University of Akron to recommend bringing back baseball program

University of Akron to bring back baseball program

After budget cuts brought it to an unceremonious end just two years ago, Akron's baseball team might be returning.

The university announced today that President Matthew J. Wilson and Athletic Director Larry Williams will recommend bringing the Zips baseball program back in time for the spring 2020 season. In addition, the two will also propose adding a women's lacrosse team.

"We have heard loud and clear the community’s desire to bring baseball back to UA and we have been examining ways to do that in a financially responsible manner," President Wilson said in a statement. "Now, we hope that the community will come forward and assist the University in restoring baseball and adding women’s lacrosse."

Akron controversially and abruptly ended its baseball program after the 2015 season, one of several cost-cutting measures made by then President Scott Scarborough. It was one of several widely criticized moves Scarborough made during his tenure, and he resigned under pressure last May.

In an effort to continue to save costs, the school says scholarships for the two new teams will come from community financial support, instead of university funds.

"We have developed a financial, operational and development model that will enable us to add these two attractive and desired sports to our offerings for student-athletes, giving them a chance to compete at the Division I level," Larry Williams said. "From a University standpoint, this approach is designed to be revenue positive after an initial start-up period."

Baseball had been Akron's oldest team sport, originally starting in 1873. Wilson and Williams will officially make their proposal during the UA Board of Trustees' next meeting on Oct. 11.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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