Increased costs related to recruiting student athletes, extra pressure on high school athletes that are currently being recruited and a loss of local ties are just some of the many issues junior and four-year college football coaches from around the state and region don’t like about the proposals handed down from junior college presidents last week.
Protection lists, that were deemed “un-American” by Itawamba Community College president Dr. David Cole, were eliminated last week, allowing athletes from around the state of Mississippi to effectively start being recruited by every junior college in the state rather than being guaranteed a spot by their local school. Out-of-state scholarships (which are currently at eight for football) were also cut for sports that also include baseball, basketball and soccer.
The end result of these decisions created a backlash from coaches who now see the state’s athletic departments becoming less competitive overall and damaging to schools that are not likely to increase their recruiting budget in order to recruit athletes from around the state.
The decision put in place last week made East Mississippi Community College football coach Buddy Stephens worry about the future of the football league. (October 5, 2011, Page 6)