ELIZABETH CITY, NC- Elizabeth City State University has announced the temporary suspension of its baseball program effective immediately.
During the next few years, ECSU will strengthen its fundraising efforts in support of all its athletic programs, including scholarships and facilities. ECSU anticipates a return to the baseball diamond beginning with the 2017-18 academic year. Head baseball coach Terrance Whittle will be reassigned within the Department, working on behalf of the program with a focus on the completion of a baseball field and other fundraising ventures for baseball scholarships.
Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, the Athletic Department’s sports sponsorship will be 10 sports, the minimum for NCAA Division II membership.
This decision may monetarily affect four baseball student-athletes who will be seniors this upcoming year. Student-athletes that continue their undergraduate education at ECSU will receive their athletic aid for 2014-15.Those who desire to transfer to another institution will be granted releases so that they may continue their playing careers.
“Suspending or eliminating a varsity sport should always be the last option for an athletic department because many people are impacted by such a decision”, says J. Lin Dawson, Interim Athletic Director. “At the center of every decision and course of action are the student-athletes who trust Elizabeth City State University with their academic and athletic careers. Therefore, the decision to suspend baseball for three years is regretful and unfortunate. The Department of Athletics commits to (1) providing sound and well organized athletically-related experiences that lead to high achievement and lends to the overall satisfaction of student life and alumni pride, (2) graduating student-athletes, and (3) developing them as leaders to impact the community at large now and beyond their playing days. “
Due to financial restraints, the Athletic Department, like other entities at the University, must make significant changes to address the recent decline in enrollment. The temporary suspension of baseball is part of the University’s intensive right-sizing plan to achieve financial stability.