Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Franchot: State funding of Towson baseball a ‘bad idea’

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (File Photo)

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot wanted Towson University to reexamine its decision to cut the men’s soccer and baseball programs, not for the state to give it a bailout.

“Bad idea,” Franchot said Wednesday, referring to $300,000 Gov. Martin O’Malley included in his supplemental budget that is earmarked for saving the baseball team. The men’s soccer team received no money.

The comptroller said the grant set a terrible precedent “because next year, [President] Freeman Hrabowski at UMBC will be calling up for the chess team.”

State fiscal analysts are also skeptical of the grant and recommended  Tuesday that the General Assembly‘s budget committees turn the grant into a loan that would need to be paid back within five years.

Franchot said that’s a bad idea, too.

“It shouldn’t be a grant or a loan,” he said.

And when Franchot was asked by a reporter why University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh was able to cut a half-dozen athletic teams at the state’s flagship university last year without drawing the ire of state officials the way Towson University President Maravene Loeschke has, Franchot was blunt.

“He didn’t lie,” Franchot said, saying Loeschke attributed the cuts to Title IX issues rather than just saying the university did not have the money to pay for the sports.