WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem State University announced Friday that it will eliminate baseball as one of the university's sports, and bring back men's golf.
The 2019 season will be the last for Rams Baseball.
WSSU's Office of Athletics says the decision is a result of "careful analysis of the athletics department budget and roster of sports."
The university explained that in 2017, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) eliminated baseball as a conference sport, which required the baseball team to play as an independent.
WSSU says the cost of playing as an independent is significantly higher, and by making this transition, all 10 WSSU varsity sports will be aligned with the CIAA.
“Eliminating a sport is always painful,” said interim Director of Athletics George Knox. “Our first concern is the academic and athletic experience of our student-athletes. We will work with the team members who are affected by this decision to ensure their success either here at WSSU or at other universities. While we are sad to say goodbye to the sport, the team’s successes will always be a part of this university’s history.”
The Rams baseball team will play its last home game on Tuesday, April 23 at BB&T Ballpark. The team's last scheduled game will be on Sunday, April 28, in Asheboro.
The university says it will continue to honor its agreement with baseball players who have athletic scholarships, and it will also work with any players who wish to transfer their credits and eligibility if they choose to compete at another university.
WSSU says men's golf will debut in spring 2020.