Darton explores cutting wrestling program - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Darton explores cutting wrestling program

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Darton State athletic director Mike Keifer tells WALB the school is looking at the possibility of cutting athletic programs in 2015-2016.

"We are looking at some things," says Keifer, who says the athletic department has had to make cuts in scholarships and staffing. "If things don't change, we may have to eliminate one or more programs."

Keifer says the wrestling program is one of those being considered.

The wrestling program is the newest in the athletic department. It is also the only one without a conference opponent.

That means the team is forced to find opponents on it's own. Five of the wrestling team's eight regular season matches in 2014 were outside the state of Georgia.

Keifer says no cuts are definitive at this point in time, and all athletics programs will proceed as normal in the upcoming year.

"We are keeping everything for the current year," he says. 

Keifer notes two things are contributing to the budget cuts the department has been forced to make.

First, the school has shifted some expenses from other departments back to the athletics department after a University System of Georgia audit last fall.

"For instance, field and facilities maintenance was in the plant operations budget," he says. "That has been moved back into the athletics budget."

Also, Keifer says student fees that are used to fund the athletic department have dropped due to falling student enrollment.

One program that is being affected is the prospective women's lacrosse team. The school announced last April their plans to field a women's lacrosse team at the club level.

It appears those plans have been put on hold for now.

"We're not looking to add anything now or in the near future," Keifer says.

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