On This Day in IUPUI History: May 18, 2001

May 18, 2001. 

On this day, IUPUI issued a news release announcing that the university was ending its baseball team. The news came at the end of the baseball team's season, its third in National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) Division I competition in the Mid-Continent Conference. Earlier in the week, the team's coaches announced their resignations. Then the IUPUI athletic director met with the baseball team players privately to inform them that the university had decided no longer to field a team. The public announcement came two days later.

The press statement noted that ending the baseball program would allow IUPUI to "strengthen financially its support of the remaining fourteen sports teams." It explained that the university did not have its own baseball field and had to rent facilities, the only IUPUI team that had to do so. The team played some seasons in Bush Stadium and Victory Field, the venues of the Triple AAA professional team, the Indianapolis Indians. The large number of games (56) and the extensive travel for the team also added significant expense.

The announcement noted that players receiving scholarships would be eligible to receive them for the 2001-2002 academic year.

Men's baseball as a varsity sport at IUPUI began in 1979, when the university participated in National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) competition. The team met with success through the NAIA years, but when the IUPUI switched to NCAA play, first Division II, then Division I, the team struggled to achieve winning seasons.

The Indianapolis Star interviewed players and reported that they had been stunned by the announcement. 

Baseball team pose in Bush Stadium, 1983 483-1634-001

To learn more about IUPUI sports teams, contact IUPUI Special Collections and Archives at speccoll@iupui.edu.

Updated May 18, 2019 by Editor Name Missing