|1755 Telstar Drive, Suite 103|
|Colorado Springs, CO 80920|
|Wayne Baker, Executive Director|
|For immediate Release|
Tuesday, August 2, 2006
NJCAA and KJCCC announce probation for Barton County Athletic Program
Colorado Springs , Colo. -- The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), working in conjunction with Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) Commissioner Bryce Roderick and Barton County Community College President Dr. Carl Heilman, announced today that all athletic teams at Barton County, excluding men's basketball, will be placed on NJCAA and KJCCC probation for the 2006-2007 academic year. The men's basketball team recently completed a maximum two-year probation.
This probation is a result of NJCAA and KJCCC bylaw infractions that were uncovered during recent court proceedings against seven former coaches and a former administrator at Barton County . The various counts against the defendants, which stemmed from mail fraud to theft, were due to a lack of institutional control at the college from 1998-2003.
"Barton County Community College is mindful and respectful of the NJCAA ruling," said Dr. Heilman. "We recognize the regulatory role and responsibilities of the Association; we are, however, saddened that so many innocent parties associated with Barton County Community College will be negatively affected by the past unethical actions of a small number. The College is committed to moving ahead and maintaining fiscal responsibility. Although Barton County Community College may have lacked athletic programming accountability, this is not indicative of the College as a whole or the value that is placed on students and their learning success."
On a national level the probation stipulates that no athletic program, outside of men's basketball, or individual at Barton County will be allowed to participate in post-season competition, including regional and national tournaments.
"Due to the noncompliance of NJCAA bylaws that came to light during the recent court cases the NJCAA and the Jayhawk Conference felt it necessary to hand down a punishment to all teams at Barton County outside of men's basketball, who has been on probation for the last two years," said NJCAA Executive Director Wayne Baker.
"It is our sincere hope that Barton County and all NJCAA member colleges learn that maintaining institutional control over your athletic department is imperative to operating on a successful level," continued Baker. "We look forward to moving on from this and continuing to provide the best-possible experience for two-year college athletes across the country."
The Conference probation will render programs ineligible for the KJCCC Championship in that particular sport. The teams will be allowed to play their conference schedules but their results will not be figured into conference standings. Individual statistics will be part of the overall conference statistics for that particular sport and an individual may receive KJCCC awards.
"This has been the darkest moment in KJCCC history," said Roderick. "I hope that the action taken by the NJCAA and the KJCCC will bring this chapter to a close and we can all move forward from here."
"This should serve as a wake up call for all institutions that much more care should be given to the administering of all public funds," continued Broderick. "The custodial responsibility of taking care of public funds by administrators can not be taken lightly."
Barton County, who won 23 national championships from 1998-2003, will be allowed to retain all team and individual titles. The NJCAA bylaws state that "if a student-athlete is discovered to the ineligible after August 1, following the national championship/invitational no disqualification shall occur. All awards shall remain as awarded."
The KJCCC is home to more than 2,000 student-athletes on 131 teams in the 20 men's and women's KJCCC-sponsored sports. The men's programs regulated by the conference include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, indoor/outdoor track and field, soccer, tennis and wrestling. The KJCCC-regulated women's programs include basketball, cross country, golf, indoor/outdoor track and field, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball.
The NJCAA, with more than 500 member colleges in 42 states, is the national governing body of 15 men's and 12 women's sports over three divisions. Approximately 48,000 athletes compete in one of 24 regions and every year the NJCAA hosts 48 national championships.