TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A lot of grumbling at Towson University. Two athletic teams have been cut from the program. Because of budget cuts, baseball and soccer are out.
Monique Griego has reaction from players.
At Friday night’s baseball game, there was a lot of sadness and a lot of anger. Players just don’t think the university is being fair.
Towson baseball is sending a strong message to the university, as players take the field with black tape over the school’s name.
“We’re playing for ourselves, ourselves and our team and our coach. We’re not playing for the school right now,” said Kurt Wertz.
Left fielder Kurt Wertz and the rest of the team Friday learned men’s baseball and soccer programs were being cut from the school’s roster because of a budget deficit.
“No one wants to make such a decision as this. This does not make anyone happy,” said University President Maravene Loaschke.
The university’s 2012 deficit was more than $1 million. This year’s projected shortfall is $700,000–a financial hit school leaders say forced them to make tough decisions.
In a similar move last year, the University of Maryland cut seven teams to get back in the black.
“I don’t know why we just have to drop sports and take away opportunities for kids,” Mike Gottlieb, Towson baseball head coach.
As for parents, they’re shocked a university like Towson would treat its players this way.
“They were told ‘too bad, you’re cut.’ No explanation, no justification, just a lot of crocodile tears,” said Patti Johnson.
Most players plan to transfer out, but say the university’s late decision didn’t make that any easier.
“Coming from a lot of the juniors’ perspectives, we only have one year left and it’s going to be really difficult to find a school,” a player said.
School leaders say it took so long to make a decision because they were trying to explore every option.
The school will be adding a men’s tennis program as part of the change.