DOUGLAS — Although Maricopa County Community Colleges District is pushing for the suspension of athletics for the 2020-2021 academic year, Cochise College doesn’t plan on following suit.
The Arizona Republic reported last week the presidents of 10 schools in the Maricopa County Community Colleges District are pushing forward a recommendation to Interim Chancellor Steven Gonzales to cancel all sports for the 2020-21 season.
The recommendation is being made in response to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the state.
Cochise College athletic director Bo Hall said Gonzales will host public forums next week to receive input concerning the recommendation from the college presidents.
According to the Republic, the suspension of the athletic seasons would remove seven of the 16 members from competition in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference. While that may not leave the conference dry, some sports, like soccer, will be left with only three teams; Cochise, Pima and Arizona Western.
“What we’re looking to do if that happens is to have each school host basically a three team tournament so you can get in six conference games,” Hall said. “We will still have a region championship followed by the district game up in Region 9 this year. Each school will be allowed to fill in any kind of non-conference game they want to. Nothing has been finalized yet.”
The schools that will see the biggest hit to its programs are Mesa (15 teams), Glendale (12 teams) and Paradise Valley (12 teams).
“The presidents of all those colleges made the decision of no athletics in Maricopa County,” Hall said. “When it got to the chancellor, he had no idea what was going on.
“Word quickly got out that athletics was being cancelled. You had kids calling outlying schools trying to get transferred. Then the presidents came back and said they would make this a recommendation. The information that is being spread around has not been accepted yet by the chancellor.”
Hall stated that as far as the outlying community colleges go, including Pima, there will be athletics in the fall. Hall added two different types of schedules are in the process being drafted, one including the Maricopa schools and one without.
Rodeo is not being impacted since they compete in the NIRA (National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association) and Maricopa County does not have any rodeo teams.
“Within a week we’ve had five different scenarios,” Hall stated. “What Maricopa County is deciding does not affect the outlying community colleges as far as participation.”
Hall anticipates having Cochise College athletes report to campus when school begins in August.
“Our schedules are going to look different,” he said. “But we are going to have athletics for fall of 2020 and spring of 2021.