SCCC calls for Jayhawk conference changes
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Before Basketball season officially begins, things are already shaking up in the realm of sports. Seward County Community College and seven other schools within the Jayhawk conference have motioned for a vote to alter the current NJCCA rules to allow for more players per team and unrestricted scholarship plans.
The schools, comprising of Seward County, Garden City, Barton, Coffeyville, Cloud County, Cowley, Dodge City and Independence, say the current rules are outdated.
“I have been in this league for 36 years now and have great respect for the KJCCC,” Athletics Director Galen McSpadden said. “However, national competitiveness has progressed past the limitations of our conference. This is a great opportunity for our 19 institutions to not only give themselves a chance to compete nationally with other teams in their declared division of the NJCAA, but also to give many more opportunities both athletically and academically, to student-athletes from all over.”
The vote, which is scheduled for Thursday Oct. 20, will determine if the terms set by the eight schools will abolish the conference’s rules regarding roster size and scholarship limitations that have previously served as a standard across all sports.
Over the past 10 years, multiple attempts to change the rules have been made but to no avail. In August, Garden City Community College coach Jeff Sims and 49 players filed discrimination complaints with the NAACP contending that the conference rule currently violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unfortunately, the August vote failed to reach the 2/3 threshold needed to alter the current NJCCC rules.
If this week’s vote is accepted, the number of players per team would increase and schools would gain the ability to award full ride scholarships rather than just book and tuition costs. If rejected, the eight schools say they would consider leaving the Jayhawk conference to make their own conference. The changes could go into effect as soon as the 2017-2018 school year.
-- Written by Aubrey Holt, Crusader co-editor