By SEASON CRAVEN, staff reporter
Since it was announced last year that Amarillo College would be returning to intercollegiate athletics in 2022, excitement and questions have been abundant. Mark White, AC athletic director and executive vice president, said that, while there will be initial expenditures, the goal is for the athletic program to sustain itself.
“The regents have approved a budget for the athletic program. This budget includes coaches’ salaries, renting of facilities, travel and many other things that are associated with establishing an athletics program. Because the program will not start until the fall of 2022, the costs are merely projections,” White said.
Amarillo College plans to initially offer three sports; baseball, cross country and volleyball. Coaches have already been hired and Carter Fitness Center is in the process of being renovated to accommodate practices and games. “Initially, the regents approved approximately $12 million for the remodel of Carter Fitness Center, but that is not solely for the purpose of the athletics program. AC has allocated $8 million of bond money and the Foundation plans to raise the remaining $4 million through their comprehensive campaign, which will raise money for several college programs including athletics,” White said.
White also said that the Amarillo College Foundation has set aside $150,000 a year for three years to assist with athletic scholarships and another $150,000 has been set aside by the college.
While ticket revenue has not yet been determined, the goal is that students, faculty and staff will attend the games for free, according to White.