Cincinnati State is suspending all sports except soccer – Cincinnati.com
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College will field two teams instead of six this year due to financial challenges and a restructuring of the athletic department.
Cincinnati State Technical and Community College will be fielding two teams instead of six this year because of budget issues.
The Surge men’s and women’s soccer teams will play in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) for this fall season, however, the basketball, volleyball and golf teams will not.
The college is looking at a new model for athletics, according to Cincinnati State President Monica Posey.
“We aren’t dropping sports teams or eliminating athletics,” Posey said. “We’re going through a transition.”
The decisions to cut these teams for the 2017-18 seasons are part of a broad plan of restructuring brought about by budgetary constraints, declining enrollment and an effort to keep tuition the lowest in Cincinnati.
“We’re working hard to keep college affordable,” Posey said. “Over the last year we’ve been looking at how to be more efficient financially, but still serve a large number of students.”
A task force has been looking at athletics and other departments to help deal with the budget, and teams were careful not to recruit heavily. The college found it was spending more than most other two-year colleges in Ohio and only impacting about 100 students.
Sonya Beeler, the former women’s basketball coach, said she was first notified of the changes in October 2016, when administrators said every team would be transitioning down to Division III. Then, the school fired the coaches in May, Beeler said, though she remained a full-time employee until her contract ended June 30.
“They told us all that if we wanted a coaching position we could reapply when the jobs were posted,” Beeler said.
Beeler had been coaching at Cincinnati State since 2012. During those five years, she coached five All-Americans, had five winning seasons, made it to the Elite 8 of the NJCAA national championship tournament twice and was ranked in the top 20 NJCAA Division II teams in the country.
Beeler said you’d have no idea of her team’s – or any team’s – success walking on campus.
“The leadership at Cincinnati State does not value athletics in the least,” Beeler said. “They just saw it as a million-dollar price tag.” That’s why they’re getting rid of sports, she said.
The soccer teams were able to fill their rosters and players made a strong case to administration to play this fall season, college officials said. Although both teams dropped down from Division I to Division III, which means no athletic scholarships will be provided to the players.
The college said it helped several other players get placed with other colleges so they could keep pursuing their athletic careers.
There is no roster or schedule currently listed on the Cincinnati State or National Junior College Athletic Association websites for the women’s team. The college said it will be posted soon. The teams have lined up five or six games for fall and are still building the schedule, which will fill out as the season begins.
Michael Schweinfest, interim vice president of administration, has been serving as an athletic director for the past year in an unofficial role. The college is looking at changing how that position will be filled in the future, likely with a stronger connection to student activities.
Cincinnati State is working on a plan to fund the other sports next year, but the coaches are no longer employed. The new plan focuses on more local recruiting, regional competition and hiring part-time instead of full-time coaches.
Posey said she’s pretty sure the college will be running more sports in Fall 2018.
“We certainly value and appreciate our student-athletes, they are part of our student body,” Posey said. “Our goal is to support them and work closer with the local high schools to continue to recruit students.”
The college is open to bringing each sport and coach back, but will evaluate them individually based on cost and student interest.
“I had no plans of leaving,” Beeler said. “I was happy, I loved my job here and I wanted to continue to be successful.”
But Beeler won’t be back. Now, she’s looking at making the switch from coaching to athletic administration at a new school.