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LCCC ending all intercollegiate athletics programs

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Lehigh Carbon Community College could shift away from intercollegiate athletics as early as this academic year.

N. WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. — Lehigh Carbon Community College will no longer participate in intercollegiate athletics.

The college of about 6,500 students will "transition to a comprehensive intramurals program" and could end its intercollegiate athletics program as soon as this upcoming academic year, said Linda Baker, executive director of college relations.

Intercollegiate sports may continue for the next academic year and end in spring 2025, but that's contingent on the college hiring an athletic trainer by July 15, Baker said.

The college has been unsuccessful so far in filling the job.

"An athletic trainer will ensure the safety of our athletes, focusing on injury prevention and care," Baker told LehighValleyNews.com in a statement. "Efforts are currently underway to hire an athletic trainer, but a contract must be secured by July 15 in order for athletics to be held this next year. No proposals were received to the request for bid in the spring and further outreach has elicited no interest."

"Although there will no longer be regional competitions, the intramural approach will reduce the budgetary pressures of intercollegiate competitions ..."
Linda Baker, executive director of college relations for Lehigh Carbon Community College

Without a trainer, there will be no intercollegiate sports programs at LCCC this upcoming academic year.

"Beginning with the 2025-26 academic year, LCCC Athletics will transition to a comprehensive intramurals program and will not be participating in intercollegiate sports through the National Junior College Athletic Association," Baker said.

The Cougars compete in eight intercollegiate sports — men's soccer, men's basketball, men's golf, baseball, women soccer, women's basketball, women's volleyball and softball. 

The college's shift to intramurals will allow more students to participate in sports and develop "a range of sports leagues" — and plans are already underway to expand intramural leagues on campus, according to Baker.

Other local schools like Lehigh University, Moravian University, Penn State University and Muhlenberg College offer intercollegiate athletics and intramural sports, including intramural leagues for soccer, tennis, volleyball and fitness incentive programs.

"Although there will no longer be regional competitions, the intramural approach will reduce the budgetary pressures of intercollegiate competitions, while allowing more students to participate in a variety of organized sports activities if they wish to," Baker said.

More information will be available as the intramural program is developed, she said.