Men’s/Women’s tennis fate still up in air

Men’s/Women’s tennis fate still up in air

IVLeader photo

IVCC’s Scott Blessman returns a serve April 22 vs. Elgin. Blessman and other tennis players are awaiting a decision on whether IVCC will keep tennis.

Ericka Smith, IV Leader Staff

A decision to cut the men’s and women’s tennis teams was postponed by the IVCC  board of trustees at their April meeting. It was decided after a group of local tennis advocates proposed continuing into the fall 2012 season and spring 2013 seasons with only nominal college contribution. Termination of the men’s and women’s coaches has also been put off.
Before the group spoke the at the April 17th meeting, the board was in full motion to eliminate both of the teams due to lack of playing facilities and other similar issues.
The total expenses for IVCC athletics in the 2011 fiscal year amounted to $450,512 with tennis being $35,844.
“The recommendation is to eliminate men’s and women’s tennis and trim the cost of (athletic) waivers by approximately $50,000,” said IVCC president Jerry Corcoran.
According to Corcoran men’s and women’s tennis was believed to be a self-sufficient sport but after further investigation it was found that the total monies gained from fundraising by those sports was $25. According to Corcoran, men’s and women’s tennis was believed to be a self-sufficient sport but after further investigation it was found that the total monies gained from fund raising by those sports was $25.
Regarding the cut in tuition waivers, Corcoran explained, “The recommendation is for waiver allowances per sport to be set by total credit hour as opposed to full-time equivalent waivers.
“Under this method, student athletes could be awarded a specific number of waived hours of credit based on their specific need and as a recruitment incentive.”
Corcoran said he does not anticipate a drop in enrollment with the decreased amount of waivers awarded.
A community group that includes former IVCC tennis players has suggested finding coaches who will donate their time, as opposed to having paid coaches, and having players play without tuition waivers.
Those who have been involved in the tennis program say it does have value for students.
Sophomore Claire Kunkel said, “Playing tennis really helped me to cope with staying at home and going to community college. I wanted to go away, but didn’t. I love the sport in general and being able to play at IVCC helped my experience be amazing and meet some really great friends.
“I don’t think the school should cut tennis because it’s a sport you can play for the rest of your life and is so much fun! It taught me lessons in dedication and perserverance as well.”
She added, “Fundraising can be really difficult so I think that should be one way to raise the cost, but not the only way.”

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