TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Baseball is back at Towson University. After months of outrage and intervention by the governor, school officials reverse a decision to cancel the sport.
Adam May spoke to the university’s president about the controversy.
This story is a prime example of a growing trend at universities across the country: men’s sports that don’t make money are at risk of cancellation. Women’s sports are protected by Title IX.
“To have to do that in my first year as president was very sad for me,” said Towson President Maravene Loeschke.
In her first extensive interview, the president of Towson University discussed the controversy surrounding the cancellation of men’s soccer and baseball.
“I had to make a decision, which broke my heart,” Loeschke said. “There is no pleasure and no joy whatsoever on this earth in disappointing these young men.”
WJZ first spoke to baseball players when they got the news last October.
“First thing, I thought of my teammates, my family, ’cause I’m nothing without them because I love them,” said Dominic Fratuntuono. “I’m heartbroken.”
Now the baseball team gets a second chance after the governor stepped in and added $300,000 to the school’s athletic budget.
Football and baseball are big money-makers for the university. The baseball coach says this controversy exposes a big problem in college sports.
“Is college athletics all about making money? If that’s the case, they need to restructure the NCAA,” said Mike Gottlieb.
The university president admits the system isn’t perfect, but spectator sports are helping other athletes.
“The two athletic programs that make money are the basketball and the football. It’s not like they get to keep that and everyone else can just starve to death. That money supports all of the 20 teams,” Loeschke said.
Or at least the sports that continue to exist.
The governor’s budget still needs to be approved by the General Assembly and the baseball team will have to raise additional money to fill the budget gap.
The soccer team is still on the chopping block.