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Seward Among Eight Schools Proposing KJCCC Rule Changes

Brock Kappelmann - October 18, 2016 4:13 pm

Seward County Community College is one of eight schools that have proposed progressive changes in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference by-laws, to be voted on by the 19 institutions in a meeting Thursday in El Dorado. The proposal is simply for the KJCCC to align its by-laws with those of the NJCAA in categories such as roster limits, roster makeup, and scholarship limits.

Seward County Athletics Director Galen McSpadden supports the change.

“I have been in this league for 36 years now and have great respect for the KJCCC,” McSpadden said. “However, national competitiveness has progressed past the limitations of our conference. This is a great opportunity for our 19 institutions to not only give themselves a chance to compete nationally with other teams in their declared division of the NJCAA, but also to give many more opportunities both athletically and academically, to student-athletes from all over.”

SCCC President, Dr. Ken Trzaska, shares the focus on growth and potential, both in terms of the institution, its athletic programs, and the lives of individual student-athletes.

“At this point in our college story, we have an opportunity to build on the strengths laid in place by so many people over nearly 50 years,” Trzaska said. “To move into the next 50 years, and really flourish, we have to be cognizant of how to run the organization in a way that enables more students to participate, and more growth to happen.”

Multiple attempts have been made throughout the past 10 years to loosen the tight restrictions that the KJCCC puts on its institutions, but with 2/3rds approval needed to pass any new proposals, changes have been few and far between. Over the past few years, the state organization has become increasingly aware that the original restrictions set up in the early 1950s contained racial bias typical of that era. In August, Garden City Community College coach Jeff Sims and 49 players filed discrimination complaints with the NAACP, contending that the conference rule violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

If the KJCCC does not secure the 13 votes needed to pass the new proposal, the eight schools advocating change might then explore a new athletic conference within the state to do so.

“This isn’t about expending a higher amount of institutional dollars or resources on any of our athletic programs” McSpadden said. “It gives our coaches and staff the opportunity and flexibility to manage the resources that are currently allotted to them, under the NJCAA guidelines.”

“Change can be a little bit scary,” Trzaska said, ” but the main focus of our college, our mission, stays the same.”

Roy Allen


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