BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) has approved the implementation of its Contingency Plan Thursday shifting all sports, including football, to the spring season for the 2020-2021 school year.
Bakersfield College and Taft College are both part of the CCCAA.
"Everybody is disappointed in the decision. But we understand the magnitude of the situation. But this is our new norm, we are adapting to our new norm. I think our student-athletes will adapt, our coaches will adapt and our campus will adapt. This is a serious situation with COVID-19. But we will adjust and move forward and get ready for the spring," said Reggie Bolton, interim athletic director, Bakersfield College.
The Contingency Plan was among three potential scenarios approved by the board in early June. 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.
"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. It's like alright, let's regroup, let's get to our plan B and go from there," said R. Todd Littlejohn, head football coach, Bakersfield College.
All sports will have a 30% 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.
“The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and staff are our top priorities,” said Jennifer Cardone, interim executive director of the CCCAA. “While the Contingency Plan has the most drastic changes, it’s also the one that provides us the best opportunity to return to competition.”
Practice for basketball, cross country, football, women's golf, soccer, women's volleyball, water polo and wresting will start in January. Those sports will be played in "early spring."
Baseball, men's golf, softball, swim and dive, tennis, track and field will start practice in "late spring" toward the end of March.
"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," said Littlejohn.
The Board of Directors will meet again to discuss any potential issues with their decision on July 17.