Juco coaches talk about changes for upcoming year

By By Marty Stamper/The Meridian Star
June 1, 2001
Members of the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges will find things different when they open school in August.
Schedules in all sports for MACJC schools will be reduced 10 percent. Schools will be allowed to place a certain number of athletes from their district in each sport on a protected list. In football, 22 players may be protected. In basketball, the number is six, and in baseball, 10. Those on that list are effectively guaranteed scholarships to that school if they attend it. They cannot play at another MACJC member school.
Athletes not on a protected list would be free to attend any junior college in the state. In the past, the only way that could happen would be for the athlete to get a release from his/her home district.
Out-of-state scholarships are being cut in an effort to give more Mississippi athletes a chance to play beyond high school.
East Central Community College head football coach/athletic director Terry Underwood and East Mississippi Community College men's basketball coach Steve Hull talked about the changes following play in the ninth-annual Rush-WTOK Coaches Golf Tournament Thursday at Ponta Creek Golf Course.
Many see the changes as helping the smaller schools compete with the larger ones.
Hull is looking forward to competing with the new rule.
More changes …
Basketball teams will be allowed three less games than they have been.
The North/South Division basketball tournaments are also on hold until Mississippi's economy improves. The top four regular-season teams in each division will head directly to a state tournament.
But for the state athletes, Underwood feels the changes should be to their benefit.
Deciding who to protect and not protect will be interesting.
Marty Stamper is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail him at mstamper@themeridianstar.com.

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