Community college to consolidate intercollegiate athletics

St. Louis Community College will consolidate intercollegiate athletics into a districtwide program effective July 1.

STLCC student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete in the sports currently offered, which include men’s baseball, basketball and soccer; and women’s basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball.

These seven teams will provide playing opportunities for 142 students, according to a news release.

The action became necessary because the college must reduce its operating budget by approximately $3.3 million for the next fiscal year. STLCC officials are exploring other operating efficiencies to reduce costs. The reduction in athletics will save the college nearly $685,000, the release stated.

Florissant Valley currently fields teams in men’s soccer and basketball, and women’s volleyball, basketball and softball; Forest Park competes in men’s soccer and basketball, and women’s basketball, soccer and softball; Meramec offers men’s basketball and baseball, and women’s basketball, soccer and softball.

In reviewing the overall operations of the college, STLCC officials agreed to put more dollars toward initiatives that improve the learning outcomes and academic achievement of a growing number of students who are enrolling for credit, noncredit and workforce training programs.

Rather than eliminate athletics altogether, they believe moving toward a districtwide athletics model was a viable compromise, and one that will make STLCC teams even more competitive.

The college’s Wildwood campus does not offer intercollegiate athletics; however, students who meet eligibility requirements may participate in sports offered at the other campuses. Student-athletes whose sports have been eliminated at their respective campuses will be able to do the same, pending eligibility. Student-athletes who remain at STLCC will not lose their athletic scholarships as long as they maintain their academic eligibility.

St. Louis Community College athletic teams compete as members of the National Junior College Athletic Association and the Midwest Community College Athletic Conference.