Baseball, men’s golf cut at UND

Baseball, mens golf cut at UND

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Hours after celebrating one of UND’s greatest sports accomplishments, it was announced that the university would be discontinuing the baseball and men’s golf programs due to school-wide budget cuts.

“There are realities to the amount of funding the state can provide,” UND Interim President Ed Schafer said in a statement. “In fact, all of our revenue sources will be under pressure for the foreseeable future. This requires us to focus, to prioritize, to plan and to make the tough decisions.”

According to a statement made by the UND Athletics Department, the removal of the baseball and the men’s golf programs will eliminate $2.4 million dollars from the department’s budget.

Both programs have a long standing history at UND. While not without some hiatuses, the UND baseball team has been around since 1889 and have played every year since 1956.

The men’s golf team is also one of the school’s oldest programs as golf became a varsity sport in 1929.

For players, coaches and fans of both teams, this is a tough pill to swallow.

Because it’s challenging to play both golf and baseball in Grand Forks due to of the uncooperative weather, both teams were on the road the majority of the year, if not all year.

Other than practicing at home, the men’s golf team spends the entire season on the road. Since the 2007-08 season, the team has only hosted two golf events in Grand Forks, one of those being an alumni tournament. Since the golf team’s inception in 2002, they have only hosted six total invitational in Grand Forks.

While the baseball team does play in Grand Forks, they also have a limited amount of home games.

The team has 48 games this season minus the post season. Of those 48 games, 31 of them are played on the road or neutral sites. The amount of home games also fluctuates from year-to-year. The amount of games are never set until the season as UND was limited to only 10 games at home in 2013-14 but got to play 19 games at Kraft Field in 2014-15.

The news of budget cuts stings even more for baseball fans because of the program’s recent success outside of UND.

Last year, the team had three players who went on to play professional baseball. Pitcher and infielder Jeff Campbell was signed to the Atlanta Braves, shortstop Tyler Follis was signed by the Colorado Rockies and pitcher Andrew Thome was signed to the Houston Astros.

The university administration has acknowledged that these cuts were not easy to make.

“This is the hardest decision we’ve had to make as a department and that I’ve ever had to make in my career,” UND Athletics Director Brian Faison said in a statement. “UND Athletics is a part of the university and we have to do what is in the long-term best interests of the university, as well as the athletics department.”

Both teams will be able to finish off the remainder of their respective seasons before the cuts come into effect.

Men’s golf will finish its season on April 29, when they compete in the Big Sky Championship.

The baseball team is in the midst of their season. The Hawks will play one last road series against the UT Rio Grande Valley before playing nine games at Kraft Field.

Alex Stadnik is the sports editor for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]