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Resources Dec 05, 2012

Richmond, Towson, Mount St. Mary’s men’s soccer: Not done yet

By Jimmy LaRoue

Style Weekly out of Richmond is reporting that University of Richmond alumni have raised more than $3 million in an effort to save the men’s soccer and track programs, and those alumni are saying that the school’s board of trustees has agreed to revisit the issue at its next meetings to be held Dec. 6-7.

Soccerwire.com reported last month about the disappointment felt by those associated with the team about the proposed cut to the men’s soccer program. Players said they felt like they were “going to war” with the school’s administration, who proposed adding men’s lacrosse as a Division I sport while cutting men’s soccer and track.

The Style Weekly article said the goal is to get pledges of about $6.26 million, or half the cost of reinstating the two programs.

Leigh Cowlishaw, who served as the interim coach of the program this fall and played for the Spiders, told Soccerwire.com about the meaning of being able to raise money.

“Unfortunately the soccer committee had been ready to go for 6-to-12 months to raise money [but] were never given the green light,” Cowlishaw said. “So for lacrosse alumni to be secretly allowed to raise the money when other sports were not, is just plainly wrong and dishonest. So that’s infuriating. But I do think we have the alumni capable of raising a significant amount of money.”

That last sentence of what he said is turning out to be true.

Two other Division I schools in Maryland have said they will cut men’s soccer as well–Mount St. Mary’s and Towson.

Towson officials have said since then that any final decision to cut men’s soccer won’t be made until after the first of the year, according to the Baltimore Sun. In the same article, Mount St. Mary’s men’s soccer coach Rob Ryerson said he has been in touch with parents and alumni trying to raise $250,000 by Jan. 1.

So for now, there appears to be glimmers of hope, but for supporters of these programs, they have to be hoping that their stoppage time rally will pay dividends and see key saves to preserve the respective programs.

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