Basketball, Volleyball Seasons Postponed at KCC
The newest athletic program at Kellogg Community College has been able to begin with a small delay. Two other Winter sports and another from the Fall season will have to wait even longer to start.
The College announced February 3rd that the Men's and Women's Basketball teams, along with their Women's Volleyball program, has opted out of a formal schedule with the Michigan Community College Athletic Association for 2020-2021 season. This also includes competition within the National Junior College Athletic Association for the winter season. The decision was based on current restrictions and public health guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The volleyball program was already delayed from the fall season due to the sport being considered a contact sport through equipment transfer.
A number of schools in the MCCAA had opted out of the basketball and volleyball seasons before they were originally scheduled to start in December, including Jackson College, Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Lansing Community College. Lake Michigan College also cancelled their Men's and Women's Basketball seasons, but will continue with their Volleyball season.
In the College's statement, President Adrien L. Bennings stated -
KCC cares deeply about its student athletes, which is why their health and safety are paramount. KCC also cares about their growth and success on the court and on the field, which is why we struggled mightily with this decision to cancel competition for three of our teams. The reality of the pandemic and the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus in our community have required us to balance our dual roles as an institution that recruits and coaches student athletes while also looking out for their overall interests.
KCC Athletic Director Tom Shaw added -
Just as we sometimes have to make the difficult decision to tell an athlete they can't play due to an injury or an academic challenge, in this case we're telling three teams they can't play due to the risk of spreading and contracting a disease that has claimed the lives of more than 14,000 people in Michigan. It's heartbreaking to have to make this decision and deliver the news to our coaches and athletes, but we believe it to be a necessary course of action and in the best interests of all involved.
The announcement comes a week after the MCCAA announced that fans would not be allowed to attend any of their indoor events.
There is a possibility that the three sports can compete in the spring. The College stated that the NJCAA's offering of a "Scrimmage/Alternate" season would allow competition for the three teams, allowing them to continue conditioning leading up to the season's start. That alternate season would be between April 12th and May 10th of this year. This schedule would only occur if epidemic orders in Michigan and health guidance would allow the three sports to take place.
KCC's newest programs - Men's and Women's Bowling - have been practicing over the last few weeks with the opening of bowling centers. Their first competition is scheduled for Friday, February 12th, for the Ancilla College Invitational in Plymouth, Indiana. The teams are allowed to continue as the sport is considered non-contact.
There are two other sports slated for the Spring season, as the Baseball program is slated to return after their 2020 schedule was wiped out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Bruins normal trip to Louisiana for competition will not take place this season. Their first games are scheduled for March 12th and 13th at Macomb Community College in Warren.
The Women's Soccer program, originally scheduled for the fall, was moved to the spring and will continue to prep for their opener on April 2nd at Delta College near Saginaw.