LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - April 17, 2009 Lock Haven University President Keith T. Miller announced today that the institution will discontinue its men’s baseball program, effective at the end of the 2009 season. It is estimated that the long-term annual savings resulting from this decision will be approximately $110,000 per year.Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The primary reason for the decision is financial. “The current economic climate is such that every area of the university must consider and implement cost-saving measures. The University is not able to sustain its athletics program as it presently exists without doing significant harm to intercollegiate athletics as a whole and to our core academic mission,” said Miller.
Miller said that the decision “was not taken lightly.” The decision was reached following analysis and consultation with athletics administrators, coaches, university administrators, and external constituencies.
The affected coaches and student-athletes have been notified. “If the affected student-athletes wish to transfer to another institution,” said Miller, “we will do everything possible to help in that process.” By NCAA regulations, all student-athletes affected by the elimination of their sport can transfer to another school and be immediately eligible for the 2009-10 season, providing they meet all NCAA eligibility requirements. If a student-athlete has an existing scholarship and chooses to remain at LHU, the scholarship will be honored for the period the student-athlete would have been eligible for competition, provided the student-athlete meets NCAA and university eligibility requirements.
Students interested in baseball may pursue club sport status under the policies and procedures of the university.
Concerning funds donated to LHU baseball, the money may have already been allocated for scholarships or other sport-specific needs, depending on the requested use of the funds by the donor. Donors will be consulted to determine their wishes regarding the future use of funds.
“Baseball at Lock Haven has a long history and a rich tradition,” said Miller. “The loss of any such program is painful and not made less so by recognition that hard decisions are now required to meet the challenges facing our university.”
Miller stressed that baseball alumni “will always be a part of the LHU family.” “The history of baseball is treasured,” he added. “The records and history will be maintained in the Sports Information Office. Alumni are still eligible for any appropriate alumni athletics awards and honors, just as with our other sports.”