Duquesne has become the latest cold-weather school to drop baseball. The school announced Monday afternoon that it is cutting four athletic programs after the 2010 season—baseball, men's swimming, men's golf, and wrestling. Vermont and Northern Iowa dropped baseball last year.
In a bit of disingenuous management-speak that seems straight out of the film "Office Space," the university framed the cuts as "a strategic restructuring of its varsity sports program in an effort to maximize financial resources and ensure sustained athletic success."
Athletics director Greg Amodio said more than $1 million will be reallocated annually throughout the athletics program as a result of the cuts. "The fiscal challenges facing collegiate athletic departments across the country require making difficult decisions to ensure viability," Amodio said in the release.
Duquesne is far from a baseball power. It has never been to a regional and finished in last place in the Atlantic 10 Conference last year at 7-19 (14-41 overall). But the Dukes do have some notable supporters—Duquesne alum and big league reliever Joe Beimel, plus former Pirates managers Jim Leyland and Jim Tracy—and two players likely to be drafted in June: senior catcher/first baseman Mark Tracy and junior two-way talent Andrew Heck, who ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the Jayhawk League last summer. We'll see how that pair and the rest of the Dukes handle this unfortunate situation this spring.
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