Houston Community College Looks Toward (Semi-) Big-Time Sports

TP-ing the dean's house, frat brothers hazing pledges, people getting some strange after the football team's upset victory. These are some of the most sacred and time-honored college traditions, and Houston Community College would like its pupils to live them.

Now HCC can't guarantee that you'll get paddled by the Kappa Omega Kappa boys. They won't even guarantee that you'll get lucky. They do, however, hope to provide students with that huge upset victory.

How? HCC is looking into creating an athletics program. Currently, the six member colleges host their own intramural and club-level sports. A little known fact, however, is that HCC is a member of the National Junior College Athletics Association. With that membership, HCC could develop intercollegiate sports programs to compete in Region 14.

"I think within the next two to three years, we will be a member of that conference," said Dr. William Harmon, president of HCC Central College. "The problem is that we need someone to coordinate all of these activities, not only for intramurals and club sports, but someone who would be responsible for the development of athletics. So we would need someone, who for lack of a better title, who would be an athletics director."

HCC conducted a student focus group, which found that students wanted HCC to have some of the amenities that four-year institutions have; intercollegiate athletics being high on the list.

So the Screamin' Eagles of HCC want to compete with the big boys (mascot not official). HCC wants to take on the Galveston Whitecaps, the Wharton County Pioneers, and the San Jac Ravens.

Well, you need facilities to play. Dr. Harmon points out that HCC has about 90 acres of land adjacent to Willy Gay Hall, South Campus. "We are working with the city [Houston] and with the Dynamo to create athletic facilities in the name of soccer, golf, tennis, and baseball. I would assume that's there's also a discussion about the development of a multi-purpose facility that would seat about four to five thousand individuals. It would serve as an arena for basketball, in addition for community meetings and other workshops that could be conducted there."

Question is will a commuter-school be able to attract fans to sporting events? UH and Rice struggle to draw big crowds to events, and they're four-year universities.

Dr. Harmon has just the remedy for that situation. "You have to win in order to attract individuals. I think there is sufficient talent within the six colleges at HCC where we could develop a winning basketball, soccer, tennis [teams]"

So dream big, HCC students. If y'all beat the Whitecaps, you might get some random. If you still wish to get paddled, that's your own business.

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