Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Maryland Governor Restores Towson Baseball

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has allocated $300,000 to Towson University for the next two years, in order to reinstate the baseball team cut that had been eliminated last month by the university president and athletic director.  Towson claimed that cutting baseball, along with men's soccer, was necessary to rein in athletic department finances and achieve Title IX compliance, although the universities Board of Visitors had earlier questioned the accuracy of the Title IX rationale. Towson will reportedly use the additional state money to support baseball as well as explore adding an additional women's team.  Based on public reports about equity in athletic opportunity, Towson provides 52% of athletic opportunities to women, though women constitute 61% of the undergraduate student body.

It is unclear to me whether the Governor's gift has truly saved the team or simply provided a two-year reprieve for its varsity status. The university president noted that even with the additional money, the university will have to raise student fees by $8 and fundraise an additional $100,000 per year in order to keep baseball.  What happens after that?  This report states that the team must become "self-sufficient" by 2015, but if self-sufficient means that the team pays for itself with little university support, I think there's another label for that -- a club team.