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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