Plan would affect SB City College, Hancock
The start of football, soccer and basketball seasons for SBCC and Allan Hancock College would be delayed until February 2021 according to a plan reportedly favored by a significant number of California’s community college athletic directors.
A conference call held on Monday by the state’s ADs indicated strong support for the second, more drastic of three plans under consideration for restarting community college athletics.
The three possible approaches were released Friday by the California Community College Athletic Association’s COVID-19 Working Group.
“They’re pretty comprehensive plans,” SBCC director of athletics Rocco Constantino said. “They took every angle into consideration.
“We were hopeful that we’d be able to do the first plan, which would have minimal disruption. But after hearing from the other athletic directors, I think either of the other two plans has a better chance of happening.”
A modification of next year’s sports schedules became necessary because of the coronavirus pandemic, he said. The CCCAA halted all of last spring’s athletic competition on March 12.
“People are kind of divided,” Constantino said, “but there are definitely a group of athletic directors that don’t think the first plan (of a conventional fall season) is feasible and that we should move to one of the alternate plans.”
The CCCAA’s Board of Directors did instruct its members on Friday to prepare for this fall with the “conventional,” best-case scenario until it’s able to reassess the situation by July 17.
All three plans would switch the usual, November start for basketball to the spring semester. Constantino said a long, winter break in competition was included in each proposal to protect against a possible second wave of the coronavirus.
But most fall sports would see a less drastic adjustment in the first, “conventional format” of the CCCAA’s three plans.
Football’s regular-season schedule would be trimmed from 10 games to eight with the opener delayed until Sept. 26. All other fall sports — soccer, cross country, women’s volleyball, women’s water polo, and women’s golf — would begin competition on Sept. 11. Practice for every fall sport would start Aug. 31.
Under the second format, however, only non-contact sports (women’s volleyball, cross country, women’s golf, and swimming) would compete in the fall. The third format would allow fall competition in only cross country and women’s golf.
Cramming most of SBCC’s sports into a spring season would cause many logistical problems, Constantino conceded.
“I’m concerned about what it would mean for our athletic trainers, our staff, and our game-management people,” he said. “I just don’t know how we’d be able to serve our athletes without over-burdening our staff. That would be the hard part.”
He said he’s begun preliminary talks with his coaches to discuss the changes.
“But we’re really still waiting for guidance from the school itself about what they’d like us to do,” Constantino added.
He was encouraged by the college’s announcement Friday that it plans to conduct at least a portion of its courses on campus this fall.
“Some of those classes were in physical activities,” he pointed out.
SBCC listed 254 courses that will be taught on campus — 48 of which are in the areas of physical education, health education, dance and athletics. School officials did note that “circumstances may require that (those classes also) be moved online before or after the start of the Fall 2020 semester.”
The second plan for reopening athletics calls for practice to start on Jan. 18 for football, basketball, soccer, and women’s water polo. Competition would begin no earlier than Feb. 13.
That format would also push back the start of the usual spring sports, with workouts beginning March 27 and competition on April 10. Their conference seasons would end by June 12 with playoffs concluding by June 23.
“It could be a month after graduation and we’d still be playing sports — a lot of sports,” Constantino said. “We could have nine sports still playing on June 16.”
But he was glad to see plans for a 2020-21 school season taking shape.
“I’m excited to see so many people working to get the athletes back on the field,” he said. “It’s the college presidents and the athletic trainers … It’s the coaches and the athletic directors.
“The general consensus is that everybody wants these athletes to get into play.”