Towson's athletic department on Tuesday recommended a proposal to cut its baseball and men's soccer programs after this academic year, pending final approval by the university president in mid-November.
Athletic director Mike Waddell said the proposals to cut the two teams will save the athletic program about $800,000. He also said the cuts are aimed at complying with Title IX legislation, which calls for the athletic program representation to remain consistent with the school's 60-40 female-male student ratio. As part of the proposal, the school would re-establish a men's tennis team as well.
In an interview with the Baltimore Sun, long-time Towson coach Mike Gottlieb expressed frustration with the university's lack of communication and lack of commitment to its student-athletes. The Sun reported Tuesday that the school had been considering the cuts since last fall, but Gottlieb said he was kept in the dark until this week.
Towson hasn't been to a regional since 1991—its second in Gottlieb's first four seasons as head coach at his alma mater—but the program has been competitive, posting winning records in 14 of the last 16 years.
"What concerns me is that they apparently have the philosophy that whatever sports we have, we're going to have the infrastructure to have a legitimate chance to win a championship," Gottlieb told the Sun. "I can appreciate that. Probably that's the way it is in the ACC, the Southeastern Conference and the Pac-12. There are a lot of mid-major programs in the country that don't have those resources.
"There was a time not long ago when it was about giving the kids the experience with a combination of education and athletics. We didn't have the support we needed to be great, but looking back, a lot of kids loved their experience here. I've had a deluge of that support over the last 24 hours . . . They seem to think that if you're fully funded, you're going to always win. It doesn't work that way."
Baseball alumni are expected to rally in an effort to save the program, but it appears they face an uphill battle.
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