Concordia College athletics not canceled despite scare

Published: Oct. 21, 2015 at 8:39 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 30, 2015 at 9:51 PM CST
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(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

SELMA, AL (WSFA) - Administrators are setting the record straight at Concordia College after they say a miscommunication sparked confusion and concern on the Selma campus.

Reports that all of its athletics programs were cut were the result of a misconstrued correspondence between top college officials.

"It really upset a lot of us students because Concordia College is predominantly an athletic school for us. This is where we come to do the sports that we love and also get a higher education so it did bring a lot of grief, anger and different emotions to us," said Alex McQueen, a football player.

Vice President of Business and Fiscal Affairs Dexter Jackson stressed Wednesday that it is "business as usual" for athletics and that no sports teams have been cut.

"We met with the students this morning and clarified in that meeting that the athletic programs would not be canceled for the 2015-16 school year," Jackson said. "I think it's more of a misunderstanding that's gotten out of hand."

It all started when Dr. Tilahun Mendedo, the president, considered canceling upcoming travel for several sports teams due to financial constraints.

The president emailed the Vice President of Student Affairs, who also serves as athletic director, about possibly eliminating travel. Officials say the VP of Student Affairs took it to mean that athletics were canceled altogether since there wasn't enough money, and he notified all of the coaches who then notified all of their players.

"That was a miscommunication within the athletics area itself that indicated that the programs were canceled but that is not true," Jackson said.

The college worked to clear the air after the scare.

"When I came onto campus today, people were rioting and things of that nature but now as we got some clarification from the officials at the school, I have a great insight that it was just a miscommunication," said Kieran Sturdivant, who is the president of the Student Government Association and a baseball player.

Student athletes breathed a sigh of relief after learning that their teams remain intact.

"It's a huge relief to hear that we can continue to do what we do. I just hope that campus continues to get back to how it's supposed to be. I'm glad they didn't cancel any programs and that our sports can continue to play," McQueen said.

Concordia College's president said that at the end of year the college will review all of its athletic programs, as they do every year, to determine if it will be feasible to continue them for 2016-17.

The college relies solely on tuition and donors. Officials say Concordia would not consider canceling all of its athletic programs, but they will re-evaluate each one and do what is financially best for the institution.

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