Even at a time when the College World Series is the NCAA’s second-most profitable event, baseball programs are still trying to find ways to consistently generate revenue at the school level.
This has been true since the first issue of Baseball America was published in 1981. At the time, Miami was one of the most successful programs in the nation but had seen its budget slashed by 40%. Hurricanes coach Ron Fraser, who would go on to win national championships in 1982 and ’85, found that a little ingenuity went a long way.
The following excerpt is taken from the February 1981 issue of BA. The headline read “Miami’s Fraser finds way to counter budget slash,” and the story was written by Mike Smith of the Miami News.
In college football and basketball, on-the-field success equaling off-the-field $ucce$$ is the name of the game.
Now take the University of Miami baseball team. The Hurricanes were their sport’s top-ranked club last regular season, winning 59 times in 71 games, a third consecutive NCAA regional and College World Series berth.
Yet those achievements were overshadowed this past offseason when the Miami athletic department saw fit to slash the baseball team’s operating budget for 1981 by 40%.
Miami was as popular as it was talented last year, smashing home attendance marks by more than 11,000 and appearing five times on local television, twice nationally.
No matter, though. The Hurricanes were literally forced to hit the road to Gainesville and Tallahassee for meetings with intrastate rivals Florida and Florida State, because the cupboard containing Miami travel funds was bare.
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