Owens Community College bringing back baseball, softball

(WTOL) - Owens Community College announced Thursday they will be bringing back both the baseball and softball athletic programs in 2018.

The announcement comes less than a month after the college said they were getting past their financial issues.

The college will move to Division 3 from Division 2, which eliminates all scholarships. The school says that will save them $250,000 per year.

President Mike Bower said, "We had players, potential students saying if you bring it back, I don't need a scholarship. I want to play."

Both baseball and softball were suspended in 2016.  Men's golf and men's and women's soccer were also suspended during fiscal recovery.

"When you're looking at eliminating some things I can't eliminate, we'll say faculty, knowing that I still have sports out there so I had to make an adjustment because student learning is what we are here for," President Bower said.

The athletes will need to enroll as a regular student and try out for the team. And although the school is saving money on scholarships, the costs of the sport is a concern.

"You still have equipment you've got to buy. Division 3, you still have to travel so you're going to have to rent a bus. If you're playing a sport, we have to feed you," President Bower said.

Bower says the students are eligible for academic scholarships.

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