Meridian Star

Local News

December 2, 2009

Community Colleges eye athletic budgets

staff and wire



Mississippi’s community colleges will be taking a hard look at the size of their athletic budgets in the coming weeks, in light of Gov. Haley Barbour’s recommendation in November to downsize or eliminate athletic programs systemwide.

‘‘This is an area that we are going to have to address,’’ said Eric Clark, executive director of the state Board for Community and Junior Colleges. ‘‘We have to do the numbers have to see what kind of cost-savings measures are on the table.’’

Cost-saving measures are at a premium these days, with the state budget projected to be reduced by $715 million for the next fiscal year, starting July 1.

That puts community college athletic budgets, which Barbour said ate up $20 million in 2007, squarely in the line of fire.

‘‘Intercollegiate athletics is an expensive endeavor,’’ Barbour spokesman Dan Turner said.

Neither Clark nor Turner could say how much money community college athletic programs generate to offset this cost.

‘‘We have not done any analysis on that yet,’’ Clark said.

Meridian Community College President Scott Elliott said Wednesday that Gov. Barbour and the Legislature have a formidable job in balancing the FY11 budget. 

“I'm not really surprised that Gov. Barbour cited intercollegiate athletics as part of his budget recommendations. It's true that community colleges invest considerable funds in our sports programs, which, to be honest, are essentially non-revenue producing. Nonetheless, I would not be in favor of eliminating athletic programs because I believe they positively contribute to the overall college environment, helping to build school spirit and a sense of identity, unity," Elliott said. "Also, athletics provide numerous students an opportunity to showcase their God-given talents while pursuing higher education. If not for athletics, some of those students would never have the opportunity nor inclination to benefit from a college education.

Text Only
Local News
Facebook
Helium debate
Helium
Twitter Updates
AP Video
Renewed Violence Taking Toll on Gaza Residents 2 Americans Detained in North Korea Seek Help US Employers Add 209K Jobs, Rate 6.2 Pct House GOP Optimistic About New Border Bill Gaza Truce Unravels; Israel, Hamas Trade Blame Raw: Tunisia Closes Borders With Libya Four Rescued From Crashed Plane Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide