A few weeks ago my alma mater, Furman University, announced it would disband its NCAA Division I Mens Golf Program in the fall of 2014. This news from the private liberal arts college in Greenville, South Carolina might not have shaken the golfing world but it was worthy of mention on a February 7th telecast on the Golf Channel. The story stunned alumni and those associated with University as the decision was not anticiptaed. It appears now those alumni have resurrected the program by committing to fund it’s expense in future years.
An article dated February 25, 2014 on the Furman Athletic website discusses an agreement between the university and the alumni. Brad Faxon, former FU All American, PGA and Senior PGA Tour Player, indicated he and others approached the administration with a plan to raise funds and maintain the program. The article also mentions Rob Langley, ’05 golf team alum, assisting with the particulars of the financing plan. Already some significant contributions have been made.
Sources close to the University indicate a sizable endowment ($9 million) would be required to maintain the future of the program. While that amount may seem overwhelming, it appears the Furman alumni want to proceed in insuring the stability of their Mens Golf Team one shot at a time.
While the demands on athletic programs at the intercollegiate level as well as the high school level face ever growing demands, it is admirable that a group of individuals recognize the importance of their sport on the development of young people. The beneficial opportunities afforded through golf should never be taken away. In this case it is a lesson that needed to be learned by all.