Sports: Students mourn cut teams

In one week, UVM baseball will host Siena in what will be its final home opener ever at Centennial Field.

However, more than a month after it was announced that both the UVM baseball and softball teams will be cut, there is still a sense of confusion running through the student body as to why the move was made.

Athletic Director Robert Corran cited a $1.1 million gap in the budget as the reasoning for the cuts in a press conference on Feb. 20., but there has been a growing movement on and off campus – including an online petition – pushing for the reinstatement of baseball.

While many students said they were “familiar” with the cuts and that they “feel bad” for the players, several students expressed “no opinion” on the matter – a dim reminder of one of the major reasons why the teams were cut in the first place.

But for a small legion of fans, the loss of the teams not only triggered anger and frustration at the current administration, but also sadness at the loss of a tradition at UVM.

“It’s a slap in the face for everyone involved,” senior Kellen Ryan said. “You’re basically telling the players they are expendable.”

Fellow senior Tom Mertz admitted that the move was fiscally related, but also disagreed with the administration’s actions.

“It’s bad management,” Mertz said. “The University’s purpose is to make money, and when that’s your objective, obviously you’re going to cut the program that nets the least amount of profits.”

Senior Drew Ehle said he was very surprised by the move, adding, “You think of baseball as an American sport.” “It’s weird to me that a state school would cut baseball.”

Despite the grassroots push towards reinstatement, The Burlington Free Press reported last Thursday, March 26 that the Board of Trustees would not look at reversing the administration’s decision.

The Cat’s first pitch at home in their final season is set for Tuesday at 4 p.m., and UVM will host Manhattan in a weekend set on Friday and Saturday.