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Lehigh Carbon Community College to end intercollegiate athletics

Lehigh Carbon Community College will pivot away from intercollegiate sports as soon as the upcoming academic year, according to the college.

Instead, the college’s athletic program will soon initiate intramural sports programs. Linda Baker, the executive director of college relations, wrote in a statement that the new intramural sports will “allow more students to participate in sports and will encourage the development of a range of sports leagues.”

The changes “will reduce the budgetary pressures of intercollegiate competitions,” she continued. The college currently participates in the National Junior College Athletic Association, or NJCAA.

All activity for the college’s eight teams will end after the spring 2025 semester at the latest — the teams include baseball, men’s basketball, men’s golf, men’s soccer, softball, women’s soccer, women’s basketball and women’s volleyball. 107 students participate on the college’s intercollegiate teams, according to the 2023-24 rosters on the athletics website.

However, athletics will terminate in the coming weeks if an athletic trainer is not hired by July 15. Baker wrote that “no proposals were received to the request for bid in the spring, and further outreach has elicited no interest,” referring to the athletic trainer position.

According to the college’s athletic staff directory page, Dustin Carnell is listed as the college’s athletic trainer. It is unknown whether he continues to work at the college — he additionally serves as an athletic trainer for St. Luke’s University Health Network. No college staff were immediately available to answer questions regarding Carnell and athletic trainer hiring, in addition to what may happen to coaching positions.

The most recent major cut at the college occurred in 2020 when the college closed its Carbon County site due to more students taking classes online. The college’s main campus is now located in Schnecksville, with satellite campuses in Allentown and Tamaqua in Schuylkill County.

The college has also seen a large cut in grants in the past year, according to budget data. During the 2023-24 academic year, $11 million in grants was allocated, while only $5 million was allocated for the 2024-25 academic year. $500,000 from the college’s reserves was used during the 2023-24 academic year to balance their budget.

It is unknown how much grants cover the college’s athletic programs.

Multiple coaches from Lehigh Carbon Community College could not be immediately reached for comment.

Source: Berkshire mont

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