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Carlee McCondichie is stepping away from softball, a sport that she has played her entire life, after four years with the Auburn program. Her retirement announcement offered a disheartening inside look at the reality of her college experience— from her own individual vantage point.
McCondichie, an Alabama-native, joined the Tigers as a four-time All-State selection in the Class of 2019. She appeared in 51 games during her first two seasons, primarily as a pinch hitter and reserve infielder, before starting 56 of 57 games in left field and at second base as a junior in 2022.
Unfortunately, McCondichie’s senior season did not go as she had hoped. Her role as a starter scaled back. She saw just 119 at-bats in 2023 compared to 136 in the year prior.
Even as she continued to hit.
All college athletes were granted a blanket waiver for an additional year of eligibility in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. McCondichie could return to Auburn next season but will not.
Carlee McCondichie can’t imagine another year at Auburn.
McCondichie announced that she is hanging up her cleats in a Twitter thread on Sunday night. In doing so, she made it very clear that there is no ill will toward the Tigers fanbase or the university.
However, there is resentment toward seventh-year head coach Mickey Dean. McCondichie is also frustrated with the current system in which “student-athletes” must participate.
McCondichie has no interest in returning for a fifth season. Her decision stems from how she was treated by the coaching staff at Auburn.
no interest or desire in playing a 5th year. That’s what happens when you play for a program where when you fail, you are immediately benched. A program where you aren’t pursued. A program where you are only looked at from an athletic perspective, not a personal perspective.— carlee (@CMcCondichie) July 2, 2023
It has nothing to do with playing time.
This has nothing to do with playing time. If you need more evidence,— carlee (@CMcCondichie) July 3, 2023
stop by a practice one afternoon, that is if you’ve ever been to an Auburn game. The last week of my softball career I got to shag for two hours while picked players got live at bats. Don’t come for athletes.
McCondichie wants to heed warning to future athletes— particularly softball players who consider her former program.
Carlee McCondichie is telling her story.
McCondichie is not the first college athlete, current or former, to speak out about her experience. And as scathing as her recount may be, it is not the same for everyone. Another softball athlete at Auburn may have had a different experience, though McCondichie also pointed to the amount of players who have transferred out.
McCondichie also feels strongly enough to call for Dean to be fired.
What McCondichie had to say is disheartening. If true, it does not paint the Auburn softball program in a good light. That is unfortunate for everybody in and around the program, but will it inspire change?
That is McCondichie’s hope.
Auburn athletics has not responded to McCondichie’s claims at this time. Nor has Dean.
This story will be updated if either party chooses to do so!