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More reliant on student-athletes, Mayville State and Valley City State don't anticipate cutting any programs

As opposed to the University of North Dakota and St. Cloud (Minn.) State, the athletic departments for Valley City State and Mayville State don't really have room to cut full programs because it takes up such a chunk of enrollment.

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The Valley City State University Vikings take on Morningside College on their new turf. (FNS Photo by Dave Wallis)

As opposed to the University of North Dakota and St. Cloud (Minn.) State, the athletic departments for Valley City State and Mayville State don't really have room to cut full programs because it takes up such a chunk of enrollment.

State agencies that were forced to cut 4 percent from their budgets in February are being told by Gov. Jack Dalrymple to take off another 6 percent for the next biennium.

"We're not cutting any programs," Mayville State athletic director Mike Moore said. "There's no plan at this time. There's not any need. We're a little unique. Athletics is such a large portion of our enrollment."

According to The Equity in Athletics Data Analysis website, in the 2014-15 school year, Mayville State had 635 and Valley City State had 723 full-time undergraduate students. Athletes make up 35 percent of Valley City State's enrollment and 31 percent of Mayville's enrollment.

Valley City State president Tisa Mason wasn't as definitive as Moore.

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"As we prepare to meet the governor's request to submit a 90 percent budget for the coming biennium, all areas at VCSU will be participating in the discussions and planning sessions to make reductions, including athletics," Mason wrote in a statement. "At this time, the specific impact on athletics is not known."

Of North Dakota State College of Science's 1,699 full-time undergraduate students, only 7 percent are athletes. Athletic director Stu Engen said things are fine--good enough to think about adding baseball in 2017-18.

"We're doing fine hosting all five of our sports," Engen said, referring to the football, volleyball, men and women's basketball and softball programs. "We've had a football team since 1906. Our athletic program is as strong as it's ever been. Many of our teams are competing at the national level. We are currently looking at investigating expanding to baseball."

UND had 9,039 full-time undergraduates and 5 percent were in athletics, while St. Cloud State's 8,980 full-time undergraduates had 5.8 percent in athletics.

Representatives from VCSU, Mayville State and NDSCS were cautious to be too optimistic when asked if there was a possibility entire programs could be cut.

"Ten percent is a lot of money, but I'm not anticipating anything like that, but it's too early to speculate," VCSU director of marketing and communications Greg Vanney said. "I know that UND cut its baseball program. There's no talk of anything like that here. To speculate now isn't any help."

Mayville State's Moore doesn't anticipate cutting any athletic programs.

"I don't think (cutting a sports program) would be in the cards for us. It's hard to make a statement," Moore said. "If it comes back July 1 that we have to cut another 5 percent across the board ... it's unpredictable. We just don't know for sure what we have to do, but, at this point, there's no plan to cut into sports. It would take a lot. Can I say that it would never happen? No. Today, there's no plan."

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