TULSA, OK (March 25, 2016)--Yesterday the news broke that the University of Tulsa will be eliminating its men's golf program effective July 1st. The athletic department made the unfortunate decision due to needing to cut $500,00 from the upcoming years athletic budget.
“When you’re dealing with difficult economic times, you have to look at everything,” athletic director Derrick Gragg said. “In particular, if you’re in an athletic department that isn’t fully funded or doesn’t fund itself, you have to be prepared for something like this. But this is the last thing you want to do. You never want to affect the student-athletes directly with a sport elimination.”
Eliminating the men's golf team, which has been in existence since 1931, is expected to save an excess of $500,000 per year. A big reason men's golf was chosen as the sport to eliminate was due to the fact that it effects the lowest number of student-athletes. All six current members have the option to transfer without sitting out a year at another institution or remain at Tulsa where their scholarship will be honored.
“As to be expected, there’s a lot of concern about it (from) former student-athletes in particular,” Gragg said. “Me being a former student-athlete, if it was my program, I would feel the same way. Obviously, everybody is concerned and wants some answers and wants to know what went into a decision like this. I understand this fully.”
The eliminated of the program comes at the same time as the previously planned retirement of 30-year head coach Bill Brogden. During his tenure Brogden led the Golden Hurricanes to seven NCAA Championships, most recently in 2012.
Over the past two-years the Tulsa athletic budget has seen large increases due to the higher salaries of new football coach Phillip Montgomery and men's basketball coach Frank Haith.
The Tulsa men's golf team, which plays in the American Conference, is about midway through their season.
-Tulsa World contributed to this story