Pending budget cuts and the lack of adequate facilities have forced Cleveland State University to announce the end of its NCAA baseball program at the conclusion of the 2011 season.■ Q&A on CSU decision to drop baseball (csuvikings.com)
"This team has had a long and proud history, but the cost of maintaining baseball in Northeast Ohio has become increasingly prohibitive," said CSU Athletic Director John Parry. "My heart goes out to the players, coaches and alumni who have honored this 79-year-old program and made it an important part of this University and of their own lives."
Over the past decade, the NCAA baseball season has progressively started earlier in the year, favoring southern teams in warmer climates. Northern schools have been forced to practice indoors and build expensive all-weather fields.
Compounding the problem, CSU has no baseball facilities and has resorted to playing in a facility in Avon, Ohio, more than 20 miles from campus. Considerations to build a new ballpark on the University's North Campus were eclipsed this year by a lack of public and private funding. The costs involved with playing and practicing off site simply could not be maintained in this economic climate, Parry said.
The decision will not affect CSU's classification as a Division I athletic school, nor will it affect its membership in the Horizon League. Existing baseball scholarships will be honored throughout their terms, and players will be allowed to transfer to other schools at no penalty.
Why was baseball chosen to be cut? Three reasons:
- The relative high cost ($450,000 per year) 3rd most expensive sport
- No on campus facility for practice or games
- The weather in Northeast Ohio
Did Title IX play any part in the decision making?
Indirectly; in order to be in compliance with Title IX’s M/F participation percentages, a decision to drop a women’s sport would most likely have required us to drop more than one men’s sports.