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Boise State Eliminates Baseball Program Fresh Off Return

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Boise State’s baseball program is yet another victim to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the financial fallout that is blistering athletic departments around the country, as the university announced Thursday it was eliminating baseball and the swimming and diving programs.

Boise State joins two other college baseball programs who have cut their programs during the pandemic — Chicago State and Furman. Bowling Green also cut its program, but the Falcons raised $1.5 million to keep the program afloat for at least a few more seasons. Furman has a group assembling funds to resurrect the program, while even Chicago State has a movement currently in the works to try to save its program. It remains to be seen if BSU will have the type of luck that Bowling Green had, but sources told D1Baseball that there is an ongoing movement in Boise to raise enough money to keep the program afloat. We will see if the administration allows that process to take place, or if the program is eliminated for good.

“Today’s decision came after an extensive review and in-depth analysis of the athletics department’s budgets and programs by several senior leaders,” Boise State president Marlene Tromp said in a statement. “The university had already been working closely with athletics to create a sustainable budget. The pandemic has made a challenging financial situation unsustainable. 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.”

Boise State is no stranger to budgetary issues. Back in April when the pandemic took hold of the United States, the university announced sweeping budget cut measures that included pay cuts or furloughs (running through July 31) for members of the baseball coaching staff, as well as football coaches and other coaches in major sports. Today’s decision to cut baseball and swimming and diving, BSU says, will save the athletic department around $3 million annually.

“The university had already been working closely with athletics to create a sustainable budget,” Boise State president Marlene Tromp said. “The pandemic has made a challenging financial situation unsustainable. 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.”

This news comes as a crushing blow to Boise State and college baseball, and, frankly, is quite the surprise. The Broncos underwent a substantial fundraising campaign just to bring baseball back. The program was eliminated first back in 1980 before the school raised funds and announced in 2017 it was bringing back the program. BSU welcomed its first recruiting class to campus in the fall of 2018 and excitement was high this past spring as the program relaunched. For the 2020 season, the Broncos were off to an impressive start through 14 games. Boise State was 9-5 overall, gave Texas all it could handle opening weekend and had 3,300 fans in attendance on Opening Night at home against Northern Colorado.

As of early Friday, 18 Boise State players were already in the NCAA Transfer Portal.

Now, the Broncos need a Hail Mary to stay in business. Whether this is it for the Broncos remains to be seen, but what we can say is that the wheels are in motion to potentially save the program.

Stay tuned.

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