Bakersfield College athletic officials respond to decision to move fall sports to spring

Posted at 11:58 AM, Jul 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 14:58:03-04

The California Community College Athletic Association made a big announcement regarding community college sports in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The association approved shifting all sports, including football, to the spring season for the 2020-2021 school year.

23ABC's Austin Westfall had reactions from two Bakersfield College athletics officials.

Both Bakersfield College and Taft College are part of the CCCAA, but BC officials told 23ABC that they are not happy with the decision but will press on.

"Everybody is disappointed in the decision. But we understand the magnitude of the situation," said Reggie Bolton, interim athletic director at Bakersfield College. "But this is our new norm. We are adapting to our new norm."

The decision was announced Thursday night by the CCCAA. The plan was among three potential scenarios approved by the board in early June.
"I think our student-athletes will adapt. Our coaches will adapt and our campus will adapt. This is a serious situation with COVID-19 and we're taking it seriously," added Bolton.

The original version of the contingency plan allowed cross country and women's golf to proceed in the fall, but, they too, have been moved to the spring sports season.

All sports will have a 30 percent reduction in the maximum number of contests or competition dates. Formats for the postseason will be announced at a later date, but the CCCAA announced it will not have state championships in 2020-21.

In his first season as head coach of Bakersfield College football, R. Todd Littlejohn said he somewhat expected the decision.

"It wasn't a total surprise and I think just with the numbers and how things have gone, you know you just go wow. You know you get that punch in the stomach initially, but it's a severe punch."

Coach Littlejohn said he and the other coaching staff are continuing to encourage players to keep working despite the postponement.

"I know sports and football especially is an outlet for a lot of people, including myself. And so I think just in general, just continue to support one another and support these young people because their livelihood and their future is hanging in the balance.

Full practice for basketball, cross country, football, women's golf, soccer, women's volleyball, water polo, and wresting will start in January if the board decides it's still safe to do so. The association's board of directors will meet again to discuss any potential issues with their decision on July 17th.