GEORGETOWN, Ky. – Citing financial uncertainty, Georgetown College is making major budget cuts, eliminating jobs and five sports teams in the process.
Athletic students who plan to compete for Georgetown College teams in the next school year will not be able to play due to the cuts, according to the college.
Now, athletes are raising questions and going to great lengths to save their golf season.
What do you need to know
- Georgetown College is cutting 5 sports amid financial uncertainty
- Programs cut out are men’s and women’s golf, junior college programs, men’s and women’s football, and archery
- The scholarships will be awarded beyond this year for those student athletes who choose to finish their degree at Georgetown College
- Based on the lists published on each team’s website, the cuts affect over 75 athletes
21-year-old Jake Damron, a member of the Georgetown College men’s golf team, has just learned, along with dozens of other athletes, that their college playing career has once again been interrupted.
First, the COVID-19 pandemic forced athletes to abandon their seasons. Now, Georgetown College is cutting five of its athletic teams altogether.
“To say I had the full experience is definitely an understatement and now, after that, it will really dampen the way I look back on my athletic career in college,” Damron said.
On June 2, 2022, Athletic Director Brian Evans informed student athletes and coaches of affected sports programs on a zoom call.
Programs cut out are men’s and women’s golf, junior college programs, men’s and women’s football, and archery.
“It is really difficult for us to understand why this decision was made at our expense,” said Damron.
According to a statement released by the school on social media, the cuts are a small part of a larger restructuring of the school’s budget. Officials cited rising costs and the need to close the “gap between expected costs and expected revenue”.
The school’s full statement, by Vice President of Athletics Brian Evans, reads:
I am very sorry for the harm these cuts have caused; I want to assure everyone that all cuts that were part of the budget recently approved by the Trustees have now been communicated to those affected, both inside and outside the track and field program.
I also regret that we have done an inadequate job in communicating these actions to the College community. We had already scheduled discussion meetings for faculty and staff on Monday to discuss all budget decisions, but we didn’t have a good plan for communicating with students who weren’t directly affected by the cuts. I was unable to anticipate the level of concern and confusion that would have resulted from the cuts to sports teams and I take full responsibility for that failure.
I want you to feel free to express your concern directly to me and I will do my best to respond to every message. However, please don’t be mad if it takes me until early next week to answer everyone.
I promise to continue doing all I can to serve the College well. I won’t always be able to do everything right, but I promise to keep trying.
“A college has to stay alive, but the answers we got are honestly what infuriated us. They weren’t direct, they weren’t logical [with us]”Explains Damron.
The scholarships will be awarded beyond this year for those student athletes who choose to finish their degree at Georgetown College.
Based on the lists published on each team’s website, the cuts affect over 75 athletes.
“It’s downright frustrating for athletes who don’t have the opportunity to show what they have and all the hard work pays off,” added Damron.
Supporters of the men’s golf team and others affected by the cuts have already collected over 1,000 signatures on a petition on change.org calling for reinstatement.
“This isn’t just a fight for me to play golf next year. This is a struggle for the school to start making decisions based on the student’s experience and assessing the student’s opinion, ”adds Damron.
Ultimately, the latest college decision serves as a reminder to future players to love every moment as an athlete, according to Damron
“You treasure every swing, every down, every bat, every sport you play,” he said. “Give it all because you don’t know when it will be taken away from you.”
The budget for combined men’s and women’s golf is just $ 60,000, according to an assistant coach.
Damron is expected to graduate next spring and is planning to attend law school.