UMBC ending men's, women's golf teams

AD: School will use money to focus on its `key sports'

May 09, 2002|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

UMBC announced it will discontinue its men's and women's varsity golf programs effective July 1, the school's Director of Athletics, Dr. Charles Brown, announced yesterday.

The resources spent on golf will be reallocated within the school's athletic program, geared toward enhancing the more visible sports.

"After a nine-month university-wide study, it was determined that UMBC make every effort to become more visible on a regional and national level in several key sports," said Brown.

The men's golf program was established in 1972-73, but discontinued after the 1979-80 season before returning in 1990-91. The team captured three straight Northeast Conference titles from 1999 to 2001, before finishing eighth in last month's championships.

The women's program was the first among state schools in Maryland, beginning in the fall of 1998. The team's fourth-place finish in the NEC tournament last month was its best in its four years.

Coach Pat Kotten, who guided both teams, said he and his players were surprised when Brown told them on Tuesday.

"It's very disappointing," he said. "For the men's team, it was 12 years where we won three NEC championships and was selected to NCAAs two years. The women's program was a newer program - four years old - growing and doing very well. It's a blow to see the first women's state program go."

This year's men's team included three juniors, two sophomores and four freshmen, while the women's team had three seniors, one junior, one sophomore and two freshmen.

Brown said all scholarships will be honored if the student-athletes choose to stay. He added the school will help any others who decide to transfer.

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