MCC to rejoin state association for athletic competition

By By Steve Gillespie/The Meridian Star
June 13, 2001
Strapped by the rising cost of independence, the Meridian Community College board of trustees voted unanimously Tuesday to rejoin the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges for athletic competition beginning in 2002.
MCC President Dr. Scott Elliott said the move will reduce costs associated with team travel as sports events are held closer to home.
MCC was invited back into the conference under a new set of guidelines allowing limited athletic recruiting throughout the state. Until MCC went independent in the area of sports more than a decade ago, it was restricted to recruiting only within Lauderdale County the only one of Mississippi's 15 community and junior colleges whose athletic recruiting was was limited to such a degree.
Now, MCC boasts the defending national soccer champions, has won a national championship in women's softball, recorded two national championships in track and a baseball team that played in the Junior College World Series.
Elliott said he believes everyone is for saving money, which the return to the association in sports will do. The differences among people about whether or not to stay independent are philosophical, he said.
Being part of the association again in sports will mean reduced travel expenses for MCC teams. Elliott said since the school went independent the other schools in the association have been reluctant to schedule games with MCC.
He also said the cost of scholarships would not be as great. Currently there is no limit to scholarships MCC can offer. Under association guidelines scholarships are restricted, sometimes to tuition only.
Elliott said MCC should first provide opportunities for area people. He believes MCC should be part of the state system on all levels.
Steve Gillespie is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3233, or e-mail him at sgillespie@themeridianstar.com.

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