College President Says Basketball Program's Losses Top $149K, Holds Town Hall to Discuss Decision to Suspend

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A private junior college in Jacksonville, Texas, held a forum to explain why the school had to drop its basketball programs. 

Jacksonville College president David Erickson spoke at the town hall, his second one on the topic, to explain to the public the reasons behind their decision to suspend the men and women’s basketball programs, KLTV-TV reported Monday.

The school reported a loss of $149,000 last year supporting both teams. The programs posted a combined six wins in total in the challenging Region XIV Conference. A local fan at the town hall brought up the need to spread the word and entice donors.

In a video posted to the Jacksonville College Alumni Association Facebook page on March 20, Erickson explained that while some of the college's other sports also lost money, the basketball programs lost significantly more. 

       

"The tuition and fees that our student-athletes bring in must cover their educational expenses, their room and board expenses and the operational expenses of their sport," Erickson said. "Last year, in 2023, our tennis players, golfers, soccer players, track and field athletes, and cross-country runners missed that goal by $17.25 per student, for a total loss of $2,000. By contrast, every person that donned a basketball uniform for Jacksonville College, we lost $5,730 for a total loss of $149,000 last year. Every dollar we lose on athletics, we have to raise from our alumni, from our sponsoring churches and other donors. It's not wise stewardship of our resources to lose $149,000 on basketball every year. Maintaining money-losing problems makes it difficult, maybe even impossible, to move Jacksonville College forward to a better and brighter future." 

“We are investing a few more resources into some of our other sports. They are doing well and they do produce the kind of revenue that we need,” Erickson said.

Jacksonville College athletic director Danny Long supports the decision to suspend the programs.

“Jacksonville college basketball has been here for a long time, having been part of the community beginning of 1991 it was part of life .... the word I keep using is heartbreaking," Long said, as reported by KLTV-TV. "But at this particular time ... we just feel like it’s the direction we have to go."

The sophomore players were due to leave after their second year, but the freshmen were not. Erickson said that all freshmen will be taken care of while still part of the Jacksonville campus, or will be helped to land elsewhere if the player so desires.

" We will honor the scholarships next year. Through their sophomore year if that’s what they want to do," Erickson said, KLTV-TV reported. "We would love for them to stay, even if they're not playing."

Basketball has been played at Jacksonville College since 1912.

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