Baseball could soon return to the University of Akron, as the school has announced a recommendation to revive the program.
The Akron Zips fielded a baseball team until the summer of 2015, when then-university president Scott Scarborough announced that the program would be eliminated as part of an effort to cut costs. Since that decision, many have lobbied for the sport to return, and now the university is working on a plan to field a team in the coming years.
The current proposal calls for both baseball and women’s lacrosse to be added for the 2019-20 academic year. Additionally, the university is expected to seek an agreement for the baseball team to play games at Canal Park, home of the Akron RubberDucks (Class AA; Eastern League). University president Matthew Wilson and director of athletics Larry Williams announced the details of their recommendation on Tuesday. More from The Akron Beacon-Journal:
“We have heard loud and clear the community’s desire to bring baseball back to UA and we have been examining ways to do that in a financially responsible manner. Prospective students have voiced the same desire,” Wilson said in a news release.
Adding lacrosse offered an additional way for female students to participate in athletics. The UA athletics department will join Kent State and Ashland in adding teams to a sport that’s been the fastest growing since 2000.
“From a university standpoint, this approach is designed to be revenue positive after an initial start-up period,” Williams said. “The university will look to external supporters for financial assistance for this initiative and we believe donors will step up and facilitate the addition of these two sports.”
The proposal will receive further discussion during a board of trustees meeting on October 11.