UPDATE: Ricketts Says She Wasn't Ready For Long-Term USA Deal
Former University of Oklahoma standout pitcher KeilaniRicketts says USA Softball pressured her into signing a long-term contract before she was ready.
Ricketts announced on Twitter Tuesday night that she would not be playing with Team USA this summer.
She clarified her reasons in an interview with The Norman Transcript, saying Team USA told her she had to sign a long-term contract immediately in order to play.
"I told them I just didn't feel comfortable making a decision until after the summer was over. So they took that as a no. It sucks that it looks like I quite the team, but that wasn't the case."
Ricketts was selected fourth overall in April’s National Pro Fastpitch draft by the USSSA Florida Pride, along with former OU teammate Jessica Schults. She says she wanted to wait until after the summer before deciding whether to sign long-term deals with NPF or USA Softball.
From Ricketts's older sister Samantha, who also played for OU from 2006-2009:
The eighth World Cup of Softball starts Thursday in Oklahoma City. The loss of one of the tournament’s star players and key attractions for Oklahoma City fans puts the sport’s Olympic future on even shakier ground.
Softball was eliminated after the 2008 Games in Beijing. Ricketts says she wanted to wait on a decision with Team USA until after the International Olympic Committee meets in Argentina in September to consider adding softball and baseball, wrestling, or squash to the program for the 2020 Olympics.
Just wanted to let everyone know I wont be playing USA this summer. No I did NOT quit..just wasnt given the freedom to make a decision that— Keilani Ricketts Tumanuvao (@laniricketts10) July 10, 2013
should have been made after the season was over. I was always committed until the end of the summer so don't believe everything you hear.— Keilani Ricketts Tumanuvao (@laniricketts10) July 10, 2013
The Norman Transcript reportsRicketts called USA Softball spokesman Ronnie Isham July 3 to say she was leaving. Isham called it a “business decision that did not include Team USA.”
When asked about what kind of business decision Ricketts had made, Isham said he knew what it might be, but it was “confidential.” Isham said Ricketts’ decision caught the USA Softball program off guard.
Two other Sooners remain on the U.S. roster – junior infielder Lauren Chamberlain and senior outfielder Destinee Martinez.