Athletic eligibility rules increased

Athletic eligibility rules increased

Starting in July 2015 athletes will be held to a higher level of academic achievement.

The California Community College Athletic Association has ruled that next summer, second year athletes will be required to complete 27 units and maintain a 2.0 GPA in order to be eligible to play sports.

The CCCAA is the governing body for all the community colleges in California and is authorized to establish rules and regulations of almost 27,000 male and female student athletes.

Out of that 27,000 only two students a year, one male, one female receive an award for their excellence in athletics and academic.

The National Junior College Athletic Association Award for Superior Academic Achievement is awarded to student athletes that hold a GPA between 3.80 and 3.99 on a 4.00 scale throughout the year.

“What’s important is when these students walk in their classrooms it’s not just about an athlete, but a student athlete who will be more than just a student because they have a lot more responsibility,” Pierce College Vice President of student services Eric Peters said.

“These are not normal students, these are students who are going above and beyond with their education, sacrifices, and following two dreams, there love of sports and their education.”

Some student athletes like Brahmas sophomore defensive lineman Pedro Munoz feel that the three unit increase is preparation for the life that is ahead of them.

“It’s hard being a student athlete,” Munoz said. “You have to focus on school and the sport you’re playing. It’s like a job and you have to keep up with all that.  It’s going to be a tough semester, but I think I can do it.”

Coaches are being held to a higher standard by taking a compliance test. For student athletes it will be required that nine of the 12 units being taken must be academic units unlike in previous years.

Pierce College athletic director Bob Lofrano who coached the Brahmas in baseball and is a scout for the Chicago Cubs has reflected on his experience dealing with student athletes and trying to mold his players into successes both on the field and off the field.

“They come back and they say thank you,” Lofrano said. “I didn’t realize at the time but I really appreciate all the hard work you made me do, and now it’s paying off.  I’m still using some of the things you used with me out on the baseball field in life.”