By JOE GIDDENS
No additional sports programs will be cut for the next three semesters at Pima Community College, according to Athletics Director Jim Monaco at a Dec. 9 press conference at the District Office.
However, major changes for the Pima Community College Athletics Department are on the horizon.
New sports also may be entering the college. Monaco and campus president Morgan Phillips are discussing bringing competitive video gaming “esports” to Pima as well as lacrosse and beach volleyball.
The golf, tennis, track and cross country programs may be terminated to make up for a potential budget shortfall that may reach $200,000.
“If enrollment doesn’t increase it means there would be cuts,” Monaco said. “With the money we’re bringing in right now, we’re just covering shortfalls.”
One of many proposed solution is a $2 to $4 additional fee for students. This would be similar to the University of Arizona’s CAT Club program.
In the event programs are terminated, Monaco stressed they may continue on as club sport.
Pima is not alone. The number of sports programs across the NJCAA is decreasing.
This semester, Monaco has secured two sponsorships.
Adidas is now Pima Community College’s official outfitter for the next four years. The move is the second and follows the Chapman Automotive Group, which acquired naming rights for the Chapman Automotive Sports Complex at the West Campus.
These moves are following Monaco’s goal of branding the college and securing additional funding.
“What it does is it saves us money on uniforms on supplies on shoes for the kids because they buy their own stuff,” Monaco said. “So we’ve been able to save money in our budget to try to help with other expenses because of this deal.”
Monaco said that additional perks of the sponsorship will be Adidas brand flags, banners, tablecloths and more for the athletics department.
Monaco expects a final decision to be made about program terminations this time next year.