Playing basketball at Cosumnes River College, 19-year-old Orion Kidd has experienced the budget cuts first-hand.
Kidd said one day he had a “weird feeling” about his ankle, and since he didn’t have an ankle brace at the time he wanted to get it wrapped with athletic tape just to be safe.
“I went into the trainer’s office and I was like, ‘excuse me ma’am, can I please have my ankles taped?’ And they told me no,” Kidd said. “They said no because we’re out of season and they said because we don’t have enough tape. That same day I twisted my ankle and I was out for a week.”
Cosumnes River College’s athletic department has not been immune to the budget cuts.
Over the past few years, cost containment procedures have been implemented district-wide to athletic departments, said Liz Belyea, CRC’s athletic director.
“One of the cost containment procedures was to limit the amount of games they play,” Belyea said.
Each sport’s season length was cut by 15 percent, said Jeanne Calamar, CRC’s assistant athletic director. The volleyball season has been cut by three playing dates, the baseball season by eight games and the basketball season by four games.
“We’ve gotten quite a few games cut from our schedule,” said women’s basketball head coach Coral Sage during an interview before the basketball season. “We can’t go to as many tournaments in the preseason and we lose a little more preseason games. We used to go to a final four for a state tournament, this year it’s only the top two teams in the north and the top two teams in the south.”
But a shorter season does have its advantages.
“I think for a lot of the athletes that have been working really hard and doing lots of games it’s kind of nice for them to be able to study a little bit more,” Belyea said.
And studying is important for the athletes because they can only play on a junior college’s sport team for two years, Kidd said.
“You can’t take it on your own pace, you have to take a certain amount of units,” Kidd said. “Last semester I took 19 units.”
Kidd also mentioned that “certain things like no priority registration for athletes hurts them.”
“I’m on time with all my stuff, I’m trying my hardest, but then my enrollment date’s too late so I can’t get into anything,” Kidd said.
But, for the most part, collegiate athletes are able to overcome these obstacles.
“The graduation success rate for student-athletes who began college in 2003 is 79 percent,” according to a study published in 2010 by the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
Although CRC’s athletes are facing challenges, they may be in a better situation than athletes at other colleges.
“I think that our district again has been really frugal in saving money so at this point we’re not feeling the effects as hard as maybe some other colleges,” Belyea said. “But we don’t know what the future will hold.”