While most Division I and other top tier colleges have been done recruiting for quite some time, not all junior colleges are in the same boat.
Sometimes they have to wait until later to land their top recruits and so with the high school season in Alabama being put on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak, that’s made for a lot of questions for junior college recruiters. As of Wednesday, the NCAA and the NJCAA had put a hold on recruiting, meaning coaches cannot contact potential athletes at this time, so it’s created an even bigger snag for coaches who may now have to rely solely on film and what they already know to get their recruiters done.
“There was one player in particular we were looking at,” Central Alabama Community College softball coach Greg Shivers said. “I haven’t been able to go see her play and I was hoping to get to a game soon. If they end the season, we can bring the kid in once and work her out — once we can get back on campus as well. But I’m hopeful the AHSAA can finish the season.”
Fortunately for other CACC coaches, this isn’t posing as much of a problem.
CACC golf coach Dave Jennings, whose team is coming off a NJCAA Division I national championship, said he’s basically been done with his recruiting since November.
While CACC baseball coach Larry Thomas has also nearly finished his recruiting, he’s still waiting to see how many commits he will get.
“Usually I have two scholarships left over but I have a couple guys who are committed and a couple guys who still haven’t that we’ve recruited,” Thomas said. “I’m waiting to see what happens with scholarships too because I won’t tell a kid that’s played for me that wants to come back that he can’t.”
Despite the season being officially canceled — unlike the AHSAA’s — there is still a lot of those questions up in the air. The NJCAA has said it will grant another year of eligibility to everyone who has missed their spring sport. It still hasn’t been clear how that will affect scholarships though.
As it sits, junior college baseball teams get 24 scholarships. If the NJCAA announces it will allow more scholarships, CACC will still have to agree to pay those, so there’s a lot of unknowns.
“There’s a couple guys that I know have already expressed that they want to come back,” Thomas said. “If they want to, that’s fine but how does that affect the people coming in? It doesn’t in terms of the roster. For me, whoever wins the job wins the job and the best players play, but as far as scholarships and things like that, we just don’t know yet.”
Shivers said, “We do kinda wait and save (scholarships) so we’ll just have to look at the numbers once we know more. We still have offers out for 2020 players and there’s a couple that if they want to come back, we’re going to take them. But we still want to reach out to all the recruits and things like that; it’s kind of a juggling act.”
Jennings’ golf team is less affected by this because none of his three sophomores is planning to return. Benjamin Russell graduate Dylan Moncus, who is now a sophomore at CACC, has already signed with Samford and will continue there and have three years of eligibility. Jack Goldasich is heading to Alabama and the only other sophomore, Andrew Friend, will continue at Jeff State Community College.
“That was just the best decisions for them to go ahead and go,” Jennings said.