Dalton State College announced Friday that it will be cutting four of its 10 intercollegiate sports, but no decisions have been made on which teams will be eliminated — except that men's basketball definitely will continue. That is considered the school's "flagship" sport, and it already owns an NAIA Division I national championship.
"The college's program of intercollegiate athletics grew from seven sports to 10 sports in three years, and there are not sufficient financial resources to sustain 10 sports," interim athletic director Jon Jaudon said in the announcement release. "Our financial model is upside down with 65 percent of support coming from private donations and only 35 percent coming from predictable revenue sources.
"This model is unsustainable. The funds that were generated for athletics start-up have been exhausted; we need to right-size the department to one we can afford and sustain."
In its brief history in four-year-school athletics, Dalton State has had national medalists in men's and women's golf as well as high NAIA rankings in basketball, golf, cross country and tennis. It also has volleyball and men's and women's soccer.
Jaudon noted that community support "has been overwhelming" but added that "we cannot rely on a few large annual donations to cover basic operating expenses each year."
School president Margaret Venable, who gave the staff and faculty a heads-up about the situation in a Thursday memo, said in the official release that DSC is committed to continuing a competitive athletic program.
"The contribution of athletics to the vibrancy of our campus and community cannot be overstated," she said. "We want to preserve as many sports teams as we can while also operating a program we can afford to maintain."
She promised that decisions will be made in time for athletes whose sports are dropped to have time to make transfer plans if they choose to leave after this academic year.
Federal Title IX and NAIA and Southern States Athletic Conference requirements will be among the considerations.