By CAYLEE HANNA
Intercollegiate sports may be coming back to Amarillo College. Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, AC president, said the board of regents is in the process of determining if starting men’s baseball, women’s basketball, and men’s and women’s cross-country would be a successful and cost-efficient move for the college. AC once had an athletics program but eliminated it in the 1980s.
“The regents have engaged in feasibility studies and are trying to determine the budgetary implications of adding sports,” Lowery-Hart said. “They are working with experts in the field to ensure exactly what we would need to ensure we did athletics successfully and cost-efficiently.”
Lowery-Hart said that the regents have noticed how important sports are to students and want to see if bringing back this program could increase enrollment.
“As our community changes, I think the regents want to make sure we adapt and change as well,” he said. “Sports are important to many students locally.”
Communications content producer, Joe Wyatt, said that the regents have been doing research on other successful athletics programs.
“They’ve been conducting some informal polling to assess the viability of reestablishing such a program here,” Wyatt said.
Cecilia Mendoza, a visual arts major said that bringing back sports to AC would be great for students.
“I feel like people are always looking for an excuse to stay active and be a part of a team and sports are a great avenue for anyone,” she said.
Lowery-Hart said that this program could begin in 2022, depending on the regents’ decision, but that timeline remains uncertain. He added that AC is constantly looking for ways to grow and serve the community.
“As with most things, AC will always look for innovations and new programs that could help grow our college and diversity and grow our economy,” Lowery-Hart said. “Athletics could be one of those additions if the benefits to enrollment improve our financial position.”
Follow The Ranger online at acranger.com for the latest updates on the regents’ decision.