Sports Program Budget Cuts

The UCC sports programs have been forced to find creative ways to succeed amidst the challenges presented by mandatory budget cuts.

A total of $30,000 was taken out of the sports program budgets including $10,000 out of the general sports budget and $10,000 out of both the men’s and women’s basketball team budgets.

“We have been struggling up here ever since that happened,” says Athletic Director Cheryl Yoder.  “I was not hired to be a fundraiser, but that’s pretty much 50 percent of my job now.”

These cuts were imposed upon the programs’ annual budgets, so each team must aim to raise that $10,000 each year through fundraisers.  This has proven to be no small task.

Some of these fundraising activities include selling ads for the team posters, selling T-shirts in the student book store and selling concessions at the games.  Each coach also puts on camps and clinics during the summer months to help bring in funding.

This year, the sports teams will also receive the proceeds from the recyclables collected on campus.

All of the fundraising activities take time, sometimes a great deal of time.  One such activity was the formerly annual triathlon put on in 2009 and 2010.  “It was a lot of fun,” says Yoder of the triathlon, “but it was just too much work and not enough profit.”

In 2011, the triathlon gave way to the first annual athletic auction.  This dinner auction featured some big ticket items and a keynote speaker in Jamie Burke who is currently signed with the Washington Nationals.

Although this event did bring in around $14,000, each program only received about $3,500 after the funds were divided.

The next auction is scheduled for May 12, 2012.

Despite the obstacles that the budget cuts present, the sports teams seem to be taking the challenges in stride. 

The volleyball team is experiencing one of its best years in school history with a chance to go to the playoffs. They are currently in 4th place in the Southern Oregon Conference. 

The women’s basketball team also has high hopes for the coming season. 

“We are in our fifth week already.  We are looking really good,” says women’s basketball team member Pua Kailiawa.

Kailiawa also says that having to fund raise brings the team together.  “It helps us get a better value on life and teaches us there is more than to be stingy.”

Despite the struggles, a positive attitude seems to be the theme across the board. “We have good support within our community and our media,” says Yoder.  “A lot of schools have cut sports  . . . and I feel very fortunate that we haven’t had to do that, but it’s a lot of work.”

The Mainstream is a student publication of Umpqua Community College.