‘So much to lose and far too little to gain’ says AD
LIBERAL – Seward County Community College athletics has opted against scrimmaging for the current fall semester. The decision was made despite a motion to suspend all scrimmaging for fall 2020 in the Kansas Jayhawk Conference failed to win a 2/3 majority required for passage Tuesday.
SCCC was one of 13 institutions to voice concern about safety aspects of scrimmaging.
“For now, we are not going to take that option,” said outgoing SCCC President Ken Trzaska, who presided over his last session as chair of the KJCCC board. “That decision is grounded in the reality that we are taking COVID-19 very seriously.”
Trzaska noted that “everybody in the conference is concerned with the health and safety of students and athletes, but the 21 institutions are each taking a different approach. Not every college is testing athletes, which we completed at Seward the second week of classes.”
While not an indictment of other colleges, Trzaska said such inconsistencies create a dilemma for administrators. “Why would I ever send our students into harm’s way?”
SCCC Athletic Director Dan Artamenko supported Trzaska’s position.
“Based on our testing results, we are expanding operations for our teams, but at this time we will not be scrimmaging. There is so much to lose and far too little to gain and there are no standardized procedures among institutions within the conference.”
Trzaska and Artamenko noted the athletic conference’s precautionary requirements for colleges that opt to scrimmage:
- If one positive or one (1) suspected probable COVID case by a student-athlete, a member of the coaching staff, or an athletic trainer is recorded, upcoming competition including scrimmaging in that respective sport is suspended until positive and /or suspected probable COVID cases are cleared and documented accordingly per internal college documentation processes.
- Kansas Jayhawk Conference competition, including scrimmaging, is not permitted against teams from regions identified on the KHDE Travel & Exposure Related Isolation/Quarantine list.
Both motions passed unanimously.
“This is also about what’s in the best interest for the whole conference,” Trzaska said. “At Seward, we want to support the colleges that choose to scrimmage.”
Artamenko hoped to see the Jayhawk League members moving in the right direction.
“We will continually monitor this and see how things progress,” he said. “Until we get to a spot ourselves where all teams could participate, and then have the same assurances from our competitors, we are going to protect the chance to have a spring season as a top priority.”