Friday, February 20, 2009

University of Vermont Dropping Baseball & Softball At Seasons' End

When I first found out the following news about the University of Vermont dropping its baseball and softball programs at the end of this season; the first person I talked to about it is a good friend of mine who is a sports radio-host & covers college baseball in the south.

Jokingly his first response to me was "Shame for those 5 fans." Of course he was joking about the stereotype of northern schools in warm weather sports, but he and I both know what we're really talking about. While most people might dismiss this as a small school who struggled to field a team year in-year/year-out, simply failing at an experiment; its much further from it. The University of Vermont fielded its first baseball team over 100 years ago in 1888.

I understand tough economic situations, and a normally warm weather sport in a generally colder place hardships; but we're talking about a decision that will strand 43 student-athletes, 5 coaches, and discontinuing a program that has 3 NCAA tournament appearances and two recent conference championships (2003 & 2006).

I remember when Tulane announced it was going to get rid of almost half its sports including football (and that was BEFORE hurricane Katrina); graciously enough, a bunch of boosters who recognized the large importance of student athletics, through some serious fund raising were able to keep those sports alive and have even built them to new higher places. We can only hope a similar thing can happen in Vermont; but until then I will be first in line to say I'm rooting for the Catamounts to not only make it to Omaha but win the College World Series this year!


Mike said...

Dude, we are covering this team all season. And look where they start their season... right here at Vandy. Too bad I can't afford to go. I'll try to score tickets this week somehow. If not, I'll listen to some on the radio.

Allen Wedge said...

Oh heck yeah! I wanna follow them all season. Dude, tickets for any of the Vandy games are $7 for single game online. Try what you can but if you can't score any for the game I'll cover you for a game, we need some pictures and up close Catamount analysis. I can't imagine it being too hard to score tickets for a game in that series, well if you actually know any season ticket holders hehe.

(for $9.95 one can also watch the 3 games on the computer, as well as any other Vandy games that month vandy has that ccess wish vermont did.)

Catamounts got a hard opening road; follow up Vandy with a visit series to Ole Miss. Also not sure why but they play a lot of 2-game series, guess that's how they roll in America East Conference.

Anonymous said...

Can they beat the Brewers?

Mike said...

Ha, I'll let you know after this weekend.