Towson University cuts baseball, soccer

TOWSON, Md. - If Towson University won't represent them, these players won't represent it.

"We don't support Towson so we don't want to wear something that says Towson."

Zack Fisher of Perry Hall is just one of the players who blacked out the university's name on their chest as they took the field against Delaware a mere four hours after TU told them they were no longer playing for anything.

Baseball and soccer were cut.

These ball players now have less to play for the 2009 Orioles in September.

[How do you coach a team through a season knowing there's nothing to play for?]  "I don't know," said Head Coach Mike Gottlieb, "I've never done this before, but I'll be sensitive to their emotions and we'll do the best we can, get through it and try to get through it with a certain level of quality. "

Gottlieb has been Towson baseball's head coach since 1988.

While he knew this was a possibility back in the fall, he says he literally got a 30 minute heads up from the administration this morning that the decision was made.

After months of considering the option and despite a pretty healthy campaign to prevent it, Towson University citing long term financial stability announced it will slice off two of its teams.

In a statement released today, University President Maravene Loeschke said, "It is with confidence, but great sadness, that I accept the recommendation to discontinue the baseball program at the conclusion of this season and the men's soccer program, effective immediately."

"It's a money issue.  Somewhere along the line, keeping track of a budget got away from some people and here we are and they're saying the budget that's been created lately can't be maintained," said Gottlieb.

Mark it 'E' administration on your collegiate scorecard the coach said.

A long-time head coach now having to work to get all these kids transferred to other baseball programs...to say nothing of his own future.

Until then these ball players will play baseball; blacking out the name and focusing strictly on the game.

"I'm  gonna play...play like I'm on fire.  Play angry.  I want to prove something…show them what they shouldn't have done," said Fisher.

Starting tonight with Delaware.

Towson also said today it will re-instate tennis.

The decision was made after months of studying findings from a task force.

The university says it will continue to honor scholarships it gave for both sports.

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