UTB baseball players will be playing their final home games this weekend after 38 years of competition. As the season draws to a close we re-examine the decision to cut the program and if university officials "covered all the bases" when it comes to saving the school's longest running sport.
Here is a letter from UTB President Juliet Garcia regarding the decision to cut the program:
The end of the Partnership between UTB and TSC requires that we make many difficult decisions. Among them is the decision to continue an active NAIA athletic program at UTB that includes men and women's soccer, golf and cross country and women's volleyball but ends the baseball program. Because funding for an athletic program is tied directly to the total number of students paying a student fee and because UTB anticipates losing between 40 to 50% of the total dollars available for athletics in the future, we were required to dramatically reduce overall expenses.
The decision was made in December in order to provide time in the spring to help students transfer to other baseball programs. We were also able to guarantee that all student athletes would continue to receive their full scholarships through to graduation in a timely manner.
Our current baseball program is composed of 40 students. The eight seniors are expected to graduate this year and seven students have been requested for interview by other university baseball programs. If students choose not to transfer to another university to continue with their sport, we will continue to honor their baseball scholarships to help them stay at UTB and earn their degrees. They will be advised and guided into their chosen field of study and will be required to enroll full time and maintain the GPA requirements set during their playing time.
The baseball tradition that has its roots with Texas Southmost College has benefited from the enthusiastic support of many loyal and committed fans over the years. We are very grateful and appreciative to everyone who has played a role in supporting our athletic programs in the past and hope that they will continue to support student athletes at both UTB and TSC in the future.
Juliet V. García