Truman State to cut men's golf in fall of 2011

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Truman State University, located in Kirksville, Mo., announced Feb. 28 it will eliminate men’s golf in the fall of 2011. Truman competes at the Division II level.

In addition to phasing out men’s golf, a program that has been on campus since 1933, Truman announced it would no longer grant athletic scholarships to members of the men’s tennis, men’s swimming, wrestling or baseball programs.

“This difficult decision is based upon the economic reality facing the University,” said Athletics Director Jerry Wollmering. “We received a 5.2 percent reduction in state funding this year, and anticipate at least a seven percent cut for next year. This translates into fewer resources to effectively operate all our programs. As fixed costs also rise, such as insurance and travel, we can no longer provide adequate resources for 21 intercollegiate sports programs.”

Truman is a member of the Mid America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. The elimination of men’s golf reduces Truman’s number of intercollegiate athletics to 20, still the most of any school in the conference.

Nik Bentzinger, a rising senior, expressed the team’s disappointment at the decision.

“There had been talks of budget cuts but I had never heard anything along the lines of our team getting cut. To hear that was really disappointing,” said Bentzinger, who was named to the all-MIAA team for the 2009-10 season. “... That was kind of disheartening that we couldn’t do much about the decision that had already been made.”

Bentzinger said many of the underclassmen on the roster already are locked into housing for the coming year, which limits options for pursuing golf at another school.

“We’re financially tied in leases and housing so it’s really hard for somebody to transfer for next year,” he said.

Truman earned two top-5 finishes in five starts this fall, and was fifth at last year’s MIAA Championship.

– Information from Truman State Athletics used in this report.

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