BOISE, Idaho — One of the many impacts of Boise State eliminating the baseball and swimming and diving programs is that most athletes in those programs are left in limbo, trying to figure out their next steps.
Greyson Shafer is a standout baseball player at Timberline High School. He’s also a 2021 commit for the Boise State baseball program.
As a local athlete, he's always dreamed of being able to play for his hometown school. Now that dream is very much in doubt.
Athletes and coaches from both the baseball program and the swimming and diving program have begun fundraising efforts to salvage the programs, which were cut due to budget shortfalls blamed on the COVID-19 pandemic.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to save Boise State baseball, and as of Tuesday evening, it had raised more than $50,000.
The programs have also worked together by starting a Google pledge page where people can commit to donating money to try and save the programs.
So what happens to Shafer and other recruits? Do they hold out hope that the programs can be revived, or start looking elsewhere?
Shafer sat down Tuesday for a virtual interview about his reaction to last week's news and what he's planning next.
Note: the following interview has been edited for length and clarity:
Will Hall: Greyson, what was your reaction to the news from last week?
Greyson Shafer: Very shocked. Super shocked and then pretty bummed after, but also kind of hopeful trying to see if we can bring it back.
WH: What provides that hope for you?
GS: The Boise community. I don't know if you can find a better community than Boise, honestly. It really does give me hope. Also seeing all the people coming together to try and help.
WH: What are your thoughts on the GoFundMe and pledge page going around right now?
GS: I think it's awesome and it goes to show how great the Boise community is, once again. I think there's a chance [of saving the program], and I want to fight for it.
WH: What does it mean to you to have Boise State as the only Division 1 baseball program in the state and to be able to hopefully have the chance to play there?
GS: It means so much. I remember when I was younger, hearing that Boise State was going to get a baseball program and that was awesome. It was my dream to play there, it was my goal and when it came to reality, it was surreal and I was looking forward to it so much.
WH: What does [Coach] Gary Van Tol mean to you?
GS: Gary Van Tol means everything, he's one of the greatest human beings I've ever met. He's my friend.
GS: Boise needs baseball. There's so much great talent in Boise, and everywhere in Idaho. It's having a big D-1 school for baseball in Idaho, it's very important to me, and I think it's going to open the doors and could open new doors to a bunch of young players.
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