to NCAA rules, individuals in grades 9-12, and junior college, are not permitted to be involved in this VIP experience)

University of Arizona Men’s Basketball: 2 middle-section tickets (depends on game and availability) for a home men’s basketball game at McKale Center, experience Arizona team introductions on court a few feet away from the bench (Due to NCAA rules, individuals in grades 9-12, and junior college, are not permitted to be involved in this VIP experience)

Cactus Bowl: 4 premium game tickets, on-field experience during pregame, for a portion of in-game and postgame ceremony, helmet from one of the participating teams, signed football by both head coaches, ability to attend Media Day

Cactus League: 2 Spring Training Packages for four to the team/facility of their choice, subject to availability, includes tickets, ballpark cash and Cactus League swag for four people

Grand Canyon University Athletics: 4 premium tickets to a GCU men’s basketball game with VIP parking and Lopes Club entry, honorary game ball presentation, gameday polo shirts, round of golf and lunch for 4 players at GCU Golf Course (Due to NCAA rules, individuals in grades 9-12, and junior college, are not permitted to be involved in this VIP experience)

Northern Arizona University Athletics: Travel with NAU Football team to a mutually agreed upon away game of choice, including two seats on the NAU charter plane, Friday evening entertainment, two game tickets and hotel accommodations. Typical departure time is Noon on Friday and return departs immediately following the game, with an evening landing in Flagstaff. (Due to NCAA rules, individuals in grades 9-12, and junior college, are not permitted to be involved in this VIP experience)

Phoenix Mercury: 4 premium tickets with VIP access to watch warm-ups from the court, photo with a Mercury player, parking pass, autographed jersey, prize pack, meet and greet with Hall of Famer Ann Meyers Drysdale, invitation to attend practice

Phoenix Raceway: 4 passes to the President’s Suite for the NASCAR Championship race with complimentary food & beverages, VIP rooftop seating, Infield experience, VIP parking, meet & greet with NASCAR Cup Series driver and Phoenix-native Michael McDowell, pace car ride around Phoenix Raceway, photo with the 2020 NASCAR Champion following the race, VIP viewing area for pre-race ceremonies, photo in the Cactus Flagstand overlooking the start/finish line, VIP access to the Championship Party at The Barn

Phoenix Rising: Training session for 4 people, 4 personalized jerseys, signed Drogba jersey, 4 field seats

Phoenix Suns: 4 lower level tickets with dinner in new premium club, on-court access to watch pregame warm-ups, professional photo on-court, autographed jersey, private all-access tour by Alvan Adams, post-game passes

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl: 4 premium tickets, premier pregame party tickets, on-field visit pregame and for a portion of in-game (must be 18 to be on field during game) ability to attend Media Day and post-game press conferences, signed helmet with two head coaches

Scottsdale Charros: 4 VIP tickets to the Charro Lodge at Scottsdale Stadium with complimentary food and beverage, throw ceremonial first pitch before San Francisco Giants spring training game

Waste Management Phoenix Open: 2 Chairman’s Club passes for Wednesday that includes exclusive VIP access to hospitality venues on course including the 16th hole, Greenskeeper and Bay Club, tee box access at the 16th hole for the celebrity Shot at Glory, VIP access to Coors Light Birds Nest  (Coors Light Birds Nest is a 21 and over venue)


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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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