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OPINION: TMCC Sports Complex a Move in The Right Direction


By Richard Jay

The students of Truckee Meadows Community College have voted twice to increase fees for a new sports complex on campus.

The first vote approved a $10 increase, the second vote a $5 increase with $4.50 to build the facility and $0.50 to maintain the facility.  I have met with the TMCC administration, and we found areas to further reduce costs.

Studies show students perform better when there is an athletic facility on campus.  Purdue University study cites “Students who exercise at least once a week were more likely to earn a higher grade point average than students who didn’t exercise at all.”

Another study from the Purdue University of Recreational Sports; “Students who are motivated by fitness and wellness tend to have better time management skills and research shows that being fit is good for the mind”.

Community colleges enroll 11-12 million students annually, of which over 50,000 participate in intercollegiate athletics. Over 50% of colleges have intercollegiate sports. Community colleges are moving toward greater participation in athletics, by starting new programs or expanding existing programs.

The programs vary, both in the type and number of sports available. After discussing the regulation of community college athletics and providing some examples of athletic programs, a study from the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) report examined the case for athletics in the college settings.

Conclusion: “The trend in community college athletics is moving toward more, rather that less, intercollegiate athletics. Intercollegiate competition encourages personal development and is an integral part of a student’s overall educational experience. Sports programs may also attract more students to a community college and enhance pride in the college both on campus and within the community.”

It seems inevitable that the educational value of athletics in higher education may continue to generate controversy with the age old debate between ACADEMICS and ATHLETICS.  Why not offer both of these to our students giving them a more enhanced and balanced education.

In an article from The Chronicle of Higher Education (To Increase Enrollment, Community Colleges Add More Sports) Guilford Technical Community College, President Donald Cameron sees their sports program as a benefit for the school as a whole, saying “Athletics is just one more way of offering extracurricular opportunities that make a whole student.”

He contends that the addition of sports teams has “really turned our student morale around. Our bookstore manager will tell you that he cannot keep our sports paraphernalia in stock.”

Finally, student athletes opt to play at other community colleges as we have no programs at TMCC or in Northern Nevada.  Several colleges offer sports; Feather River College, Western Nevada CC , and Lake Tahoe CC.  Lacrosse/field hockey is a growing in the U.S.; many colleges are now offering lacrosse/field hockey programs.

This facility can be used by outside organization, the access fee will be used to offset the overall maintenance costs.  Those outside organizations could include the US Youth Olympic Development Program, NYSA State Cup qualifying games, Reno 1868FC and many more.

Richard L. Jay

  • Past President Great Basin Youth Soccer League
  • Commissioner –Nevada Youth Soccer Association
  • Class of 84 University of Nevada-Economics, 82 AA TMCC






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