Men's baseball among Temple sports cuts
PHILADELPHIA - February 25, 2014 (WPVI) -- Temple's campus is still abuzz about the cuts to its athletic department. Among the casualties, men's baseball.
The 2014 season will be the last.
It was basically a numbers game with Temple Rowing and crew getting a donation from a Temple board member of $5.5 million and a boathouse on Philadelphia's Boathouse row; that was one of the reason they were saved.
For the baseball team and Temple's other programs it comes down to the budget.
Temple's operating budget is among the lowest in the league and they have the highest number of sports.
Baseball has been a varsity sport at Temple since 1927, and now it is going away.
It was a sad day for everyone involved in the baseball program including the coaches who are going to lose their jobs, and the underclassmen who are going to have to find somewhere else to go.
With a season to prepare for, Coach Ryan Wheeler was at a loss for what to say to the team.
"Those are the words I've been searching for the last 24 hours, and before practice today we are going to talk. And I am just going to tell them that this is about life. This is really some lessons that everybody goes through in life, and it's difficult," said Ryan Wheeler, Temple Head Coach.
Wheeler says the fight to save the program was emotionally draining.
"We were put in the position where we've got to make some decisions about our lives and that will affect the rest of our lives in a very condensed time period, under a lot of pressure, and with very limited options," said Simon Mathews.
Simon Mathews, a freshman pitcher, said he did not plan to stay at Temple without a baseball program even though his scholarship would still be there.
Mathews says he loves the game too much, and doesn't believe the program was treated fairly.
"There's no part of me that says I am going to stay at Temple for two reasons, the first is that I love the game too much. The second is that throughout this entire process the administration has made it very clear the value they place on us," said Mathews.
Many of the players say school without the sport they love is not a thought they are willing to entertain.
"They are very uncertain about their future, and I know that is on their minds," said Wheeler. "I'm going to have to try to get them to focus on the present, to focus on what's in front of them, and we are really going to have to take things day by day."
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