Feb. 24, 2009


Northern Iowa to Drop Baseball


Northern Iowa became the second school to announce that it will eliminate its baseball program, following Vermont’s decision last week.


According to UNI director of athletics Troy Dannen, budget estimates projected at least a nine percent reduction in state funding and a gap between revenues and expenses of between $500,000 and $600,000 for the upcoming year as a result.


UNI will retain 17 varsity sports, seven for men (basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, wrestling) and 10 for women (basketball, cross country, golf, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, swimming, tennis, volleyball).


There are 35 members of the UNI baseball team. Those with eligibility remaining would be allowed to transfer to another school and play in 2010. Current and incoming players on scholarship will have those scholarships honored.


Rick Heller is in his 10th season as head coach of the Panthers. He has compiled a record of 248-254-1 at UNI after posting a mark of 291-194-3 in 12 seasons at Upper Iowa. Heller guided the Panthers to the 2001 Missouri Valley Conference Tournament title in 2001 and the school’s first NCAA Regional appearance since moving to Division I in 1981.


The Panthers dropped two of three this past weekend at UALR.