Elizabethton, TN — In a surprising move on Monday Furman University announced furloughs, budget cuts, and the cancellation of two sports programs due to financial fallout from COVID-19.
One of those cuts involved the baseball program, the university says that along with lacrosse will help to save 5 million dollars.
The Paladins baseball program started in 1896 and has played all but 5 seasons in the 124 years since. this year, the baseball team had an 8-9 record in a season that was shortened because of coronavirus.
A player such as Elizabethton baseball coach Ryan Presnell who played at Furman has had a hard time coming to terms with the decision, one that has left them him and others in an uncomfortable position.
“It’s not a feeling of shock, but sadness that I’ve not felt in my life over a lot of things. There’s a lot of kids that are living out a division one dream that won’t have that opportunity and they’re going to play a lower level, which is fine, I’m not demeaning those levels at all, it’s really good baseball, but at the end of the day a lot of kids went to Furman on a promise and the promise obviously included a degree, which is the most important part, but it did include division one baseball as well, according to Presnell.”