SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The CCCAA Board of Directors overwhelmingly approved implementation of its Contingency Plan on Thursday, providing a return to intercollegiate athletics for the 2020-21 academic year that shifts all sports, including football, to the spring season.
The Contingency Plan was among three potential scenarios approved by the Board in early June. Each plan was wholly dependent on which phase of reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic the state of California was in on the CCCAA's previously announced July 17 decision date. The return to athletics in January will only occur if it is safe to do so, a decision that will be guided primarily by state and local health guidelines.
"Athletics is an integral component of Ventura College," said VC President Dr. Kim Hoffmans, who is a member of the CCCAA Board. "Student athletes at our college benefit personally and academically from the cohort-team approach and traditionally have strong grades and program completion statistics.
"It is unfortunate that the COVID pandemic has forced colleges to move athletic schedules to the spring semester but it is certainly understandable due to our desire to maintain our students' health and safety. I have every confidence that Ventura College athletics will be able to weather this storm and come back strong when athletics resumes."
The Contingency Plan originally had men's and women's cross country, and women's golf competing in the fall but was slightly modified in its latest version to move those three sports to the spring with the remainder of the CCCAA's 24 sports. They'll start practice in mid-January and begin competition in February along with basketball, football, soccer, women's volleyball, water polo and wrestling. Badminton, baseball, beach volleyball, men's golf, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and men's volleyball are scheduled to start practice in late March before commencing competition on April 10.
"Safety for our student athletes, coaches and athletic support staff is of utmost importance," said Ventura College Athletic Director Jimmy Walker. "The decision by the CCCAA Board gives up a clear path for our student athletes to have a season under the safest health standards set by state of California, Ventura County and the VCCCD."
All sports will have a 30% reduction in the maximum number of contests or competition dates that they are currently permitted and will also have regional postseason competition. Formats for the postseason will be announced at a later date. The CCCAA will not have state championships in 2020-21.
"We were very hopeful that we could go forth with the Conventional Plan," said Jennifer Cardone, Interim Executive Director. "It's the closest to what everyone is used to and provides for the least disruption to our student-athletes and colleges. Unfortunately, California's reopening progress has slowed, and it's become apparent that we would not be in position to put it into action on July 17.
"The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staffs are our top priorities," she added. "While the Contingency Plan has the most drastic changes, it's also the one that provides us the best opportunity to return to competition."
The Board of Directors will still meet on July 17 to address issues related to this decision as well as other scheduled agenda items. The CCCAA has 110-member colleges and approximately 24,000 student-athletes.