Towson University announced Tuesday that its athletics department recommended the school’s NCAA men’s baseball and soccer teams be cut after the 2012-2013 school year, according to a message from President Maravene Loeschke on the school’s website.
“Our Towson University community holds a great deal of pride for our baseball and men’s soccer student-athletes and the legacy they have established with Towson University,” Loeschke said in the online letter.
“I recognize how disappointing and difficult these discussions are for our student-athletes, alumni, families, supporters, and the entire campus community” Loeschke said. “In these challenging economic times, it is sometimes necessary to recommend approaches that, although troubling to many, may be in the best interest of long-term stability.”
The task force was charged with increasing Towson’s competitiveness, establishing long-term stability of the athletics department, and maintaining Title IX compliance, which ensures equal funding for men’s and women’s sports.
The report also recommends reinstating the men’s tennis team, which was cut in 2004, to reach the NCAA minimum of six men's sports, and will increase funding to women’s teams for Title IX purposes.
According to a summary of the recommendation from Athletic Director Mike Waddell, Towson regularly added women’s sports in the past to keep funding equal, but adding a 21st sport “would be a blow to the overall competitiveness of Towson athletics, as already strained resources would be spread even thinner.”
According to the school’s website, the cuts will bring a net savings of $488,758 by the end of fiscal year 2014, $800,083 by the end of fiscal year 2018, and will make 16 of the remaining 19 teams fully funded with the maximum scholarships allowed by the NCAA.
In her online letter, Loeschke said a task force had been formed to study the decision, and a public meeting will be held on the matter later this month. Loeschke urged all interested parties to submit comments online at http://fusion.towson.edu/www/taskforcecomments/.
This story has been updated.