After the closing of community colleges state wide, Spring athletics were effectively shut down for the rest of the school year. All events that would have taken place this Spring semester were also cancelled.
One of the biggest events of the Spring was the Men’s and Women’s basketball state tournament which was in the middle of play when the Spring sports were shut down. The tournament at first was to be played in front of no fans which was announced on Mar 10. Just two days later on March 12, CCCAA announced that the tournament was indeed cancelled and no state champion would be crowned.
By cancelling the season, there were still many questions regarding the eligibility of players and the future of athletic programs in the state. The California Community Colleges Athletic Association (CCCAA) have been working to put together the safest way to put out athletics teams that can come back in the fall.
One of the biggest concerns after the cancellation of the Spring season was the eligibility of student athletes. Over 9,500 student athletes were going to miss their final season in the community college circuit due to the shut down of the season. CCCAA quickly stepped in and ensured that this season would be restored.
“The Board of Directors subsequently voted that nearly 9,500 student-athletes who competed this spring will have their season of competition restored, provided they had not quit or been cut from their teams prior to the seasons being postponed by the CCCAA on March 12,” the CCCAA said via their website.
The ruling also means that sophomore student athletes participating in Spring athletics will be able to come back to their respective teams without penalty.
Spring semester is also a time where coaches can go out and recruit athletes to come to their team. Normally, coaches would be able to talk to players face to face, but CCCAA has also ruled that face to face recruiting or traveling to see a potential recruit is also banned at this time.
The ban on face to face recruiting will not be lifted until the statewide shelter in place is lifted. Coaches are still able to recruit virtually or through phone.
CCCAA has also been working with the Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley to decide the future of state athletics. In a student media conference on April 14, Chancellor Oakley addressed the situation of athletics at hand.
“The Chancellor’s office does not handle the issue of athletics… but we are in constant communication with the athletic association,” Oakley said.
The Chancellor’s office also stated that they are going to follow in the footsteps of professional sports leagues and not allow crowds for the fall semester.
“Do not expect there to be any athletic events with crowds. So for the Fall at least, we are not expecting to have attended college sporting events,” Oakley said.
CCCAA is going to be given the task of handling how sports are going to be played going forward as the fall semester is still up in the air. If sports are allowed, the CCCAA is going to have to put together a framework that keeps the players, coaching staff and fans safe.
For the student athletes and coaches, everything is still relatively unknown. Players can’t go workout or go to the school facilities and coaches can’t see the players to see their athletic progress. Summer time is usually the time where players and coaches can get together and see what the strengths and weaknesses of the team are.
As of now, there’s not much anyone can do until the shelter in place order is lifted and the framework for Fall athletics will be put together by the CCCAA if athletics will be sanctioned by that time.
Nathan Canilao is the sports editor of The Express. Follow him @nathancanilao.