FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Director of Communications
July 29, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Grand Rapids Community College will close its men’s and women’s tennis programs. The decision comes at a time when participation is low – two men and three women players were scheduled to return for the 2013-14 season – and there are vacancies in each team’s head coaching positions.
“Closing an athletic program is a decision that is not made lightly, but after an extensive review, this was the best decision for the college and its students,” said Tina Hoxie, associate provost and dean of student affairs.
Athletic Director Charles Wells added that several factors influenced the college’s decision to close both programs.
“There are currently no men’s or women’s tennis teams in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association, with no interest on the part of other community colleges in the state of Michigan to start tennis programs,” Wells said.
GRCC does not hold any Letters of Intent from athletes for the 2013-14 season, and closing the programs does not affect the college’s Title IX compliance, he said.
As the transition takes place to close the programs, the college will honor any scholarship expectations for the five tennis players currently on the rosters, Hoxie said.
“We want to ensure these students are able to successfully complete their associate degree at GRCC for a successful transfer to a four-year institution,” she said.
Wells noted that with the closing of the tennis programs, the college is exploring the possibility of adding men’s and women’s cross country teams. Incoming student-athletes have expressed greater interest in these sports, and the MCCAA conference would accommodate healthy competition and reasonable travel for GRCC student-athletes. The conference has 11 cross country teams, and two additional teams are under consideration now, he said.
Hoxie added that during the 2013-14 academic year the college will be exploring the option of adding men’s and women’s cross country teams.
Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops, and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus, as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.