Metropolitan Community College’s four NJCAA athletic memberships will consolidate to one

Metropolitan Community College’s four National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) memberships will consolidate to one membership effective Fall 2018.

The primary goal of consolidating MCC’s athletic programs is to expand student athletes’ access to the full range of MCC academic programs at all five campuses.

Under the current structure, an athlete is required to enroll full time at the campus housing the team he or she is playing for.  Under the new structure, student athletes will be able to take classes at any of the campuses and still play for any MCC sports team.  This structure affords a better balance between athletics and academics in alignment with the College’s strategic priorities.

Secondarily, the athletic program consolidation comes about as the College works to meet budget shortfalls resulting from cutbacks in state appropriations.  Athletic programs at MCC currently cost $1.3 million annually, which represents about 1 percent of the College’s operating budget.

Since the announcement of budget cuts at the state level earlier this year, leadership has engaged in an analysis of all MCC programs.  Consolidating the athletic programs will eliminate the cost of sport duplication across the campuses and effectively improve the overall efficiency and consistency of compliance and leadership.

Here are the specifics:

  • Sports teams as they are currently assigned to the MCC-Blue River, MCC-Longview, MCC-Maple Woods and MCC-Penn Valley campuses will continue as scheduled through the 2017-18 academic cycle.
  • MCC will honor scholarships for all current players (2017-18 academic year) and for newly signed players for two years (including 2018-19 academic year).
  • Coaches will work with existing players who are impacted to transfer to another community college or four-year college/university so they may continue their athletic/academic pursuits.

Here is how the new sports team structure will look as of Fall 2018:

  • Men’s and women’s soccer will be housed at the MCC-Blue River campus.
  • Men’s baseball and women’s softball will be housed at the MCC-Maple Woods campus.
  • Men’s and women’s basketball will be housed at the MCC-Penn Valley campus,
  • Women’s cross country and women’s volleyball will be housed at the MCC-Longview campus.

A task force coordinated by Dr. Kathrine Swanson, vice chancellor for student success and engagement, has been formed to develop the plan for transitioning to one athletic program over the course of the next year.  As the consolidation progresses, MCC will consider adding sports upon evaluating the impact to students’ access and success goals.

Like every tough decision, this was not done without deliberation and concern for those impacted.  While the initial change will be unsettling for some, the focus remains on the long-term benefit for future students.