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Governor O’Malley’s budget request provides baseball supporters a fundraising opportunity, extends decision timeline

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Today, if approved by the Maryland General Assembly, Towson University is slated to receive funding in the Governor’s FY14 Supplemental Budget to partially address both financial and federal Title IX issues surrounding last month’s decision to discontinue baseball and men’s soccer.

Governor O’Malley has positioned this funding request of $300,000 per year for two years to give Towson’s Division I baseball program and its supporters a window of opportunity for baseball program supporters to raise necessary funds to become self-sufficient by Fall 2015.

“No leader seeks to make a decision to disappoint young people who have a passion, whether it’s a sport or an academic discipline,” says Towson University President Maravene Loeschke.

“I thank the Governor for helping Towson address this Title IX issue through his supplemental budget—a move only he could make. I am pleased that he heard my strong desire to not resolve this issue solely on the backs of students with a large student fee increase and I applaud his continued commitment to keep college affordable in Maryland.”

According to the supplemental budget released this afternoon, this additional $300,000 per year will go to Towson’s athletics operating budget “to provide funds to address the immediate issues with Federal Title IX compliance and equity for women’s scholarships and support services; assistance to explore the addition of another woman’s sport to meet proportionality requirements; and operating assistance to support baseball operations while the University community engages in an aggressive fundraising campaign to enable baseball to be self-sufficient in two years.”

The request comes after President Loeschke’s meeting with Governor O’Malley last week. Even with this additional funding, a student fee increase of one percent, plus an additional fundraising effort of at least $100,000 per year from baseball program supporters, will be required to keep the program in operation.

Unfortunately, this additional funding does not include the reinstatement of men’s soccer at Towson. In order to reach proportionality, federal Title IX law will require Towson Athletics to explore additional female athlete opportunities in the near future.