CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago State University has been playing baseball on the South Side for more than 50 years, and they even have a $2.5 million stadium.
But as CBS 2’s Matt Zahn reported Tuesday, a budget cut last week left the baseball program permanently on the bench. However, the players aren’t going quietly.READ MORE: RealTime Weather Alert: Wet And Windy Through Monday Morning, Flooding Possible
“This is a fight that will not end today,” said former Chicago State Cougars player Reginald Brock. “This is called the movement.”
Brock is the one leading the fight to save the Chicago State baseball program. His son was going to be a senior on the team next year.
“Devastated. It was horrible, the reasons that they gave us. They didn’t even question us. They didn’t reach out to us,” he said. “If it’s a $500,000 deficit, I think we could raise that. I think we could ring some doorbells and say ‘Hey, we need some money.’ They did none of that.”
“It’s very disappointing, honestly. It was unprofessional how they did this,” said Brock’s son, Reggie Brock Jr. “The university not telling us and having an anonymous source tell us is not the right way to go about it.”READ MORE: Man, Woman Shot In Vehicle On Kedzie Avenue In East Garfield Park, Go On To Crash In Humboldt Park With Child In Car
“It’s my opinion the administration was not honest with the players and their families,” added Dave Harden. “When a player who’s been here for however many years is trying to get an answer about his future, and you’re not communicating that, what are we doing here?”
The team and its supporters still hold out hope that this brand new baseball stadium won’t remain empty, and that they can do enough to bring the program back.
“I have a lot of hope. This is a movement,” said Reginald Brock. “I hope they reconsider. And we’re not going anywhere.”
University spokesperson Sabrina Land admitted they did mishandle communication with the team.MORE NEWS: Riggs, Kenosha County Sheriff's K-9 Shot By Chicago Homicide Suspect, Is Released From Veterinary Hospital To Applause
But as far as hope for bringing the program back, she said: “We understand that is definitely a challenging time for these kids. Our hearts are with them. I don’t see that decision being made.”