SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Thursday’s decision from California’s Community College Athletic Association to move its upcoming fall sports program to the beginning of next year will impact thousands of student-athletes up and down the state at its 110 junior colleges.
It also means the first half of the calendar next year will be busy.
“It really gives our student-athletes the best opportunity to get back on the competition and that was what was most important to us,” said Mike Robles with the CCCAA.
For fall sports to have been played as scheduled at the junior college level, it was reliant on California being in phase four of its reopening by mid-July, a likelihood that diminished in recent weeks.
“Going to the spring with all of our sports, that is a big change obviously,” Robles told FOX40. “It’s going to put a big amount of work on the schools in the spring to manage that many sports over the course of four or five months.”
The move to January isn’t what some had hoped but it still provides student-athletes the opportunity to play.
“I think big picture, this is a victory for community college sports because they are going to have a season,” said Sacramento Bee reporter Joe Davidson.
Davidson, who covers local high school and community college sports for The Bee, believes this move benefit certain athletes.
“Junior colleges are that safety for the over-looked. Maybe they’re still maturing. Maybe somebody who’s an academic misfit, a social misfit, so this decision by the state community colleges resonates all through high school,” said Davidson. “I think it hits everybody.”
Teams could start practice in mid-January and begin competition in February. All 24 sports, though, at the community college level will see a 30% reduction in their schedule.
It’s something that can help off-set budget restraints.
“It’s going to be a challenge for a lot of people. Obviously, there are going to be some expenses that weren’t there last year, but hopefully, there will be some changes that save some money, maybe in travel,” said Robles. “Hopefully, it will become more manageable and we can get through this. And we can get back to where were before in the not-so distant future.”
The return to sports in January at the Junior College level, of course, will only happen if it’s safe to do so. A decision that will be primarily guided by state and local health guidelines.