Bowling Green ends baseball program as part of athletics restructuring

Bowling Green cut its baseball program on Friday, as much of the college sports world continues to grapple with the financial crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a university statement, the move to discontinue baseball will save $500,000 and was part of a larger restructuring of the athletic department, which was asked to shed $2 million from its annual budget.

The university as a whole is projecting a shortfall of $29 million. Other cost-saving measures will include furloughs of the athletic department staff and other school personnel.

Bowling Green athletic director Bob Moosbrugger, who played baseball for the Falcons in the early 1990s, called the closure of the program "a very difficult, but necessary, decision."

"As a baseball alumnus, my heart breaks for the families affected by this decision," he said in a statement. "We will ensure the student-athletes in the program have support during this challenging time. We will honor their scholarship agreements through graduation and, should they pursue their collegiate baseball career elsewhere, we will assist in the process of finding a new home."

Along with honoring the scholarships of current players, the school will also fulfill scholarships for incoming freshmen who signed their national letter of intent. Student-athletes who wish to transfer will be able to compete immediately for other programs, per NCAA rules.

Bowling Green president Rodney K. Rogers said that while the school remains committed to its other Division I athletic programs, "we must do this in a financially sustainable approach."

"This decision was not made lightly," Rogers said, "and does not reflect the rich history of the program, including five Mid-American Conference championships and four NCAA regional appearances."

Several other colleges have shuttered programs since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, including Cincinnati's move to drop its men's soccer program and Old Dominion cutting wrestling.

On Thursday, Akron announced that it would be discontinuing its men's cross country, men's golf and women's tennis programs.