Hello Austin & Alex,
After reading and re-reading your your Friday, July 1 Free Press narrative on Robert Corran's 13 years as AD at UVM I have a few thoughts.
Certainly it is a glorification, almost a coronation of Mr. Corran with minimal input into his shortcomings. When Mr. Corran was hired in 2003 he announced 3 major goals under his stewardship (check the Free Press report on this):
1. THE CONSTRUCTION OF AN INDOOR SPORTS ARENA AND CONFERENCE CENTER.
We all know how that has progressed. The latest number UVM reported was $2,000,000 raised out of the $60,000,000 needed.
2. TO MAKE UVM THE STATE'S UNIVERSITY FOR ATHLETICS.
Most anyone you might ask would say the Castleton University has that recognition by adding over 10 successful sports programs in those 13 years. UVM has eliminated 6 sports.
3. BE COMPETITIVE IN USING VERMONT HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES ON OUR INTERCOLLEGIATE TEAMS.
The 2015/2016 UVM sports teams had 11% of Vermont high school graduates on their teams. Through the years UVM Baseball had 21% as a low and most seasons a 35-50% average range of participation by Vermont high school students on their teams.
In February of 2009 AD Corran with the elimination of baseball and softball said, "as a result more resources would be put into the remaining 18 sports and those teams as a result would be more competitive".
If you look at the individual teams since 2009 the only ones that have been consistently competitive (winning records) are; Men's Basketball, Women's Swimming and Men's Soccer.
What other Division I Universities in the U.S. has eliminated 6 sports -Men's Tennis - Women's Tennis - Men's Swimming - Men's Golf - Softball - Baseball and has raised it's budget over 300% from $6,000,000 to $19,000,000?
As far as the endowment requirement of $15,000,000 for Baseball: no other sports team at UVM has that requirement. True, some UVM coaching positions are partially endowed, but no other entire sports team is required to be endowed. I would have thought a couple of follow-up question from you might have included;
1. Why is this endowment not required for other UVM sports teams ?
2. Do other America East league teams or other New England Universities require a baseball program endowment ?
3. Who mandated this endowment requirement ? Did President Sullivan or the UVM Trustees initiate or approve this ?
I am curious why you did not interview anyone that might have more objective views of AD Corran's tenure, other than present day coaches. For example; other coaches or players of the eliminated sports. Former Men's Basketball Asst. Coach Jesse Agel. Members of Friends of UVM Baseball. Former Women's Ice Hockey Coach Dennis Miller. Former UVM Sports Information Associate Bruce Bosley.
Where does the UVM Athletic Department go from here ? Newly appointed UVM AD Jeff Schulman has repeatedly said his goals are to, "improve the culture at UVM and have the teams be more competitive". That being the case wouldn't it make sense to reinstate a sport (Baseball) that has been successfully played on campus since 1882 and was among the most competitive of all sports at the University.
As a long time UVM sports fan & positive supporter (since the late 1950's), a 3rd generation Vermonter who played baseball and graduated from Burlington High School in 1966 (we won the State Baseball Championship), a local Little League baseball, youth hockey & youth basketball coach helper and a 20 year assistant baseball coach at 2 local high schools I want the University to do the right thing.
That would be to reinstate baseball at historic Centennial Field.
Thanks for your time and consideration.
Brian Hanbridge, South Burlington