Budget Cuts Affect Cross Country and Tennis

Ryan Naughton

On June 14, Elgin Community College announced that for the 2017 school year they were putting a budget into effect that would put them in a 2.7 million dollar deflect, and sadly this affected both staff members and certain students at this school.

With the budget cuts, ECC decided to lay off up to 20 part time teachers, but the real story for some athletic members on Campus is that they decided to suspend both Cross Country and Tennis from the school.

All together the suspension would affect 16 students.

The final approval of the cuts and suspensions to the sports teams came from the board of trustees on the night of June 14.

However, since June 14, the tennis teams have both come back from suspension and will be played this year at ECC, with all students and coaches back on the team.

Cross country, however, was not as lucky, due to the low turnout of students on the team.

The director of athletics & wellness, Kent Payne, talked about some of the issues that came from this and how this would affect the school.

“At the time of the suspension, we lacked both the resources and the man power to keep the cross country teams going,” said Payne.

One main reason that the cross country team was suspended for just this year was because of the retirement of their coach, and the lack of finding a new coach before the season started just a couple of weeks ago. Another reason why they decided to suspend cross country was because of the lack of student athletes in the sport. Other division three colleges did not have enough athletes to fill a team and ECC decided that it was time to suspend it just for this year.

“Once we saw that he did resign and that we saw the limited roster, that’s when we made the decision to suspend it,” Payne said.

The number of student athletics played an effect on the suspending of the two sports and it actually played a significant impact on why they cut those two sports and not others, like volleyball or golf.

One major reason that tennis was impacted was because they were moved into division three sports and that they only had one other school to go against in tennis.

Another major point that was brought up due to the fact the sport has moved into division-three is that there are no longer any sports scholarships offered for any team that is among such division. If one had a scholarship already for the school, no problems are sought after. However, if one had a sports scholarship, that has now gone away.

The final decision came through after they looked at how many athletes were in each sport, how many other colleges and universities actually took place in the sport and the conference that they were in.

“Our hope is the state budget crisis gets worked out and we can bring back men’s and women’s cross country,” said Payne.