BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Boise State is discontinuing its baseball program just months after the school was forced to cut short its first season in 40 years with only a handful of games played.
The school has also cut women’s swimming and diving because of budget issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On a video conference Thursday, athletic director Curt Apsey said cutting the two programs will save about $2.2 million to $2.3 million. The decision to cut baseball should also save the university long-term since it was in the process of trying to build an on-campus baseball stadium.
“We’re probably not even done trying to save money and finding different ways to create revenue because that darn future is just so unclear. Who knows what the fall is going to look like, not just from an athletic perspective but enrollment on campus and state support and those kinds of things,” Apsey said. “We were very fortunate to be able to get to that number, but I still think we need to find ways to save as much as we can, and generate different kinds of revenue going forward not knowing what the future is.”
The baseball program had recently been reinstated. The school announced in 2017 that it was adding baseball after it had been discontinued following the 1980 season. The team was playing for the first time this year but the Broncos managed only 14 games before the season was canceled.
Apsey said the conversation with baseball coach Gary Van Tol was especially difficult after he was hired in late 2017 to build the program from scratch.
“I’ve just seen the work that’s been put in by him, especially, and then his staff and his student-athletes so it was, it was a really tough conversation,” Apsey said.
Women’s swimming and diving had been offered at Boise State since the 2006-07 school year.
Apsey said athletes in both sports were informed of the decision via email, text and a video call Thursday. He said the decision on cutting the sports was made recently.
“The university had already been working closely with athletics to create a sustainable budget. The pandemic has made a challenging financial situation unsustainable,” university President Marlene Tromp said. “Ultimately, the reduction of the number of sports in which we compete allows Boise State a better chance of remaining competitive at the highest level and provides a more realistic roadmap to a sustainable future for the university and athletic department.”
The school said it will honor all scholarships for athletes in the affected programs, including incoming 2020 signings.