Towson athletes slighted by team cuts

TOWSON, Md. -  

To lose is one thing, to lose respect is an entirely different ball game.

"It was kind of a lack of respect to us, that they really felt that way about us."

Sophomore relief pitcher Nick Cioffi is not talking about Towson University cutting his sport so much as how it was cut.

He says he and his teammates received a text message in the middle of class Friday morning from a number they didn't know explaining of a mandatory meeting in 30 minutes on campus.

The entire team didn't even get a chance to assemble before the university president walked in the room flanked by of all things, armed guards.

"She came in, the police officers followed her in right after and they surrounded the whole stage.  It kind of felt like a slap in the face to us, like they don't even have that much respect for us?" said Cioffi.

Protected by police, University President Maravene Loeschke took two minutes and no questions as she said she was sorry, but the baseball program would be no more; same for men's soccer.

It was a meeting head baseball coach Mark Gottlieb says he was forbidden to attend, instead the 25 year coaching veteran and alum was told he would no longer be needed.

"I met with the Athletic Director, the president's chief of staff and someone from human resources who gave me, our soccer coach and my assistant coach our termination papers."

June 7th will be Mike Gottlieb's last day at Towson.

We wanted to talk with the president about how the university handled this announcement but were denied an interview.

It is relying on its statement Friday saying the sports were cut because of financial concerns and title nine compliance issues which deals with equal opportunity for men's and women's sports.

That said, Gottlieb who still hasn't been allowed to speak with the president, feels the university is hiding something.

"She answers to the workers here and close to 20 thousand students, she made a decision, I think she has an obligation to speak to the media and answer questions."

Until then the Towson baseball team will concentrate on the diamond.

Other baseball programs already called hoping to pick up some of the players and last week's announcement didn't stop major league scouts from attending this weekend's series.

"We're one family, we're gonna be playing for each other.  We're gonna go out there every day, play for coach and our teammates.  We have great team chemistry, we love each other and we're just gonna fight till the end of the year playing for these guys," said Cioffi.

Playing for each other and not the name they choose to cover with black tape through the rest of its final season.

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