UPDATE: BGSU has laid out a plan for fundraisers seeking to save BGSU baseball.
Bowling Green State University ended last week by announcing its immediate plans to eliminate the men’s baseball program. The move is part of a $2 million reduction to the athletic department’s operating budget.
“This was a very difficult, but necessary, decision,” Director of Athletics Bob Moosbrugger said. “As a baseball alumnus, my heart breaks for the families affected by this decision. We will ensure the student-athletes in the program have support during this challenging time. We will honor their scholarship agreements through graduation and, should they pursue their collegiate baseball career elsewhere, we will assist in the process of finding a new home.”
As was the case with fellow MAC member Akron just days before, BGSU will now sponsor 17 sports (which breaks down to six men’s and 11 women’s at BGSU). The decision impacts 34 student athletes and three coaches (two full-time coaches and a part-time assistant).
“While we remain committed to supporting Division I athletics programs, we must do this in a financially sustainable approach,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. “We have made the difficult decision to eliminate the baseball program due to financial constraints. This decision was not made lightly, and does not reflect the rich history of the program, including five Mid-American Conference championships and four NCAA regional appearances.”
BGSU says the decision to eliminate baseball involved a review of criteria that included financial impact, support services needed, facilities, equity and a comparison of MAC sport sponsorship. Cutting baseball will result in an estimated $500,000 per year savings for BGSU. The athletic department also says it will “reduce stress on already-taxed support services including academic, strength & conditioning, athletic training, facilities and game operations whose budgets and personnel will be affected by all decisions.”
BGSU will honor current athletic scholarships for any student athlete impacted who wants to continue their studies at BGSU. Per NCAA rules, student athletes transferring will be able to compete immediately. For incoming baseball student athletes, BGSU will honor the scholarship agreement signed with their NLI, but signees may also accept a scholarship offer from another institution if they prefer.
The University is projecting a shortfall of $29 million, with athletics taking a $2 million reduction. BGSU athletics staff, along with other University personnel, will be placed on furloughs beginning in fiscal year 2021. THe length of those furloughs will be determined based on the employee’s compensation. In addition to the campus-wide furloughs, BGSU has also made temporary and permanent budget reductions, including non-renewals, layoffs and operating budget reductions that impact all areas of the University.
We’re tracking all of the cuts made during the pandemic below.
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