Athletics staff unsure of poor economy#039;s impact

by Beacon Staff • April 8, 2009

As a Division III school, Emerson is unable to give athletic scholarships to prospective student athletes. Instead, any aid a student receives is based entirely on merit and need. As the economy dwindles, Emerson has become less appealing to cash-strapped athletes.

Recruiting Coordinator Stan Nance said Emerson may have trouble getting new recruits despite its unique offerings.

"This year has been a trying year, because even though we're involved with that prospective student athlete whose picking us because of our [academic and athletic] match, finances still play a big picture," Nance said.

Softball Head Coach Phil McElroy, who has been actively recruiting throughout the current economic crisis, said he has yet to see the exact effect the economy will have on drawing new players to Emerson.

"I still think it remains to be seen how [the economy] will affect recruitment here at Emerson," McElroy said. "I haven't seen any lack of interest because of it, but I do think that when it comes to choosing a school, a lot of kids are going to choose state schools over us."

McElroy said he isn't worried about next year's recruiting class, as he both expects and needs only three recruits. However, he is worried about the longer-term consequences of a poor economy.

"I'm not too worried about next year, but I do worry about the 2010 season because we lose six kids in 2010," McElroy said. "A couple kids are graduating early because of the economy, which makes the recruiting process a three-year process instead of a four-year process. That might be a little bit tricky."