For the third straight season, Salt Lake Community College will not have a golf team. Economic hardships are still to blame.
The SLCC golf program has no source of funding again this year. In 2007 the Utah Legislature asked for 5 million dollars back from Junior Colleges across the state. As a result, extramural programs like golf and tennis have struggled to exist.
“We struggled to keep our program going. Trying to find other schools to play,” wrote Lisa Peshell, athletics specialist of SLCC Athletics, in an email. “In 2009, we failed to find any teams to play and we put the team in hibernation until such a time when other schools could participate.”
An extramural program
Snow College and College of Eastern Utah were forced to drop their golf programs immediately following the Utah Legislature’s 2007 order to return funds. By 2009, all other schools in the Scenic West Athletic Conference had dropped their golf programs as well.
Golf has been a part of SLCC athletics for over a decade. It is defined as an extramural program, which means that it is designed to compete against other teams outside of SLCC, but is not allotted the same advantages as the five major sports.
SLCC’s five major sports are considered Intercollegiate. They are a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA). The NJCAA awards full and partial scholarships to athletes competing in Intercollegiate sports.
“When the economy crashed, so did golf”
Golf was added as an extramural program, therefore it is not eligible for this aid. With no scholarship money available for extramural sports, it remains financially difficult to keep the ball rolling.
Limited funds originally came from SLCC’s Student Foundation. In recent years the Lifetime Activities Center has supported golf. These funds are not sufficient to support a junior college golf team.
“They basically support themselves,” said Athletic Director, Norma Carr. “When the economy crashed, so did golf.”
Bruin golfers won’t compete this year. But there is one option for students to get on the course. SLCC offers an off campus golf class in the spring and fall semesters.
Golf 1130 counts as a Health and Lifetime Activities (HLAC) credit, or a Lifelong Wellness (LW) credit. This course covers the basic fundamentals of golf. Emphasis is on the knowledge and practice of individual skills.