Owens to cut golf and soccer programs

By Kyle Brown, Sports Editor

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Owens athletics will take a big hit starting next school year.

An announcement came in Monday from Owens Community College president Dr. Mike Bower, that the men’s golf and both men’s and women’s soccer teams will be suspended from play beginning the 2016-2017 school year.

According to Dr. Bower, the decision was made to help the college with it’s financial issues.

The golf team has finished in the top 10 nationwide in the last three seasons. They are set to play in Defiance this upcoming weekend for the Defiance Invitational at Eagle Rock Golf Course. This will be their spring opener.

The women’s soccer club had a 9-10 record in 2015 after receiving their first national tournament win the year before.

The men’s soccer team had one of its best seasons in 2015 finishing second in the OCCAC.

According to WTOL, this announcement will affect a total of 55 student athletes and coaches.

Below is Owens President Dr. Mike Bower’s letter:

“Dear Faculty and Staff,

As we work toward financial stabilization and developing the College budget for Fiscal Year 2017, your contributions and efforts are deeply appreciated. A recommendation for the FY 2017 College Budget will be made to the Board of Trustees in June.

Recently, negotiations between the Owens Faculty Association and the College administration have concluded, and a recommendation of a tentative agreement will be made to the Board of Trustees at the regular meeting, April 5, 2016. The tentative agreement includes salary reductions. Once implemented, all non-bargaining and bargaining employee groups will have shared in this meaningful and necessary sacrifice, which greatly helps in reducing college expenses for better alignment with student enrollment and state revenue projections.

Additionally, we are in the process of advising our student-athletes and coaches of the suspension of men’s Golf, men’s Soccer and women’s Soccer, effective for the 2016-2017 academic year. This reduction in the athletic operation will provide financial savings.

When the College started on the road toward financial recovery, it was understood that we would make tough decisions to regain fiscal health, and we would write our own story of contributing to the College’s legacy of high-quality education that prepares students and the local workforce for relevant careers and in-demand jobs. THANK YOU!

Mike Bower, Ph.D.

This announcement came just days after revealing softball coach Marcus Smith was under investigation for allegations against him. The softball team will continue to play and will continue on next year, but the athletic program has taken a few hits this week.

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