Central Ohio athletes looking for alternatives as colleges eliminate sports

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UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) — Upper Arlington native Quinn Patterson has been shooting to be a college golfer for as long as he can remember, and over the last year, he’s lived that dream.

“Growing up, I always wanted to play division one golf,” Patterson said. “And my first year of Akron was everything I dreamed of and more.”

But in a matter of weeks, Patterson’s dream turned into a nightmare as the University of Akron eliminated its men’s golf program, along with men’s cross country and women’s tennis.

“We were pretty much blindsided,” Patterson said. “That was a hard scene – just to see everyone crying and taking it in. It was just a hard thing to hear.”

Patterson and his now former teammates aren’t the only college athletes in Ohio to hear that news over the last couple of months.

On May 15, Bowling Green State announced it is eliminating its baseball team due to financial issues, and back in April, the University of Cincinnati shut down its men’s soccer program.

Patterson and his teammates aren’t the only college athletes in Ohio to hear that news over the last couple months.

“Certainly, if I could, I would love to keep playing here, but the sad reality is if I want to keep playing, I have to leave,” said Trey Asensio, a former University of Cincinnati soccer player from Bexley.

Asensio’s brother played soccer for Cincinnati, and it was his dream to follow those footsteps. Now, two years into his college career, he’s having to regroup and chart a new path.

“I don’t want someone else to tell me when I’m done playing soccer,” Asensio said. “I kinda want that decision to be my own. So that’s kinda what’s pushing me to you know perhaps find a new school.”

Cincinnati said it will honor the scholarships of its soccer players, so Asensio and his former teammates have that safety net. Akron, however, is not doing the same for its athletes in the eliminated sports: their scholarships are gone.

“What’s hard is school starts in three months, and I have to make decisions so quickly,” Patterson said. “Golf isn’t everything. It has to be the right school and the right fit, and if I can’t find that, I’ll look elsewhere.”

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