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Shamed and saddened by Towson University athletic cuts

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As a graduate of Towson University, I have been ashamed of my alma mater just three times in the past 47 years. The first time was during the 10-month tenure of a previous president who squandered both funds and public trust by running up huge bills on his lavish home. The second was when Towson's Minnegan Stadium was renamed to "raise funds" in 2002, dishonoring my beloved coach and lowering my respect for the university.

The third occurred on March 8, when Towson President Maravene Loeschke announced the school was cutting baseball and men's soccer from its athletic program ("Ire grows after Towson president cuts teams," March 24).

This third act has left me disgusted, ashamed and shaking my head at the total lack of coherence in the so-called "process." The manner in which the athletes were treated was reprehensible. The Sun's report of the announcement, made on short notice and in the presence of police officers, and the president's own hasty remarks, displayed a woeful lack of professionalism and class.

I played both soccer and baseball at Towson. We who wore the Towson soccer and baseball uniforms were proud of our school and its traditions. We didn't have an athletic director from out of town whose focus was on "big time" football and basketball. We played for the love of it in an era untainted by politics and hidden agendas.

Now the university's priorities have changed, and the athletic director and president have deemed that two sports which consume 2.63 percent of the annual athletic budget must be sacrificed through a "process" that has generated a huge stench.

I was honored to be elected to the Towson University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1983 as the result of my participation in soccer and baseball. My plaque in the new basketball complex will now have to be put on the shelf with the baseball and soccer tombstones. And all the while Doc Minnegan is rolling over in his grave at what has just happened.

Craig W. Laferty

The writer is member of the Towson class of 1966.

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