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No more Division I after 2006 for MACJC

By By Marty Stamper / EMG regional sports assistant
July 4, 2003
By all accounts, Meridian Community College recently enjoyed participating in the NJCAA World Series in Grand Junction, Col.
That's something the 2006 MCC team won't be able to do even if it goes undefeated. Neither will East Mississippi, East Central, Jones, or any other Mississippi team for that matter.
It seems the MACJC presidents have decided Division I baseball is no longer in the best interest of their constituents. By 2006, all MACJC members will be competing at the Division II level.
Good luck finding a coach that thinks it's a good move.
The difference in Division I and Division II is the amount of scholarship money a player may receive. Players in Division I can receive whatever amount of scholarship money their respective coach feels they deserve. Twenty percent or 100 percent, it's based on perceived ability.
Players in Division II will receive tuition scholarships only … no matter if they are the best player on the team or the worst.
Currently, Meridian, East Central, East Mississippi, Jones, Gulf Coast, Southwest, Northeast, and Delta compete in Division I.
Hinds, Holmes, Coahoma, Itawamba, Northwest, Pearl River, and Copiah-Lincoln are in Division II, which basically originated from some schools' decisions not to play Meridian when MCC was an independent powerhouse not bound by the MACJC's recruiting limitations.
Needless to say, the baseball coaches who chose to stay in Division I aren't happy about now having to drop to Division II.
Thompson gets no argument from Mississippi Gulf Coast 14-year head coach Cooper Farris.
It'll be interesting to see if some of Mississippi's top high school players leave the state because they're offered more for their services across the borders.
Farris already has to battle schools from other states to get quality players from his district to attend Gulf Coast.
Thompson questions whether the move will actually save money.
Eliminating out-of-staters is likely just around the corner.
Baldner also questions any financial savings.
That's a battle MACJC football and basketball coaches don't have to worry about… yet.