Spring athletics canceled, recruiting temporarily banned

Workers+clean+the+Bridgestone+Arena+in+Nashville%2C+Tenn.+after+the+SEC+basketball+championship+was+canceled+during+play.+Photo+Credit%3A+MCT+Campus

Workers clean the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. after the SEC basketball championship was canceled during play. Photo Credit: MCT Campus

Kyle Mullin, Sports Editor

The California Community College Athletic Association board of directors declared the cancelation of the remainder of all spring season athletics. The ruling was announced March 19 after the board unanimously voted for the cancelation, according to the CCCAA’s website.

Society’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has only intensified since the CCCAA postponed spring sports and cancelled basketball state championships on March 12. With almost all other sporting organizations, professional and amateur, in the world shutting down competition, this announcement does not come with much surprise.

Obviously, the cancelation of all sports seasons leaves athletic programs across the state with many questions, such as the eligibility of student-athletes who had their seasons cut short.

Luckily, CCCAA Interim Executive Director Jennifer Cardone said in a statement on the CCCAA’s website that the board of directors are aware of possible conflicts and questions and are “working to minimize those impacts to student-athlete eligibility.”

They have quickly acted on this by voting to allow all athletes who participated in spring athletics through Mar. 12 to retain a year of eligibility. This is a great gesture and extremely beneficial for student-athletes as eligibility clocks for community college sports are only two years. The CCCAA is now allowing these athletes a full chance of being recruited to a four-year university or have a proper final season of the sport they love to compete in.

As well as this eligibility ruling, the CCCAA have banned any face-to-face or travel related recruiting until April 15, when the board will reevaluate the situation.

The NCAA and other collegiate athletic organizations have instituted similar bans. The CCCAA says they are working with the other organizations in order to still help student-athletes who wish to transfer.

Although vital during this global health crisis, this ban can be detrimental to community college teams and athletes, as well as high school seniors striving to compete at the next level. The cancelation of competition and ban of recruiting travel prohibits a lot of necessary exposure for all parties in the recruiting process. Coaches must evaluate potential players and players need in person interactions in order to get a feel for a school and team.

San Diego Mesa badminton head coach June Andrews said that her recruiting will have to continue virtually in order to fill her roster. Andrews said she is working on “reaching out to high school coaches via email” in order to get in contact with prospective players. She also noted that spring sports do have a slight advantage as they can use the upcoming fall semester to continue to find players.

San Diego Mesa Athletic Director Ryan Shumaker could not be reached to comment on the situation.