MOREHEAD CITY — Should Carteret Community College have sports teams?
That is a question CCC trustees hope to answer as they begin to study the feasibility of offering sports at the college.
After CCC Chairman Michael Curtis brought up the idea during the trustees’ meeting Tuesday in the McGee Building boardroom, the matter generated a lot of discussion, with the consensus of the board being it was worth checking into.
CCC President Dr. John Hauser said the issue will be decided by two main factors — cost and student interest. He went on to say he’s leaning toward starting with two sports, baseball and volley.
“We would compete under the National Junior Collegiate Athletic Association,” Dr. Hauser said. “You must have two sports teams to be part of the conference.”
He cited community colleges like Craven, Coastal and Pitt as some of the 17 state community colleges that currently offer sports teams.
Trustee Robin Comer, also a county commissioner, asked where funds would come from to offer sports teams.
Dr. Hauser said they would be raised through the college’s foundation and through private donations such as booster clubs.
“You can’t use state or county funds,” Dr. Hauser said.
He said Catawba Valley Community College has seven or eight sports teams and keeps them going by fundraisers and the college’s foundation.
Mr. Comer said he favored checking into offering sports.
“Sports are a positive diversion for folks. A little local baseball team — a lot of folks would like that,” Mr. Comer said.
Trustee Chris Chadwick suggested polling the student body to see if there was interest.
“I would like to see some numbers and if we can get facilities,” Mr. Chadwick said.
Trustee Bill Henderson said CCC had been approached by a group of residents a few years ago that expressed interest in helping the college start sports teams.
“At that time we were just starting our capital campaign and our culinary building and we didn’t feel it was the right time,” Mr. Henderson said. “I don’t have any problem with Dr. Hauser expending time to check into it.”
Trustee Matt Zettl, on the other hand, was more cautious.
“We’re still in the middle of a capital campaign and paying for our facilities’ improvements. We still have a long way to go. Until the money is on the table I would be concerned,” Mr. Zettl said. “We need to complete our culinary building, career center and seawall improvements. Right now going to the public for more money for athletic teams would be a tough sell.”
Trustee Carolyn Brady agreed.
“I’m in agreement our primary focus should be the culinary building and capital campaign,” she said.
Trustee June Fulcher, however, said those projects should be winding down in a couple of years and it would take that long to get the research and information done on starting sports teams.
“I’m in favor of going ahead and getting the information,” Ms. Fulcher said. “We don’t have to act on it.”
Trustee Rosa Langston agreed.
“We need to finish our projects, but what’s wrong with getting the information. Having sports teams would be a good thing for expanding the college and expanding opportunities for students,” Ms. Langston said.
Trustee Ed Wheatly, too, favored moving forward with the research.
“In high school I enjoyed playing sports. It’s a great builder of comradery. It will be determined by the finances and level of participation. If we could pull it off it would be a big draw,” he said.
Student Government Association President Aria Rosenstein said just in general conversation with students she believed there would be more interest in intramural sports versus competitive sports.
“Most of the students I know say they never want to be competitive, but they would enjoy something like intramural-type sports,” Ms. Rosenstein said.
Mr. Curtis said with the majority of the board favoring checking into the idea, he would create an ad hoc committee to work with Dr. Hauser to investigate the feasibility of offering sports teams.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.