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Boise State reverses course, will drop baseball

Boise State BroncosAfter reviving its NCAA baseball program and making plans for a new on-campus ballpark, Boise State decided to eliminate baseball completely in the face of budget cuts at the Boise university.

The school is facing budget cuts as a result of reduced NCAA revenues and potential lost of income from the football and basketball programs due to coronavirus concerns, to the tune of $3 million. The school’s swimming and diving programs will also be cut, with additional savings realized via department and program operating budget reductions.

Boise State announced in 2017 that it would launch a new baseball program in the 2020 season. It was initially believed that the university could share a proposed downtown ballpark with the Boise Hawks (short season A; Northwest League), but Boise State announced in October 2017 that it would instead pursue its own on-campus baseball facility, citing economic reasons. The university later acquired land near football’s Albertstons Stadium for the facility, but announced in February that it would not open in 2020 as originally scheduled. The on-campus ballpark had progressed to the point where a general contractor for the project was named.

“This is one of the hardest decisions athletic departments have to make, but it comes at a time when we are facing the most serious financial challenge we have ever seen,” said Athletic Director Curt Apsey in a press statement. “Times like these are difficult for many people and we appreciate everyone who has supported these programs over the years, including our coaches, current and former student-athletes, donors and fans. We take all these measures seriously, knowing that the long-term stability of our department must remain a high priority.”

“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 Dr. Marlene Tromp said in a press 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.”

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