RCC approves athletic program

Rogue Community College will join the Northwest Athletic Conference with a new athletics program approved by the college's board of trustees last week.

The college reported the new program, the RCC Ospreys, will be part of the Northwest Athletic Conference — which covers 35 community colleges in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia — and will start fielding teams for the 2015 school year. They will join the conference's southern division, which includes Chemeketa, Clackamas, Lane, Linn-Benton, Mt. Hood, Portland, Southwestern Oregon and Umpqua community colleges.

The conference includes teams for cross country, baseball, basketball, golf, softball, soccer, tennis, track and volleyball, but RCC said it  plans to start out with just soccer and cross country teams.

RCC approved a club soccer team in the spring of 2013 and fielded its first team that fall, playing non-league games against other community colleges in the conference. The team was approved for one year to gauge student interest.

The program will be funded mostly through grants and donations from the RCC Foundation, college officials said in a news release. They added that instructional dollars won't be used to fund athletics.

For more information on the Northwest Athletic Conference, which was previously known as Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges, visit www.nwaacc.org.

— Ryan Pfeil

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