What it would mean for Vermont athletes if Johnson, Lyndon and VTC were shuttered

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The proposal floated earlier this month to close three campuses of the Vermont State College System would have wrought wholesale change to the state’s education system.

Northern Vermont University’s two sites in Johnson and Lyndon plus Vermont Technical College’s flagship site in Randolph suddenly poised to become vestiges of the past.

That sweeping change — since scrapped — would have also included a massive chunk of the state’s college sports landscape.

Beyond lost jobs for coaches and staff, more than 200 Vermont student-athletes would be without the teams that, in many cases, were a driving force for pursuing higher education. Castleton University would’ve been the only member of the VSC network with an intercollegiate athletics program. The shuttering of Johnson and Lyndon would take their conference from 12 members to 10 come the fall.

More: After backlash, Vermont State Colleges chancellor withdraws proposal to close three campuses

Here’s a quick look at the particulars at stake for each of those three VSC sports programs:

Johnson

The largest of the three schools getting pushed toward the chopping block, NVU-Johnson has 1,145 students. Eighty percent of them hail from Vermont.

Its NCAA Division III athletic program supports 15 teams, eight for women and seven for men. The roster breakdown for this school year featured 49.7% Vermont students, with highs of 13 on the women’s soccer team, a dozen on the men’s soccer team and 10 on the softball team.

Lyndon

The second largest of the three campuses with 1,057 students — 55% of whom come from Vermont — NVU-Lyndon actually has the largest athletic program of the lot. 

The Hornets’ 15 teams are home to 180 NCAA D-III athletes. Of that number, 45% are playing in their home state — this includes 2/3 of the baseball, softball and women’s tennis teams.

More: For the Love of the Game: First-time tennis players find success on and off the court

VTC

Of Vermont Tech’s 1,584 students, 85% of whom are Vermonters, more than 600 call the Randolph Center campus home.

Fittingly, the Knights’ eight USCAA-level programs have the highest portion of Vermonters at 60% — or 65 out of 108 rosters spots. Every team except men’s basketball is comprised of a majority of Vermonters, including 15 on the men’s soccer team and a dozen on the women’s soccer team.

Contact Austin Danforth at 651-4851 or edanforth@freepressmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @eadanforth.

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