Carl Albert State College Suspends Basketball Programs Amid Budget Cuts

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POTEAU (KFSM) — Carl Albert State College in Poteau, Oklahoma announced Tuesday (April 12) it will be suspending its men’s and women’s basketball programs amid state budget cuts.

The CASC Board of Regents approved the budget cuts at today’s meeting.

According to CASC President Garry M. Ivey, state allocations have been cut by more than $800,000 in 2016 and the college expects deeper cuts ahead.

“We’ve cut, at this institution, over a $1 million since Christmas and expect $800,000 more in the new year,” CASC athletics director and men’s basketball coach Mike St. John said. “We cut our scholarships in half but it was just out of our hands financially.”

The Board of Regents also approved eliminating 24 positions over a two-year period and eliminating three degree programs and 24 courses.

“We’re all kind of in shock,” CASC women’s coach Jeff Tadtman said. “Those are decisions that are made behind closed doors and I have no idea what those are.”

St. John has been with the Vikings for 12 seasons while Tadtman just finished his 13th season at the school.

“You just have to uproot and leave,” Tadtman said. “I’m not from here but this is my home and I wasn’t planning on leaving. I’m meeting with my players tonight and that is going to be extremely difficult for all of us.”

St. John said he was unaware of his immediate future but does plan on continuing his coaching career.

“I don’t know that I can answer that,” St. John said when asked of what’s next. “I can just put some feelers out there and see what happens. I’ve been here 12 years but you just have to regroup.”

Reductions in programs and positions also include:

  • Art degree program: eliminated
  • Continuing Ed/SrO program: suspended
  • Drama productions: suspended
  • Language Arts Spanish program: minimized, full-time eliminated
  • Piano courses: eliminated
  • Cheer: suspended
  • Temporary associate faculty classification: eliminated
  • Vice President for Sallisaw campus: eliminated
  • Physical Plant administrative assistance position: eliminated
  • Office Manager position at Sallisaw campus: eliminated
  • Two IT Support Specialist Positions: eliminated

Ivey stated, “We will be doing all we can to help students affected by suspended programs, including upholding our scholarship commitments with them if they wish to stay at Carl Albert. Those in [reduced programs] will be offered as much assistance as we can possibly provide as they move forward.”