It appears the Towson University baseball program has been presented with a save opportunity.
The team, which protested an earlier announcement that Towson was cutting baseball by obscuring the university name on its jerseys with tape, would receive $300,000 in state funds to operate over two years while funds can be raised to keep the program viable long-term, according to a 2014 supplemental budget proposed by Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley. The proposal, announced Monday, awaits approval by the Maryland State Legislature.
It already has been greeted with cheers from Towson players. "I was skeptical about the whole thing," junior infielder Pat Fitzgerald told The Towerlight campus newspaper. "When I knew it was legit, I was ecstatic and couldn't believe we got saved. It was like all the prayers were answered."
The Towson men's soccer team received no such reprieve, a fact baseball coach Mike Gottlieb said shouldn't be overlooked. "It worked out for us, but keep in mind it apparently has not worked out for soccer, and we need to be respectful of that," he said.
Gottlieb himself had been critical of how the university administration originally handled the cuts, which were announced with armed Towson police officers present.
A media release Monday said the government money would be used to address financial and Title IX shortcomings in the baseball program.
"No leader seeks to make a decision to disappoint young people who have a passion, whether it's a sport or an academic discipline," sated Towson president Maravene Loeschke. "I thank the Governor for helping Towson address this Title IX issue through his supplemental budget - a move only he could make."