South Georgia Tech to have Basketball in the spring

Published 4:53 pm Wednesday, July 15, 2020

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – Basketball at South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) and other member institutions of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) has been moved to the spring semester for the 2020 – 2021 year. The ruling was announced recently following recommendations from the NJCAA Presidential Advisory Council and the NJCAA Board of Regents to move a majority of athletic competitions to the spring semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The SGTC men’s and women’s basketball teams will begin practices on Monday, January 11, 2021. Competition will be permitted to start on Friday, January 22 and there will be a maximum of 22 games. All regular season, region, and district championship competition must be completed by April 10, 2021. The NJCAA men’s and women’s basketball championships are slated to begin April 19, 2021.

Under this plan, all NJCAA men’s and women’s basketball teams will be permitted 60 consecutive calendar days for practice and scrimmages between Monday, September 15, 2020 and Tuesday, December 15, 2020. The teams will also be allowed five scrimmage dates in total for the year, with a maximum of two scrimmage dates allowed in the spring. Each scrimmage is listed to no more than two outside opponents.

“Our greatest focus is and always has been providing the best opportunities for our student-athletes,” stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. “Through a unified effort from our Presidential Advisory Council, the Board of Regents and leadership staff, our most recent plan of action provides a path that keeps our student-athletes competing at the highest level with proper safety measures in place. As we move forward as an association, we will continue to provide opportunities for our student-athletes, coaches and all those involved with the NJCAA to be safe and successful.”

“I know countless hours of thought and processing information have gone into this decision,” said SGTC Lady Jets head coach James Frey.  “I’ve been on numerous zoom meetings with the NJCAA, other AD’s, college Presidents and other Region Directors where the pros and cons of this decision have been hashed out. When you’re dealing with an entire country and a pandemic like we have never experienced before, no one decision is going to be perfect for everyone. But I really believe what has been done gives us as NJCAA member schools the best possible avenue to have athletic seasons and championships in the 2020-2021 academic year.”

Frey also pointed out that It’s a bigger issue than just the sports. “Obviously the safety of the athletes, coaches, officials and spectators is priority one,” said Frey. “Anyone attempting to gain a competitive advantage through this unfortunate pandemic is seriously misguided and needs to step back and revisit why we do what we do. Giving the thousands of young people who participate in NJCAA athletics with the goal of gaining a two-year degree on time and moving forward to four-year universities has to remain our focus, but it can only be done in a manner that is safe for everyone. This will be a very different year than any of us as coaches and administrators have ever experienced but the planning that has already been done and continues today along with guidance from our individual states and federal agencies will hopefully put us in a secure environment in the spring,” Frey continued.

The NJCAA’s most recent plan of action shifts all close-contact fall sports to the spring semester. These sports include football, men’s and women’s soccer and volleyball. The NJCAA cross country championships for all three division and half-marathon championships will remain as their originally scheduled dates in the fall, as well as Division III women’s tennis.

All winter sports competition will begin in January, with a majority of championship seasons moved from March to April. These sports include men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, swimming and diving. Men’s and women’s bowling, along with men’s and women’s indoor track and field, will be held at the beginning of March.

All championship dates are subject to change based on championship availability.