A golfer is refusing to let his college program go quietly.
Francisco Yanez, a sophomore at the University of Tulsa, submitted a letter to the Tulsa World on Friday, criticizing the school’s athletic department for cutting its men’s golf program and accusing athletic director Dr. Derrick Gragg of mishandling the situation by failing to consult the team or its coaching staff before the decision was made.
“Without looking for other solutions, university administrators frustrate the dreams of my teammates and I, but most importantly they didn’t respect what this program means for former players and alumni,” Yanez wrote. “This administration loses credibility by taking the easiest way out of the problem without looking for alternatives.”
According to Yanez, the men’s golf program was the school’s cheapest to run, operating on a budget of only $300,000 per year, while the school invested millions in its football and basketball programs.
Tulsa athletic department spokesman Don Tomalski told GOLF.com that the figures Yanez cited are inaccurate and that Gragg had approached longtime men’s golf coach Bill Brogdon a year earlier to tell him that such a measure was a possibility.
“It’s obviously his right to write the letter,” Tomalski said. “Sometimes you write a letter and you wish you could take emotion out and make sure you’re accurate with everything.”
The program has a history of success, boasting 10 NCAA National appearances, 23 NCAA Regional appearances, and 10 conference titles, but had fallen on harder times of late, winning only a single tournament in its last five years of competition.