BOWLING GREEN, Ohio — Bowling Green State University announced on Friday that the baseball program will be eliminated effective immediately. This is one part of a $2 million dollar reduction plan in the athletics department's budget.
This action comes as a direct result of financial restraints put on the university due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
"This was a very difficult, but necessary, decision," said Director of Athletics Bob Moosbrugger. "As a baseball alumnus, my heart breaks for the families affected by this decision. We will ensure the student-athletes in the program have support during this challenging time. We will honor the scholarship agreements through graduation and, should they pursue their collegiate baseball career elsewhere, we will assist in the process of finding a new home."
The move affects 34 student-athletes and three coaches. BGSU will now sponsor 17 NCAA Division I sports.
Dylan Dohanos, a BGSU infielder and Bowling Green native, would have been in his junior season before the elimination of the program. He was heartbroken to hear the news.
“Can’t really explain it. We just got off the phone with our athletic director and our coaches and they gave us the news, and obviously everybody was pretty emotional," said Dohanos. "We didn’t see it coming which made it a little worse. Obviously, everyone’s heart is broken because those are my brothers and I just got told that I can’t play with them anymore. Definitely heartbroken.”
An emotional Athletic Director Bob Moosbrugger held a virtual press conference to talk about the news and the impact of the decision. He played baseball at BGSU in the 1990s.
"I stepped on this campus in August of 1990 with the goal of being a Division I baseball player and being an athletic director," said Moosbrugger. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would accomplish both and then 30 years later have to make this decision."
"It is a difficult decision. As an alumnus, I feel a sense that I let my fellow baseball alumni down."
"While we remain committed to supporting Division I athletics programs, we must do this in a financially sustainable approach," said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. "We have made the difficult decision to eliminate the baseball program due to financial constraints. This decision was not made lightly, and does not reflect the rich history of the program, including five Mid-American Conference championships and four NCAA regional appearances."
The school also announced a restructuring of the Department of Recreation and Wellness to the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.
"We have spent the recent days identifying opportunities to align functional areas to share resources and streamline practices," BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers announced today. "I have also asked Bob Moosbrugger to assume an expanded role as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Recreation and Wellness. He will now provide oversight for all athletic facility operations and integrate our student recreation and wellness programs to focus on physical wellness of not just our Division I student-athletes, but each student."