CARNEYS POINT TWP. — A South Jersey college may be a step closer to bringing back athletic programs to its campus.
Salem Community College axed the last of its intercollegiate sports three years ago because of financial problems, but officials there are now reassessing whether the time is right for some of those programs to be brought back.
With an athletics feasibility study ordered earlier this year now completed, the college is forming a Sports Advisory Council to engage in an “open conversation” about the potential of reinstating some athletics, said SCC President Michael Gorman.
Gorman, who will lead the council, says the group “will offer community reflection” on the study to determine the next move by the college.
“I believe in the importance of engaging in a wider discussion before we decide whether it’s practical to reinstate at least some men and women’s teams in the 2018-2019 academic year.”
The study hasn’t yet been made public. The advisory council members will be the first to see it.
The college’s board of trustees voted in February 2014 to kill SCC’s remaining sports programs for the 2014-2015 school year.
During 2013-2014, the Salem Oaks had fielded teams in four sports — women’s soccer in the fall, men’s and women’s basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring.
The college’s men’s soccer, softball and golf programs finished with the 2012-2013 academic year.
Before they were cut, college officials said about 80 students had been involved in intercollegiate sports.
The cost of each sports program varied from $16,000 to $25,000, officials said.
The money that had gone to athletics was being redirected, officials said at the time, to improve student retention and completion programs at the college which has an enrollment of about 1,000 students.
The year prior, the college eliminated men’s soccer, golf and softball.
“I believe in the importance of engaging in a wider discussion before we decide whether it’s practical to reinstate at least some men and women’s teams in the 2018-2019 academic year,” Gorman said.
The council will meet on Sept. 13 at 6 p.m. in Donaghay Hall, Room DON-106. Gorman said he will carefully consider council members’ input in preparing his recommendation to the Board of Trustees in November.
“Whether our recommendation is to reinstate athletics or maintain the status quo, we will openly share the rationale for our decision,” said Gorman.
When he took over as SCC president two years ago, Gorman had said reviving some of the college’s sports programs was one of his goals.
The sports feasibility study drawn up by Nyere Miller who previously served as SCC’s athletics coordinator and a coach.
Those interested in serving on the Sports Advisory Council should call the Office of the President at 856-351-2601.