Furman University Slashes Men's Golf Program
By Torleif Sorenson on 2/11/14
The Board of Trustees of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, has voted to discontinue their men's golf team at the end of this academic year. What is so shocking about this decision is that Furman has produced so many excellent golfers over the decades — including former PGA Tour and Ryder Cup star Brad Faxon.
The women's golf program, which will continue, has had even more success; 11 former Lady Paladin golfers have made it to the LPGA Tour, including Hall of Famers Beth Daniel and Betsy King. They program has won 13 Southern Conference championships, including consecutively from 1994 to 2002, then again in the 2004–05 and 2008–09 seasons.
In a press release, the university said the decision "was based on an extensive evaluation of criteria, including public visibility, attendance, competitiveness, and overall costs." The school is not discontinuing any of their other athletic programs.
Golfweek writer Lance Ringler reported on Monday that Furman 2006 graduate T.J. Blandford began circulating a petition online — and it has already gained over 1,500 signatures. However, Furman men's golf coach Todd Satterfield is not expecting a retraction on the decision.
"A lot of people are working behind the scenes and making phone calls to see if anything can happen. I am not very optimistic.Satterfield has coached the Paladin men's golf team to three Southern Conference championships and four NCAA regionals, most recently in 2010. He is also the current president of the Golf Coaches Association of America. (Talk about adding insult to injury!)
In this writer's opinion, the Board of Trustees has not acted in an honest or benevolent fashion; the correct thing to do would have been to advise of the potential decision and give alumni and supporters time to contribute funds to support and maintain the men's golf program. And if Furman University's board of trustees hold to their decision to 86 the program, this writer expects every team member (and coach Satterfield especially) to be recruited to join other NCAA Division I programs elsewhere.
H-T: Lance Ringler
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[ comments ]
Surprisingly enough Furman also has its own golf course that is very highly rated among college owned courses. Hopefully nothing bad will happen there as I have a child who is planning on looking at Furman.
Nice to see the college gave a big FU to the golf team.
Complete aside: What's the etymology of the phrase "to 86" something?
@jpj: as far as I know it is a restaurant worker slang term meaning to be out of supply of something. Where it comes from dunno
Regarding the news item in the post, if this means the FU folks are able to use the funds in academic scholarships then ok that seems alright with me.
Also, it might snow
I assume these kids can transfer to any program in the country and not have to sit out a year? You know, since their program vanished overnight without any warning.
Thought I read that the womens golf team is being kept. Only the mens is going away. No other sports programs are even having budget cuts. Never played it but I did stop by for a look when I was in Greenville a couple years back, looked like a nice place. It is open for public play too.
joe jones says:
This is happening to secondary colleges and universities all over the country. Unless they have a profitable football or basketball program to help underwrite the lesser sports and activities things like music, theater they can't fund them. Sad but true.
And for the most part, it is men's programs (in different sports) that are disappearing, due to Title IX.
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