The University of North Dakota is dropping baseball and men’s golf after this spring as part of its overall budget restructuring process. The was reached based upon forecast state revenue shortfalls, conference core sport sponsorship requirements, and Title IX compliance.
With these cuts, UND athletics will see a departmental cost savings of about $720,000 in operating budgets and salaries.
According to the Grand Forks Herald, athletic director Brian Faison proposed several budget remedies to the school's administration that did not include any sports being cut. But those were turned down.
UND's interim president Ed Schafer told the Herald: “My task to Brian was that we need to make permanent reductions in operating costs. So, if you’re going to make permanent reductions, you can’t trim a team a few players or cut coach salaries and wait until the next budget. You have to make permanent changes. To get to that number that we were requiring, permanent changes were necessary.
"He was forced into doing something that he didn’t want to do and that’s trim teams.”
The decision was made last week but not announced until Tuesday because of the hockey team's trip to the NCAA Frozen Four, which it won on Saturday. Baseball coach Jeff Dodson said he didn't find out until Tuesday.
He told D1baseball.com: “It was really out of nowhere. I got to school today and got an email saying we needed to meet with the athletic director, and when we got there the golf coach was there as well. So, Brian comes in and gives us the news. We started to have some conversations and we expressed some concerns one-on-one after the meeting."
The Fighting Hawks baseball team has 12 Minnesotans on its roster and attracted headlines earlier this season for winning two games against traditional national power Southern Cal, which was ranked 12th in the nation at the time but has struggled to a 15-15 record so far this season.
UND is 6-17.