Bowling Green reinstates baseball program after donors pledge $1.5M

CLEVELAND -- Bowling Green baseball is now safe.

The school said Tuesday it is immediately reinstating its baseball program, which had been dropped last month because of financial hardships caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Bowling Green was facing a $2 million athletic-budget shortfall because of the coronavirus outbreak, and baseball was cut in hopes of saving other sports from a similar fate.

However, soon after the school's announcement, a fundraising effort led by former BGSU players and donors brought in enough money to save a program that produced former Dodgers and Indians All-Star pitcher Orel Hershiser.

"In just days, our passionate baseball alumni and donors have committed $1.5 million over the next three years," athletic department spokesperson Jason Knavel said. "During this time, the university, in partnership with a select group of baseball alumni, will pursue a long-term funding solution to sustain and support the program."

Bowling Green has said previously it costs $750,000 a year to run the baseball program.

Other Mid-American Conference schools as well as others around the country have been forced to make difficult financial decisions because of the pandemic. Akron dropped women's tennis along with men's cross country and golf.