By Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Temple’s announcement has stunned students and alumni, including one of the school’s most famous athletes.
Jeff Manto is a baseball lifer — as a scout and hitting instructor, he recently hooked up with the Baltimore Orioles. He played for Temple in the early 1980s and still holds a number of hitting records, and he can’t believe that the school is cutting the program.
“I was saddened number one…and then wondering as to why,” Manto says.
It’s a program that produced two College World Series teams and numerous pros — John Marzano, Bobby Higinson and Joe Kerrigan, to name just a few.
“People who have played before us and after us really kept that tradition alive, and it sustained itself the longest as being a top program in the area. I know there’re other schools in the area that had better runs and a better four year run, but Temple always seemed to sustain itself at winning championships and getting guys on to the next level,” Manto says.
Team workouts begin next month, and Manto says it’ll be tough for a lot of those players to stay motivated.
“The big thing is what are these kids gonna do? Next month, they start working out, and here they are preparing themselves, and all of a sudden their season gets the legs knocked out from under them. It’s definitely a sad situation.”