The Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges met last week in Jackson. After the meeting major changes involving athletics had been instituted. The changes will take effect for the 2001-2002 school year.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE CHANGES:
- Number of games reduced in football, basketball, baseball, softball and soccer
- Out-of-state scholarships reduced by 18 percent
- In-District recruiting to feature protected players
- Division basketball tournaments eliminated
Those changes include a reduction of 10 percent of regular-season games. In football teams will play 9 games instead of 10. Basketball will play 22 games instead of 24. Baseball drops from 50 to 45 games. Softball will cut four games dropping from 40 to 36 games and soccer will lose two games, slicing the regular season to 18 games. In addition, the division basketball tournaments have been eliminated.
Out-of-state scholarships and roster spots will drop by 18 percent in each sport. Out-of-state roster spots will fall from 10 to 8 in football, 5 to 4 in baseball, and 3 to 2 in men's and women's basketball. Fast pitch softball will remain at two out-of-state players, while soccer will remain at one. Golf, tennis, and track will once again divide six out-of-state roster spots.
For in-district recruiting, each school will submit a protected list for each sport to the MACJC each year. Protected players will be off-limits to other member colleges. MGCCC President Dr. Willis H. Lott said, "Athletics is another area of the college that must share the burden of budget cuts. These changes will save dollars, but more importantly, we also believe they will help level the playing field and give local athletes better access to collegiate play."
Mississippi Gulf Coast athletic director Chris Calcote said, "I believe the changes are something that was past due. It will reduce costs, produce parity and give opportunities to kids that might not have had them in the past."