By Stan Ber, firstname.lastname@example.org
7:46 PM EDT, October 30, 2012
The University of Maryland did it in July 2012 and now Towson University is following suit. The Maryland athletic program dropped seven sports and now the athletic director at Towson, Mike Waddell, is recommending for baseball and mens soccer to be cut as part of the school's reorganization program.
In order to comply with Title IX, Towson will have to reinstate mens tennis and add roster spots to womens teams and mens lacrosse.
It's an unfortunate situation for all parties involved in the cuts and my advice to athletes who play sports other than football and basketball in college, is to be aware that this "reorganization" could happen to you wherever you decide to go for college.
I would expect more schools to join in the slash and burn of what are commonly called non-revenue producing sports. It's all about economics. No money coming in and that sport or sports will eventually go.
The Towson situation is apparently still only a proposal that has to be approved by the school's administration and will be looked into by a task force. But the writing is on the wall.
I don't want anybody at the school to state that the priority is the kids involved and that the school really cares about them. Tell that to Colin Dyer, Paul Beers, Chris Acker, Mike Draper or Lee Lawler, who all grew up in Howard County and are now members of the baseball team at Towson.
Parents are trying to fight to keep the programs going by taking their case to the media and raising funds. I applaud their efforts but it may not be enough.
I talked to Colin Dyer, a freshman at Towson and a graduate of Howard High, to get his take. "When we were told about the cuts, I thought it was a done deal. I felt betrayed. I like it here at Towson but now I have to find somewhere else to play baseball," he said.
Even if parents can raise enough funds like they did at Maryland to save the mens track program, those efforts come with strings attached. Once a school decides to drop a sport, it is ultimately doomed. And if you ask me, that's a shame.
Revisiting Lance Armstrong
Even the most ardent supporters of Lance Armstrong might have to think twice now that his empire appears to be crashing down around him.
Many people I talked to after his Oct. 2 appearance at Centennial High School in advance of this year's Half Full Marathon felt that nothing had been proven and that he was being unfairly treated. Now, after reading the story in Sports Illustrated on Oct. 22 concerning his use of illegal substances, I'm curious what those same people are thinking.
I personally had given him the benefit of the doubt because I felt that nobody in his right mind would endanger his own health by using in the manner Armstrong was accused. How can anyone who made such passionate speeches to his audiences about his own battle with cancer then turn around and do what he did? It begs the question, how important is winning and is it worth risking your life? Apparently it is.
Shortly after his appearance here, the ground gave way and the truth poured out and I was personally stunned by the degree of deception.
We still must give him credit for the money he raised for the fight against cancer, but that doesn't mean I'm not disappointed in his moral failing.
There are several lessons for young people to take from this. Never put anything in your body that doesn't belong there. Think about the importance of winning and if it is really worth gambling you and your family's reputation.
Armstrong made mistakes, but others don't have to follow in his footsteps.