Sports too costly for school

By Deborah Cooper, Staff Reporter
The state of New Mexico has two junior colleges that belong to the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), but CNM is not one of them. The colleges that do have sports teams are New Mexico Junior College and the New Mexico Military Institute.
Communications and Media Manager, Chris Burroughs said, “there are no sports teams at CNM and there have never been any, even when it was TVI.”
Burroughs who has been in the communications and media office at CNM for the last four months said the reason why there is not a sports program is because sports teams are expensive, and that money would most likely come out of student pockets, she said.
“The money would have to come from somewhere, the students’ fees, and the tuition would have to go up. The whole intent of CNM is to keep tuition low and make it affordable for students in the community to attend,” she said.
Jessica Ortiz, Veterinary sciences major said, “Sports at CNM would be cool but in order to get programs started as well as facilities built would cost a lot of money. This would mean higher tuition costs for everyone.”
Business major Jesse Salazar said, “We have a mascot, where’s the teams? They developed a mascot at the request of the students.”
Salazar said people at the school just wanted something to rally around when it comes to having a mascot.
“It really had nothing to do with sports. Even grade schools and middle schools have mascots,” Salazar said.
Burroughs said that she recently had a conversation with the president of UNM, Bob Frank that explained about the high costs of running athletic programs.
“He was talking about the high costs of running athletic programs and the high cost of paying the football coach. He’d recently gone to a meeting with other college presidents and they were all talking about the same thing,” she said.
Burroughs who is from Canton Oh., the home of the “Football Hall of Fame,” has also worked at UNM for 8 years in Public Relations and has been a New Mexico resident since 1984, she said.
Burroughs said she is also aware of the positive side in having sports teams at a college.
“Sports are really important as they build up community and spirit. It helps in fundraising and helps in recruiting really good students, but that’s for research institutions. Community colleges typically don’t have athletic programs, some have intramural sports,” she said.
According to the National Junior College Athletic Association, benefits for a college and students while being members could consist of being accredited by the appropriate state and/or regional accrediting agency, and there could also be opportunities for student-athletes to participate in structured conferences, Regional tournaments and National Championships which provide increased exposure and publicity.
Burroughs agrees that sports are important, but she said, “The goal is to keep costs down.”
There is a really good survival rate of 2-year schools without sports that just focus on academics, but more than likely CNM will never have sports teams because the whole goal is to keep costs low, Burroughs said.

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