Alderson Broaddus Closure Is A Blow For Local Student-Athletes

On Monday, the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission voted to revoke Alderson Broaddus University’s authorization to confer degrees. It effectively meant the end for the long-time financially struggling institution and its athletic programs which have given opportunities to several student-athletes in the region.

Alderson Broaddus was millions of dollars in debt and was soliciting donations from alumni to help meet the current and following payroll period. While no one ever wants to see a school close, the HPEC concluded that it was too volatile of a situation for students. As a result, only students who are graduating in December will be allowed back to complete their education. This decision also meant an end for the school’s athletic programs.

The school, which opened in 1871, had a rich history in athletics. From 1924 until 2013 the Battlers were a part of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The WVIAC dissolved after the 2013 spring season, and Alderson Broaddus then joined the new Great Midwest Athletic Conference. The Battlers then joined the Mountain East Conference, which is predominantly made up of former WVIAC institutions in 2020.

The closure is a huge blow, not only to the regular students but all student-athletes at the school. It also reduces the number of opportunities for athletes to move on to the next level. The Battlers have recruited several athletes from the region over the years, including just within the last few months. In fact, if you look on X (formerly Twitter) and search for Alderson Broaddus, you will see tons of athletes looking for a home in their selective sports. Still with just a month before the college football season begins, it will be tough for many of these athletes to find homes for the upcoming semester. This is the absolute worst timing for a school that had a population made up of mainly student-athletes of some sort. In fact, some athletes were signing to play with Alderson Broaddus up until Monday morning.

Many of our local student-athletes end up playing on the NCAA Division II and NAIA level. The Batters played Division II athletics, so all of those opportunities in many sports are now gone.

There are multiple reasons why Alderson Broaddus is being dissolved, but the impact on the current students is honestly unfair. There are all young men and women who were trying to continue their playing careers while also getting an education. Now, they’re left scrambling to find a new school and hopefully a new place to play. Unfortunately, several small private universities have met a similar fate across the country in recent years, and it’s likely we’ll see that trend continue.

For now, the field just got a little more competitive for our local student-athletes as they compete for athletic opportunities at the next level.

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