College appeals sanctions against soccer teams
Sept. 4 — The Lassen Community College athletic department is appealing a decision made by the Golden Valley Conference to suspend the men’s and women’s soccer teams from participating in any post-conference play this season. The teams have been suspended due to an alleged breach of a California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) constitutional bylaw that governs when teams may participate in nontraditional contests.
The college appealed the suspension to the Golden Valley Conference’s appeals board, but the appeal was denied. However, the college is now making an appeal to the CCCAA appeals board. If the appeal is denied again, Lassen College can then appeal directly to the CCCAA Board.
Sources close to the process expect a decision on the latest appeal could be made this week.
Soccer season takes place in the fall, but according to the CCCAA constitution, teams are allowed to participate in a limited number of nontraditional contests/scrimmages during a short window of time outside of the regular season. According to bylaw 3.17.1 of the CCCAA constitution, men’s and women’s soccer teams may participate in three scrimmages between Feb. 1 and April 30.
However, according to Gary Lewis, commissioner of the Golden Valley Conference, the college reported to the GVC that the men’s and women’s soccer teams participated in matches at CSU Chico in May, apparently breaking the rules set forth by the CCCAA constitution. The CCCAA constitution says sanctions must be applied if colleges participate in nontraditional contests outside of the allowable dates. Bylaw 3.17.1 reads: “Failure to comply shall result in penalties which shall include no postconference competition or a reduced number of contests during the traditional segment, or other penalties as may be identified by the CCCAA Board.”
In addition to the soccer teams’ suspension from post-conference play, the Golden Valley Conference has placed the Lassen Community College athletic department on probation for the 2013-2014 school year. According to Lewis, the decision to place the athletic department on probation was made because of the LCC soccer team’s alleged infringement of constitutional bylaw 3.17.1, as well as the athletic department’s failure to file gender equity forms on time last year.
According to Lewis, probation does not necessarily come with any direct consequential actions for the LCC athletic department; it’s more like a warning.
“That means, ‘Don’t break any more rules because if you do, we’re going to have to take a serious look at this,’” Lewis said.
The probationary period lasts one year, unless the department has any more infractions, then the probationary period could be extended another year.
According to Lewis, community colleges will normally go through the process by submitting their appeal to the commissioner of the CCCAA’s office, then the appeals board will review the infraction and make a decision, which will then be sent to the conference commissioner. If the appeals board recognizes the appeal, it can completely do away with the sanction or modify it. If the college doesn’t agree with the appeal board’s decision, it can appeal directly to the CCCAA Board.
The process can be lengthy, Lewis said, depending on people’s availability and whether the CCCAA board wants to do an investigation. Golden Valley Conference soccer games usually wrap up in November.
Lassen Community College athletic director Dr. Tammy Robinson declined to comment until the appeal process is completed.