- The Gavilan College football program will be placed on probation for three years, and will lose the opportunity for post-season play for two years.
- Seventeen student-athletes found to have been in violation of Bylaw 2 have been deemed athletically ineligible.
- The Dean of Kinesiology and Athletics will conduct in-service trainings with staff, and communicate agendas and minutes of these sessions with the NCFC Commissioner.
- The Gavilan College Head Football Coach will provide monthly updates to the Dean of Kinesiology and Athletics on all details of recruiting activities by the football coaching staff.
On Sept. 14, Gavilan College received a letter (attached) from the Northern California Football Conference (NCFC) in response to the self-report submitted Aug. 30 regarding violations of California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) Constitution and Bylaws by the Gavilan College football team. The self-report stemmed from the discovery by the college that some student-athletes in the football program had been recruited in a manner inconsistent with CCCAA regulations, and received impermissible benefits of housing, food, or transportation. In the letter, the NCFC applied penalties and sanctions to the football program, in accordance with the
(CCCAA ) Constitution. In addition to the sanctions, the letter also commends the college for “…your pro-active actions in facilitating an investigation into alleged violations of the CCCAA Constitution and Bylaws by your intercollegiate college football program.” The college will not be appealing the NCFC’s decision.
Gavilan College president Dr. Kathleen Rose said: “The college has an opportunity now to ensure that all of our processes are reviewed, and all responsible personnel are provided the training and oversight to ensure that this never again happens at Gavilan College.” Going forward, she said, athletics recruiting will be undergoing much stronger scrutiny, particularly where out-of-state students are concerned.
The college’s chief concern, she said, has been for the affected students. “From the first moment this situation came to light, my focus, and that of the of the Athletics Department, and the Board of Trustees was on the welfare of the students.” Seventeen student-athletes, all from out-of-state, became ineligible to play football after the violations came to light. Although the students were offered the opportunity to remain at the college to continue their studies, all elected to return home. So that the students would not be stranded, the Gavilan College Educational Foundation provided them with transportation in the form of plane tickets or gas mileage.
The sanctions and corrections that have been imposed by the NCFC are:
Upon learning of the sanctions Gavilan College Dean of Kinesiology and Athletics Ron Hannon said, “This is appropriate.This is fair. It is within the guidelines.” He continued, “it has been a very troubling occurrence for the Athletics program. We have a reputation, statewide, for strict adherence to the rules. This situation does not reflect who we are
, nor does it meet our high standards as an an intercollegiate athletic program. As a member institution in good standing within the CCCAA, we will continue to uphold the Constitution and Bylaws.” The Gavilan College Athletics webpage states the department’s philosophy, which includes a commitment to “both the letter and the spirit of the rules and regulations of Gavilan College, the Coast Conference, and the CCCAA.”
Two assistant coaches have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of a personnel investigation, which is still in progress. If any staff member is found to have participated in a violation of the CCCAA regulations, that staff member may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.
“This is not how any of us wanted to start the academic year” said Dr. Rose, “but we will come out of it with stronger controls, better training, and the benefit of a robust campus dialog regarding what happened.” She referenced the college’s Principles of Community which express an aspiration to be a college that is Diverse, Purposeful, Open, and Just. “We have, and will continue to strive for these principles in our handling of this matter, and will continue to be transparent about our actions.”
Note: PDF copy of the Northern California Football Conference letter was provided by Gavilan College.