BLOG — Community college coaches and administrators in the state of Mississippi could face the loss of appropriations if House Bill 911 is passed.
The bill, authored by District 12 representative Brad Mayo (R) of Oxford, is “an act that would prohibit any state institution of higher learning or public community or junior college in Mississippi from using any state appropriated funds for any expenses of its athletic department beginning on July 1, 2014.” The act, if passed, shall take effect and be in force after July 1, 2012.
House Bill 911 was presented to the Universities and Colleges and Appropriations committees for review. It is still in its infancy stage, but reaction to the bill has been negative so far from community college coaches who were contacted for comment.
The vast majority of high school athletes in the state that go on to play football, baseball, basketball or another sport such as soccer or softball do so at the community college level and coaches believe that opportunity would disappear or be greatly diminished with the approval of this bill.
Mayo responded to an e-mail asking about the genesis of the bill via a phone call Wednesday afternoon. He called the bill a “place holder,” something that could pursued down the road. He added if he wasn’t comfortable with the bill he would ask for it to be killed or not come to a vote.
The deadline for all general bills to come through a committee is March 6 at 8 p.m. Mayo said he had been in contact with some community college ADs already and was planning to meet with more in the coming week to 10 days in order to gain more information on the subject and continue to flesh out ideas. Mayo also said during the interview that the primary job of community colleges is to educate students and not fund athletics or win football games. He understood that community colleges serve as a rallying point for fans and supporters but again said they should not be the cornerstone for them. (February 22, 2012)