CMC soccer program kicked to the sidelines |

CMC soccer program kicked to the sidelines

Jeff Caspersen
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

SPRING VALLEY, Colorado ” The nation’s crumbling economy has claimed another local victim ” Colorado Mountain College’s men’s soccer program.

Citing a long-term goal of “ensuring the program is financially self-sufficient,” college administrators on Tuesday announced that CMC is placing the sports program, which operates out of the Spring Valley campus in Glenwood Springs, on a hiatus of at least two years.

“This is particularly important in these challenging economic times,” said Carla Malmquist, chief executive officer of the Roaring Fork Campus and a college vice president. “And, unfortunately, at this point we’re just not able to get that financial support in place.”

The college will immediately begin working to devise a long-term financial foundation and business plan for the program, according a CMC press release distributed on Tuesday. Part of that planning will include examining options for supporting women’s soccer.

Head coach Steve White, who’s coached the program since its varsity inception in 2004, said the news came as a shock to him when he learned about it Tuesday morning. He met the news with “surprise and disappointment.”

“Administrators have to make hard decisions,” White said. “Financial considerations drove the decision.”

As a two-year school, CMC soccer doesn’t see the same kind of financial backing that athletic programs at four-year institutions do.

“There’s a big difference between a community college and a four-year school that brings in a lot of alumni,” CMC Director of Public Information Debbie Crawford noted.

The shelving of men’s soccer at CMC comes under the cloud of a crippling nationwide recession, one that’s seen companies across the country announce more than 211,500 job cuts in January alone, according to

Crawford said that Tuesday’s maneuver is the college’s only current cost-cutting move that she is aware of.

CMC men’s soccer players have been notified of the program’s hiatus. Those eligible and interested in playing during the 2009-10 season will receive help from White and college administrators in lining up opportunities elsewhere.

Those who wish to stay at CMC will see a little help, too.

“Team members who want to continue their college education at CMC are being offered a scholarship for one three-credit-hour course, as well as ongoing support from academic and student services advisors,” the press release states. The college will also honor any scholarship commitments made to players.

“Colorado Mountain College is committed to creating programs that support student success,” Malmquist said. “We believe collegiate soccer can be an integral part of reaching this goal, if we’re able to find the resources that adequately support it.”

White said he’s been in contact with coaches at a number of schools, trying to find spots for the team’s handful of freshmen hoping to play elsewhere next season. He was also in the process of contacting 2009-10 recruits to deliver the news.

“Hopefully, there will be some opportunities for them,” White said.

White’s not sure what he’ll do quite yet. He wants to get his players settled first.

“We’ve got to take care of our guys, get them through the second semester,” he said. “Then I’ll step back and reflect.”

Youth and community teams will continue to have access to the fields at CMC’s Spring Valley campus. League play will continue, and league administrators are being contacted with more information.

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