Columbia reviewing athletics



In the wake of Wednesday's announcement that the Columbia College basketball program is on probation, the school's entire athletic program is now under review.

Men's basketball and women's volleyball Columbia's two Commission on Athletics-sanctioned sports are in danger of being eliminated and replaced by sports considered to be more popular with Mother Lode student-athletes, college President Dr. Jim Riggs said.

The basketball program was slapped with a minimum probation of one year after an internal investigation uncovered a number of violations, including student-athletes getting books on credit, living rent-free until financial aid checks were distributed and having their money managed by athletic department officials.

As a result, the basketball program is banned from postseason play in the 2003-04 season, and returning players might be ruled ineligible for the season if they benefited from the violations, as dictated by the Central Valley Conference's "zero tolerance" policy.

And stricter, self-imposed actions could follow once Riggs and Athletic Director George Railey have reviewed the situation. Their options include canceling the basketball team's '03-04 season entirely or the outright elimination of the basketball team and the women's volleyball team.

"We're looking at viability issues of fund-raising and sponsors," Riggs said. "With returning students being disqualified, what does that mean? What does it mean for students coming here specifically to play? Are they still coming here without postseason play?

"Wrapped in this whole evaluation is a look completely at the athletic program and what we need for this community and college. Are these the sports that are most tied to the local high schools? Are these the sports that give the kids from the Mother Lode area an opportunity to continue their play? Those are very fair questions."

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Friday October 21, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Sheriff details investigation of Marshall murder-suicide


Philip Marshall acted alone in killing his two teenage children, a pet ... more

Donnell Vista: Majestic and mystifying


Donnell Vista Point on Highway 108 is a remote and mystifying lookout ... more

Columbia Elementary board ousts superintendent


Five days after receiving a 2 percent raise, Columbia Union School District ... more

County wants changes on wildfire risk assessment


Tuolumne County officials are preparing to fight in Sacramento for local residents ... more

Realms of Darkness won’t haunt this year


The popular 4-H-produced haunted house “Realms of Darkness” in Sonora will not ... more