Furman University is the latest athletic department to announce it will be cutting sports in an effort to reduce expenses amidst University-wide budget cuts. Baseball and men’s lacrosse have been eliminated, and athletics is reducing its total number of scholarships by 45 over the next five years, the reductions coming from multiple sports.
Furman has been playing baseball since 1896 (minus five years during the Great Depression and World War II) and has won four regular season Southern Conference titles and two conference tournament titles. The Paladins last appeared in the College World Series in 2005.
The cuts bring Furman down to 16 sports, seven men’s sports and nine women’s sports. It impacts 95 student athletes (a total of 21 scholarships) and six coaches.
“This is a difficult day for Furman Athletics,” AD Jason Donnelly said in a statement. “We are proud of Furman’s athletics history and tradition and the student-athletes and coaches who have competed as Paladins. Moving forward, Furman Athletics will operate as an 18-sport varsity program that supports academic and athletic excellence, financial stability, gender equity and sustainable competitive success with an emphasis on revenue generation and philanthropy. Our immediate focus is on supporting our student-athletes and coaches impacted by today’s decisions, as well as our alumni and fans who so passionately support our programs.”
Furman will honor the scholarships of current and incoming student athletes in baseball and men’s lacrosse. Student athletes can also transfer to other schools and play immediately under NCAA rules.
Cuts are being made across campus as Furman anticipates a multi-million dollar deficit. Furman’s president will be taking a voluntary 20% salary reduction, while vice presidents, the athletic director, head coaches for football and men’s basketball and other highly compensated employees will take voluntary 10% reductions. Operating budgets are being reduced by 5.5% across the board, and Furman will reduce contributions to employee retirement plans by 2.5%. Mandatory furloughs are also planned.
Bowling Green announced last Friday it would also be cutting baseball. We are tracking all of the cuts being made during the pandemic below.
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