NJCAA releases new ‘plan of action’ for 2020-21 season

Special to the Outlook

The National Junior College Athletic Association on last Monday announced its new Plan of Action for the upcoming 2020-21 athletic season. 

The plan, formally adopted following recommendations of the NJCAA Presidential Advisory Council and NJCAA Board of Regents, moves a majority of 2020 fall and Winter sports competition to the spring 2021 semester.  The action is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our greatest focus is and always has been providing the best opportunities for our student-athletes,” said 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.” 

Cross country, Tallahassee Community College’s lone fall sport, is currently slated to compete during its originally scheduled dates, and the spring sports lineup – baseball, softball and track and field – did not see any adjustments to its regular season schedule at this time. 

As part of the changes forced by COVID-19, the TCC baseball team will have fewer scrimmage dates and a defined 60-day practice window.
Photo by TCC athletics

Basketball, however, was impacted, with its season now moved to a Jan. 22 tip-off and a maximum of 22 games. 

All sports, except cross country, however, also saw a change to its fall calendar – fewer scrimmage dates for baseball and softball, and a defined 60-day practice window for baseball, softball, basketball and track and field. 

“I commend Dr. Chris Parker and the entire NJCAA leadership for the time and effort that went into this decision,” said Rob Chaney, director of athletics at Tallahassee Community College. “While altering an athletics calendar is difficult and even uncomfortable at times, as we learned in the spring, I fully support the NJCAA’s 2020-21 Plan of Action and believe it provides the safest path for all of Tallahassee Community College’s student-athletes to have a beginning and ending to their regular seasons and, subsequently, the opportunity to compete for a National Championship.”

Chaney acknowledged the plan is still subject to change, depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold and subsequent guidelines established by state, local and institutional officials.