Penn State hopes adding sports to Sharon campus will boost enrollment


SHARON, Pa. (WYTV) – A big announcement is coming next week from Penn State Shenango. The school will reintroduce sports on campus for the first time since the 90s.

The two sports programs, men’s basketball and women’s volleyball, will be unveiled next week and will compete in the fall semester of 2018. The change has been two years in the making, and university leaders hope the move will help improve finances and increase enrollment.

“It does provide what I would call a lot of energy in the student life component that will give students more of a college feel,” said Campus Director Dr. Jo Anne Carrick

The campus began an athletic program in the 1960s but cut sports sometime in the late 90s. Discussions of kick-starting it again began with a recent strategic plan for the school that has an enrollment of about 500 students.

The court at the Buhl Club will be the home of the Penn State Shenango basketball and volleyball programs, which are required to be a member of the Penn State Athletic Conference, which is made up of 13 other Penn State satellite campuses.

The school will be a member of the United States Collegiate Athletic Conference – a Division III equivalent. That means teams at the Sharon campus can also play schools such as Thiel and Westminster.

The first tip-off hasn’t even happened yet, but the Sharon campus is already thinking about athletic expansion.

“Through all of our research, we focused on getting around six core sports and making sure those core sports are really funded well,” said Bill Dungee, director of business.

Those sports could be baseball, softball or cross country.

Penn State will officially announce the reinstatement of its athletic program at a Meet and Greet Tailgate Party on Wednesday, April 12. The event, which is open to the public, is sponsored by the Penn State Shenango Alumni Society and proceeds benefit Penn State Shenango Athletics.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The event begins at 6 p.m. with the tailgate, food, a 50/50 raffle, sports memorabilia auction and a cash bar. The program starts at 7 p.m. with guest speaker Sandy Barbour, Penn State’s director of athletics.

Tickets are limited and can be obtained by calling 724-983-2905 or by emailing ejj129@psu.edu.