Graphic courtesy of NJCAA
The JUCO football season will officially be moved to the spring following a vote by the NJCAA’s Board of Regents.
The board voted to push several fall sports — football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball — to the spring as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cast a dark shadow over the world of sports, especially football.
“Our greatest focus is and always has been providing the best opportunities for our student-athletes,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “Through a unified effort from our Presidential Advisory Council, the Board of Regents, and leadership staff, our most recent plan of action provides a path that keeps our student-athletes competing at the highest level with proper safety measures in place. As we move forward as an association, we will continue to provide opportunities for our student-athletes, coaches, and all those involved with the NJCAA to be safe and successful.”
In Mississippi, the MACJC had hoped to keep its season in the fall after previously announcing a 2-week delay to the 2020 season. Today’s announcement means that Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College will have to wait until the spring to defend its 2019 NJCAA national title.
In total, 15 Mississippi community colleges compete in the NJCAA.
“The Region 23 representative to the NJCAA Board of Regents, upon the recommendation of the MACC presidents, voted to abstain from the final vote regarding moving most sports to the spring. While we are very concerned about the health and safety of our student-athletes, personnel, and fans, we believe they are best served by waiting for other conferences and organizations to make a final decision regarding fall sports,” the MACJC said in a statement.
This becomes the latest shake-up to the upcoming football season following recent announcements in the NCAA. The Big Ten and Pac-12 recently decided to eliminate non-conference games and other conferences are considering a similar path forward. Today, the 14 SEC athletic directors are meeting to discuss their plan after Commissioner Greg Sankey expressed a high level of concern for the 2020 season going on as planned.
At the high school level, the MHSAA’s executive council will meet tomorrow to likely decide on a plan for its season. The MHSAA could either decide to push its season back by a few weeks or follow the NJCAA’s lead by moving it to the spring.