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PHCC athletics impact study released
More than $2.1 million detailed
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
Student athletic programs at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC) had an economic impact of more than $2.1 million in the past fiscal year, a study prepared by the college’s athletic department shows.
“That’s a very substantial number,” said Mark Heath, president/CEO of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp.
PHCC is a National Junior College Athletic Association member. It is the only Virginia community college with an actual athletic department, said Athletic Director Chris Parker. Other community colleges have perhaps one or two sports overseen by their student activities departments, he said.
Baseball, softball, men’s and women’s basketball and cheerleading now are being offered at PHCC.
The college spent $112,000 on athletics during the year that ended June 30 and generated $1,115,970 for the college, the study shows.
The funds spent included contributions from localities the college serves — Martinsville and Henry, Patrick and Franklin counties — as well as private donations and contributions by the PHCC Foundation.
Based on those figures, new PHCC President Angeline Godwin said, “it’s pretty simple math ... that the college is getting its bang for the buck.”
The athletics programs also generated $984,217 for its service region, the study shows. That would place the total economic impact at $2,100,187 in fiscal 2012.
The study showed the total impact as $2,099,187, which is $1,000 less than the sum of $1,115,970 and $984,217. College officials could not explain the difference in calculations.
The study did not break down the figures for each locality.
Both Godwin and Parker admitted to being a little surprised that the total impact figure was so high.
Parker said he expects the total to grow in the future as the college adds new athletic programs.
PHCC had 103 student athletes in the past year, including 84 from outside its service area.
For the college, the study shows that athletic programs generated:
• $431,533 from student tuition and fees. That sum includes $322,495.27 from in-state students and $109,038.07 from out-of-state students.
• $123,600 in student textbook purchases. The study shows some books cost as much as $300, and PHCC students spend an average of $1,200 a year on their books.
• $522,740 in state funds based on student full-time equivalencies. Those are calculated by dividing the total number of academic credit hours students take by 15, the number of hours many full-time students take per semester.
Parker said all of that money is directly attributable to athletics because the athletes were recruited for sports at PHCC. He said he understands that only about three of the students would have attended the college otherwise.
Athletes from outside the service area likely would have chosen to attend a community college closer to where they live if not for the athletic program, Parker said.
Factors that convinced them to come to PHCC, he said, include the lesser cost of attending a community college versus a university and the college having “great coaches” to help mold their athletic talents.
According to Parker, some local as well as out-of-town athletes go to PHCC because they need to improve their grades before transferring to a four-year college or hone their skills before joining a university athletic program.
Some hope university talent scouts will see them play, notice their talents and offer them scholarships so they can afford to go to a university, he mentioned.
Athletics also resulted in $38,097 in donations to the college’s foundation, the study shows.
For the service area, the study states that athletic programs generated:
• $688,800 by students from outside the service area in expenses such as rent, food, utilities, clothing and gas. PHCC calculated that amount largely based on tallies provided by apartment complexes and parents who kept budgets, the study shows.
• $182,780 on expenses paid by students from the area.
• $40,081 in stipends for coaches. The average stipend for a head coach is $4,500 per season, and the average stipend for an assistant coach is $1,250, the study shows.
• $23,422 that the college paid to local businesses for equipment and supplies for athletic programs.
• $15,000 in savings for the city of Martinsville, which is allowed to use a PHCC activity bus to transport its baseball team, the Martinsville Mustangs.
• $34,134 in business at area motels, gas stations, stores and restaurants from visitors, such as families of athletes from outside the area who attend PHCC sporting events, and teams playing against college teams.
Parker said the latter figure was calculated based on several factors.
One was talking with local motel operators. Parker said some local motels have discounted rates for families of the college’s athletes and teams from other colleges that stay overnight.
Different motels have different special rates, and they keep track of how many guests are charged those rates, he said.
He said he also based that amount on information he received from stores and restaurants that have been visited by athletes’ families, as well as talks with athletes’ families about how much they spend on supplies, lodging and food when they visit.
Furthermore, when teams come to PHCC from other places for competitions, they spend money locally, Heath said. He noted that sports tourism is an important part of local economic development efforts.
“Anything that helps the local economy is a good thing,” he said.
Heath had not seen results of the study, so he declined to comment on them at length.
PHCC is adding men’s and women’s soccer teams for the current fiscal year that began July 1. Parker said those teams will add more than 50 athletes to the PHCC college’s rosters.
Based on the same categories in the report and the additional athletes, college officials estimate that PHCC’s athletic programs will have a total economic impact of almost $3.15 million in fiscal 2013.
In the future, the college also wants to add women’s volleyball and co-ed golf programs, Parker said.
Godwin, who started as the college’s president on July 1, said she already sees a demand among students for athletic wear promoting PHCC’s teams. She said she hopes support for the teams in the community will increase.
The more people who show support for the teams, such as through buying clothing with PHCC’s logos and making donations to the college for athletic programs, the more the programs’ economic impact will rise, she said.
“No matter where we are in the community, we’d like to see a flood of blue and gold” (the college’s colors) on people, Godwin said.