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Commission Sets Strict Recruiting Guidelines for JCs

United Press International

Community colleges will be penalized for initiating contacts with prospective student-athletes from outside their normal district boundaries under rules adopted Wednesday by a state commission.

The panel approved strict new recruiting guidelines affecting more than 20,000 student-athletes at 96 California community colleges.

The rules represent a house-cleaning for the two-year schools, which anticipate a potential flood of high-caliber athletes caused by approval of tough new eligibility requirements for four-year colleges.

As of this summer, incoming freshmen at NCAA Division I colleges will be required to attain a particular score on college entrance exams. Many of those athletes who cannot qualify for four-year schools are expected to turn to community colleges.

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“When the prospective student-athlete calls the coach and talks, that’s OK,” said Stu Van Horn, spokesman for the California Assn. of Community Colleges Commission on Athletics, which approved the guidelines.

“But the coach can’t call the athlete. When the athlete makes the first contact he’s ‘your’ student and you can make arrangements for him.”

Van Horn said coaches and administrators who violate contract rules will be subject to reprimands, probation, possible reassignment and exclusion of their school from post-conference play. College presidents are responsible for making sure their coaches are aware of the code.

Student-athletes already at a community college who wish to transfer to another two-year school must complete 15 units in residence, instead of the current 12 units. Recruiting by community colleges has been illegal in California although penalties and procedures to enforce the rules have been lacking.

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