Boise State University surprised coaches, athletes and fans Tuesday when it announced it would be immediately dropping wrestling from its athletic lineup. The school is shifting priorities to another sport: baseball.
BSU hasn't had a varsity baseball team since 1980. Following a 37-year absence, the school said shifting from wrestling to baseball would strengthen the school’s athletic brand and offer more exposure. The great American pastime is the only sport in the Mountain West conference Boise State doesn’t offer.
The Bronco’s now-shuttered wrestling program originated more than half a century ago in 1959. Victories for the wrestling team proved elusive in recent years; the last time Bronco wrestling won more than three matches in a season was five years ago.
Curt Apsey, Boise State's athletic director, said cutting wrestling wasn't an easy decision but one that had to be made. In a statement, he assured student athletes their scholarships would be honored and that the school would do all it could to help them forward their collegiate wrestling careers elsewhere.
As recently as late last week, the school was still recruiting for the team’s roster.
According to the Statesman, wrestling is one of 14 sports at BSU that’s losing money. A report from the Idaho State Board Of Education released Monday found BSU wrestling brought in almost $116,000 to the school but cost the institution more than $465,000. The only two profitable sports in the Broncos' stable are basketball and football.
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