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Boise State eliminates baseball and swimming programs

Boise State baseball during an exhibition game. (CBS2 file)
Boise State baseball during an exhibition game. (CBS2 file)
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Boise State University is eliminating baseball and its swimming and diving programs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It will save the university $3 million.

“This is one of the hardest decisions athletic departments have to make, but it comes at a time when we are facing the most serious financial challenge we have ever seen,” said Curt Apsey, Boise State athletic director. “Times like these are difficult for many people and we appreciate everyone who has supported these programs over the years, including our coaches, current and former student-athletes, donors and fans. We take all these measures seriously, knowing that the long-term stability of our department must remain a high priority.”

BSU says all of the affected athletes' scholarships will be honored including incoming 2020 signees.

“The university had already been working closely with athletics to create a sustainable budget," said Dr. Marlene Tromp, university president. "The pandemic has made a challenging financial situation unsustainable. Ultimately, the reduction of the number of sports in which we compete allows Boise State a better chance of remaining competitive at the highest level and provides a more realistic roadmap to a sustainable future for the University and athletic department.”

It's devastating news for the student-athletes. A recent BSU grad and swim team alum shared her reaction with CBS2.

“At first it was a shock I never wanted to see this day come but at the same time I could see it coming knowing the status of college athletics right now and knowing what our smaller team is I could see that as a potential and now it’s reality,” said former BSU swimmer Sydney Johansen.

The baseball team barely got off the bench... their first season in decades just started back up last year. The school was planning on building a stadium on the south side of campus, now the lives of the student-athletes are being turned upside down.

“I loved my four years and to be in any of those positions a soon to be senior and having your team cut I can’t even imagine the emotions that they’re feeling right now,” Johansen said.

It's not just sports for the student-athletes, it's a way of life.

“They (teammates) are a family and to have your family ripped apart like that is really sad. We go to Boise State for more than just the swim team it’s the city and the academics all of those things combined make it incredible and to have one of those pieces broken off is just it’s gotta be super upsetting for them,” Johansen said.

Boise State is honoring student scholarships for the athletes affected and they'll help students with the transfer process if they want to play and compete elsewhere.

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