By Charles Chaney and Austin McNorton Butler Sports Media students
It took four hours, but at the end of the day, the Jayhawk Conference continues.
All 19 presidents voted unanimously and drafted two new bylaws, that set into motion a new frontier in Jayhawk Conference athletics.
On Oct. 20, presidents of the Jayhawk Conference met at the Hubbard Welcome Center to discuss whether or not to break up the conference in lieu of other benefits.
“The number one goal was to keep the conference together,” Dr. Mike Calvert said.
Currently, the 19-member conferences by laws are much different than those for other NJCAA programs. There are out of state restrictions, as well as the amount of money that can be awarded on scholarships.
A two-thirds vote was needed to make any changes. The task of allowing teams to leave the conference seemed monumental. It would have an even more drastic effect on football, as four of the eight football playing schools reportedly wanted to leave the Jayhawk Conference, led by Garden City Community College.
Butler, this appears to be a victory in their favor as they were all for keeping the Jayhawk Conference intact. Butler was prime supporter of having everything stay status quo.
“There was no real threat of the conference breaking up,” Calvert said.
Beginning with the 2017-18 academic year, the KJCCC will be compromised of institutions competing at the NJCAA Division I and Division II levels and will follow NJCAA roster limits for all participating sports. This change removes KJCCC out of state and roster size limitations.
This means there is no more in-state, out-of-state talk. Any school can recruit as many players as they would like.
The KJCCC also passed scholarship changes to begin with the 2018-19 academic year. These changes align with NJCAA guidelines, which provide the ability to grant full-ride scholarships in Division I sports.
If the presidents do not pass scholarship limitations at the 2017 KJCCC meeting, then beginning with the 2020-21 acamedic year, the by laws revert to KJCCC scholarship limits.
“Not everyone was 100 percent satisified,” Calvert said. “We still have work to do.”