Before you say I have no facts, read this article from the Baltimore Business Journal
By now most of you know that Towson University decided to cut its men’s baseball and soccer teams on Friday. I had been waiting to write this piece because I was waiting for President Loeschke and/or Mike Waddell to answer questions from the media but the chances of this are slim.
Anyways, it seems most of you are upset about this and I’m wondering why. On Saturday morning, my “Weekend Warriors” (Saturday’s 9am-12pm) crew and I fielded a few calls from listeners expressing their frustration and anger at Towson for cutting their two programs.
These decisions have been in the works for months and I find it funny how so many people now care about what happened at Towson now that has actually happened. It’s your classic “no one cares till it’s gone” scenario.
I am a student at Towson University. In my first year at this school I saw a football program go an entire season with one win. I saw the end of the Pat Kennedy era of the basketball team and the subsequent record breaking losing streak by the basketball program. However, since those awful years, I have seen back to back CAA Championships from the football team and the greatest Division-1 turnaround of a basketball program ever. Towson sports are on the rise. I’ve been to every home game that football has had since I started including the games during the 1-9 season. I went to a number of games during basketball’s losing streak and went to every home game this season for their turnaround. The games I haven’t gone to are those of the soccer and baseball programs and I absolutely love both of these sports having played both of them my entire life.
What’s the point here?
Someone who has no ties (be it family, friend, or groupie) to either team will not attend games of a mediocre college soccer or baseball team. They will however go to basketball and football games and will turn out in record numbers if they are good as you can see from Towson football’s attendance records from the past two years. I mean, students even stormed the court after basketball’s final game this year. You would never and will never see that at a baseball or soccer game.
I couldn’t care less that the administration cut baseball and soccer. Neither program benefits me or any of my other fellow students at Towson and more importantly, to the administration, they didn’t benefit the university itself. Football and basketball do however benefit the university and most college students would rather go to these games.
The reality is that college sports are a business and a big one at that. Football and basketball can benefit a university in many ways. Publicity is the biggest way. The CAA’s deal with NBC Sports Network has undoubtedly improved Towson’s visibility and their performance in those televised games has increased their reputation and reach. More people who know who you are means more people applying to your university. It’s quite simple actually. It’s an “arms race” for the most publicity and if Towson thought the best way to compete in it was to cut those two programs then more power to them. I don’t want my school to lag behind because some people’s feelings will get hurt.
And I sure as hell don’t want my student fees to be raised just so some students can go to school for free and play on mediocre sports teams.
This brings me back to my original question. Why do you care? It’s my school and I don’t even care. There’s absolutely no reason for you to get indignant about it if I’m not.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel for the players involved in these cuts. They now have to transfer if they want to play their sport elsewhere. However, what I don’t feel sorry about is that if they stay their scholarships will be honored. So either way they are still getting a free education. From someone who will be in debt from their college education expenses, here’s a sarcastic “boohoo”.
You can talk all you want about how the players and coaches were being treated. They were being fired. There is no “nice” way to do that. Peoples’ feelings would have gotten hurt regardless.
So for all those who suddenly care about the cuts at my school: Where were you when no one attended baseball and soccer games? Where were you when no one stepped up to the plate to donate money or raise funds?
I’m not going to take a holier than though stance like some about this situation. I won’t blame my school for trying to keep up with the cut throat capitalist mentality of college sports. I don’t want my school to be left behind. My school has turned its most important athletic programs around in record and stunning fashion. I’m proud of my Towson Tigers.