WESTMINSTER, Md- On October 18, the Board of Trustees passed a proposal to begin preparations on establishing a sports program at Carroll. In 2019, the first year of the program, Carroll plans to offer a men’s and women’s cross-country teams, along with a men’s and women’s soccer teams. Though competition will not actually start until the fall semester of 2019, preparations will start during the fall of this year. The college will compete in the, Maryland Junior College Athletic Conference, which consists of community colleges all over the state including Fredrick, Howard, Hagerstown, and many more.
Community colleges statewide have seen a dramatic decrease in student enrollment due in large part to the decreased enrollment at public high schools in Maryland. Carroll, in particular, has seen a ten percent decrease in enrollment since last year, its largest decrease in the last five years. Carroll projects to see enrollment increase because of the program.
Some high school students have shied away from Carroll due to the absence of a sports program. Nick Brown, a former student at South Carroll High School and current student at Carroll said, “ I knew a bunch of people from high school that went to Howard Community instead because they had a sports program.”
According to a study done by the college, Carroll County has one of the highest participation rates for athletics in the state of Maryland with over 3,600 student-athletes participating in at least one sport in 2015-2016. A study done by the college found that Carroll could gain anywhere between 139 and 170 student-athletes over a 4-year period.
Erik Macaulay, a former collegiate athlete and current student at Carroll, noted that a sports program “could significantly shift the priorities of a school and change the student body, but it can also increase campus participation.”
The current regulations for the National Junior College Athletic Association, the 2-year college equivalent to the NCAA states, to maintain eligibility student-athletes must achieve a 2.0 GPA minimum, take at least 12 credits for both fall and spring semesters, and must work toward degree completion. Because of these requirements student-athletes are more likely to complete an associates degree within two years, which is faster than some current students, who on average, take nine credits per semester.The students will also be required to pay an athletic fee, which will go to the maintenance and upkeep of the Carroll facilities.
The addition of more sports teams depends on the success of the first phase of the program. If the cross country and soccer teams increase enrollment and prove a benefit to the college, Carroll could see sports including basketball, volleyball, and lacrosse be available. Out of the 16 community colleges in Maryland all but two have a sports program, making Carroll one of the last colleges to adopt one. Wor-Wic Community College is now the only community college without a sports program. The Board has yet to come up with a mascot, but students should be on the look out for any student polls or decisions made.
For more information go to: https://www.carrollcc.edu/sites/carroll/Templates/ContentPreview.aspx?id=14626