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Salt Lake Community College sports subsidized by students, taxpayers

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Sporting events at Salt Lake Community College are well attended, but they don’t bring enough in ticket and concession sales to pay for the athletic programs. (KUTV)

Sporting events at Salt Lake Community College are well attended, but they don’t bring enough in ticket and concession sales to pay for the athletic programs.

In total, SLCC’s sports programs bring in about $363,000 for live events. The remainder – more than $3 million – comes from students and taxpayers, according to the Utah state auditor, John Dougall.

That makes SLCC’s athletics the highest-subsidized in the state, at 89 percent.

In an effort to keep retention high and get our young people and older people to their academic goals, athletics becomes the hook.

Dougall wonders whether more of that monetary commitment could be going to offset the cost of college for SLCC’s students.

Kevin Dustin is the athletic director at Salt Lake Community College, and while he admits that the sports programs don’t generate a lot of revenue, he says, that’s not the point. Rather, student activities like sports are the glue that keeps students engaged on campus, he says.

“We know there is a direct correlation between being involved in something at school – be it athletics or student government – and retention,” Dustin says. “In an effort to keep retention high and get our young people and older people to their academic goals, athletics becomes the hook.”

Few collegiate sports programs nationwide aren’t subsidized to some degree, Dustin adds.

In the next two years, SLCC will add 400 more beds for on-campus living, and Dustin hopes that will add to the campus spirit and keep students more active in both studies and extracurriculars, like sports.

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