CEDAR CITY, Utah, Jan. 13 - Southern Utah University's intercollegiate baseball program will be discontinued following the 2012 season, it was announced today. The University's Board of Trustees approved the action in its regular meeting following a recommendation by its athletic sub-committee.
The University's pending move to the Big Sky Conference, coupled with the need to redirect resources to add men's tennis, precipitated the decision to eliminate baseball, SUU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ken Beazer said. The Big Sky does not sponsor baseball but requires the addition of men's tennis as a core sport for the 2012-13 academic year.
The committee further recommended the athletics department continue in the future to channel its resources into sports with strong conference affiliations in order to put its best foot forward.
"This is one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make in my time at Southern Utah University," Beazer said. "We have a long and proud baseball history at SUU and in the community, but with the move to the Big Sky we have been presented with some hard choices.
"The sub-committee did not come to this decision easily," Beazer added. "There were many factors and options considered; yet, we believe today's decision puts the University in a better position to advance its intercollegiate athletics programs.
"We want to thank David Eldredge, his staff and all the student-athletes on the baseball team," Beazer went on to say. "We have committed to do everything we can to help them with this transition and look forward to supporting them through this season."
Beazer indicated that existing athletic scholarships will be honored for players with remaining eligibility for one year following the 2012 season.
Southern Utah's baseball program, which dates back to its junior college days, was cancelled once previously, in 1990, but was brought back for the 1991 season. Since the school moved to the NCAA Division I level in 1988 the team has never advanced beyond its conference tournament to post-season play.