One more chance. Rarely do people get that opportunity in life, but some LPC student-athletes are hoping they get another shot to showcase their skills.
“It would benefit a lot of people,” sophomore basketball player Jacob Contreras said.
Contreras is one of many athletes who are anxiously awaiting a decision on Bylaw 1.7, a possible rule change allowing junior college athletes an extra year of eligibility. Bylaw 1.7 states that instead of two seasons, student-athletes at junior colleges would be allowed three years of collegiate competition in any sport at the school. If it passes, a second-year player like Contreras would get the chance to play one more year at LPC.
“When I came to Las Po I was 17 years old and 155 pounds playing against 19,20,22,24 and even 29-year-olds,” the 20-year-old Contreras said. “An extra year would allow me to not only get stronger physically, but also adjust to the pace of the game.
The chance to get noticed by a major school is another reason Contreras would like to see the rule change passed.
“You always see young kids straight out of high school come in and struggle to get used to the game,” Contreras said. “That third year could help them get better offers from four-year schools.”
Basketball players are not the only ones hoping to see this rule get passed.
Freshman soccer player Adrian Lopez was plagued by injuries this past season. The times when he was on the field, he was a contributor on offense. While it was only his first year on the team, Lopez would relish the opportunity to make up for his troubled season with an extra year of eligibility.
“If I got that chance it would be great,” Lopez said. “I wasn’t too happy with how my season went personally last year. A third year would help me get better.”
While there are many benefits to allowing players one more year to play, LPC Athletic Director views it as a double-edged sword.
“I can see both sides of it,” Miller said. “We want students to transfer and move on as quick as possible so in that aspect it kind of hinders that. At the same time, I think it would help student-athletes who are unprepared to leave stay motivated.”
Miller also sees problems with the possibility of student-athletes having a hard-time finding scholarships should they take advantage of that third year. She believes it is doubtful a four-year school would want a player with only one year of eligibility left.
“To offer them a scholarship for one year? I don’t think it’s gonna happen,” Miller said. “With the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) rules on graduation rates, can you bring that person in on one year and will they graduate in that one year?”
Miller states that the mission is not to have student-athletes on campus for five years, but she could see the rule getting taken advantage of by some.
“Hopefully your coach has integrity and does things in the best interest of the student-athlete and not just his program,” Miller said.
Bylaw 1.7 will go to a vote on April 3 in Los Angeles. It requires a 2/3-majority approval in order to pass and would take effect on July 1, 2014. Ultimately, Miller does not believe that it will get passed.
“I think it has good intent, but the CCCAA (California Community College Athletic Association) needs to work with the NCAA to get students more than one year of eligibility at a four-year school,” Miller said.