Budget cuts slash athletic funding

Pierce College has been forced to remove 50 percent of funding from the athletic department due to the California’s state budget crisis, according to Pierce’s athletic director.

 

The 72 schools in the California Community College system have had their funding slashed by $400 million.

 

The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) has struggled to provide funds for its colleges after having its budget slashed by $28.9 million.

 

Supplies, traveling expenses and money for meals will no longer be provided by the athletic department because of the funding cuts.

 

Each team has been actively fundraising to attempt to make up for the lost money.

 

“The athletic department always has a big X on its back when it comes to budget cuts,” said Athletic Director Bob Lofrano. “Athletics is a big part of American culture and it is my belief that if a school is going to have a program, it is their responsibility to fund it. Our goal as a department is to not lose a sport. ”

 

Donations made to the volleyball and soccer teams have been used to fund overnight stays and meals that have been cut out of their budget.

 

FOOTBALL

Although the football team is its own line item in the budget, they also received a 50 percent budget cut.

 

Head coach Efrain Martinez said he is planning on bringing in an outside source for the team to be in charge of raising money.

 

The football team has traveled to Bakersfield, Santa Barbara, Fullerton and Long Beach this season.

 

“We just have to deal with it like everyone else,” said Martinez.

 

 

VOLLEYBALL

The volleyball team raised by money by attending live tapings of the sitcom ‘Mike and Molly’ at the CBS studios.

 

The team also hosted carwashes as another way to fund their trips to Modesto and San Diego for tournaments.

 

“Thankfully, someone donated $4,000 to the program, and because of them we don’t have to fundraise that much and now we can just focus on the season,” said Sophia Granato.

 

Anonymous Donations made it possible to pay for the team to travel to the volleyball state championships, hosted in Shasta, Calif.

 

The team is preparing for the worst and doing more fundraising than before in an effort to have funds available in the teams’ bank account, according to Head Coach Nabil Mardini

 

SOCCER

The soccer team was told not to schedule tournaments on weekends or overnight stays.

 

They also had to alter the schedule because of the budget cuts and neither are they provided with food money from the department, according to Head Soccer Coach Adolfo Perez.

 

To help with the financial burden, West Valley Soccer Club donated $5,000 dollars to the team, which was used to buy uniforms and sweats.

 

“We always take our kids to go eat and it is hard when we are asked to say no, but we are fortunate that we still have been able to feed them,” said Perez.

 

BASEBALL

The baseball team has not been as hard hit by the budget cuts as the other teams because most of the players provide their own equipment.

 

In his 17 years of working with the baseball team Head Coach John Bushart has not had an away game with an overnight stay

 

With the budget cuts the team will now try to play in local games instead of traveling far in order to save money.

 

“I think we are just going to have to be real careful with what we order and really work to get the most out of our equipment as we can,” said Bushart. “We never ask the player to come up with money. We have not done any fundraising in 3 or 4 years, but it is something we definitely need to look into.”

 

BASKETBALL

The Athletic Department has provided the basketball team provided with its most important items, according to Head Coach Ed Babayan.

 

“In the past Coach Lofrano has helped us stock up well enough to where we have most of whatever we needed specific for the year,” said Babayan.

 

Although not as affected by the budget cuts as other teams the basketball team has still invited local high schools in the area to play games and tournaments on campus.

 

“It affects us in the sense that it takes away from some of the comfort that we are provided, but it doesn’t affect us where it is hurting our ability to perform our everyday tasks,” said Babayan.