Let's clear things up right now: I know bringing a baseball team back to Syracuse University isn't feasible right now, especially with the University's budget being tightened, athletics' history of money issues and a new regime about to take over that will more than likely have Chancellor Kent Syverud's fiscal mindset. But that doesn't mean we can't have this conversation especially when we look at the bracket for the NCAA D1 College World Series.
See what I'm talking about? Seven ACC schools will be taking part in the 64-school field, the seventh straight year the conference has had at least that many schools participate and sixth straight year two or more schools won National Seeds. Keep looking and you see that our good friends St. John's made the tournament along with fellow Empire Staters Stony Brook, Canisius, and Columbia, which has already pulled a big upset.
It's more apparent than ever that Northeast schools can field a competitive collegiate baseball team, but here's the caveat, with the right resources. As discussed here plenty of times, we'd need to build these from ground zero.
Here's my thought: in a perfect world, of course we want to see Syracuse represented at the highest stage of ANY collegiate pantheon. So yes, if we had unlimited funds, baseball should be added. Furthermore, I think baseball in Syracuse would do well. There's no need to build anything more than a 1,500-2,000 person venue AT MOST but I feel the environment would do better than most Chiefs games. (No digs intended but I've been there enough to know Syracuse isn't exactly St. Louis when it comes to baseball.)
However, I recognize that hockey is probably higher on the public's pecking order. And that's fine. We also have to have the whole Title IX thing sorted out for both sports. But ignoring the latter, my counterpoints are these:
1) Expanding/replacing and then maintaining Tennity would cost far more than building a new baseball field, especially if Syracuse used a turf playing surface. (While not ideal by baseball standards, we're talking CNY, people.)
2) Starting up a baseball program would not be as hard as imagined. It's incredibly rare for baseball schools to offer full ride scholarships. Mostly, they divvy up their allotted 11.7 as best as they can. The bright side for Syracuse is that we are already do a strong job recruiting academically in baseball hotbeds, namely California and Georgia. Building off of that should make recruiting a heck of a lot easier. New Jersey, a very represented state at SU, has a very strong baseball pedigree for the NE plus, high school baseball in the CNY area is good enough that a decent bunch of walk on talent could be convinced to stay around and play.
3) We could probably get the ACC to throw us some cash. As the only program without baseball, going to a cash flush ACC asking for some help isn't out of the question. While this year was an exception to the rule, Syracuse's basketball profile in the ACC could give us the leverage to do so.
So I guess this is where we're at: discussing potentials, giving very valid reasons for all the sports we'd like to see. All in all, do you think Syracuse will ever add baseball again? And do you think the new AD will even entertain adding new sports? Let us know in the comments.