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Baseball could soon be back at the University of Akron

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Posted at 12:35 PM, Sep 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-19 12:38:56-04

The University of Akron announced their intention Tuesday to restore the university's baseball team and add a women's lacrosse team for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Students and the community have voiced their desire to bring back baseball, according to the school's president, Matthew Wilson.

The school announced it was eliminating the sport in 2015.

RELATED: University of Akron making $40 million cutbacks: eliminates 215 positions, increases tuition

"We have heard loud and clear the community’s desire to bring baseball back to UA and we have been examining ways to do that in a financially responsible manner. Prospective students have voiced the same desire."

"We also want to offer an additional avenue for female student-athletes to simultaneously benefit from a quality education at The University of Akron and on-the-field Division-I competition."

An Ohio-focused student-athlete recruiting strategy and using existing community and university facilities will be a part of the program proposal.

A key component of the new athletic plan is that any athletic scholarships provided to student-athletes for baseball and lacrosse will come from community financial support—not the University of Akron's funds.

Baseball is the University of Akron's longest-established sport but it disbanded from 1933-1946 and again from 2016 to 2019. The new team would compete in the Mid-American Conference and would have at least 35 student-athletes on the team.

Since 2000, women's lacrosse has been the fastest-growing sport in the country. At least 30 student-athletes will be recruited for the team, playing at the University of Akron's InfoCision Stadium-Summa Field.

The recommendation for the addition of the two sports will be presented at the UA Board of Trustees for consideration at its board meeting on Oct. 11.