OCC football team loses RB Betts

All-American running back Domenic Betts will not play for the Orange Coast College football team in 2012, due to his failure to meet academic requirements to compete, Pirates Coach Mike Taylor said Thursday.

Betts, a speedy 5-foot-10, 195-pounder from Banning, rushed for a school single-season record 1,772 yards in 2011 as a freshman. That total led the state and helped Betts earn JC Grid-Wire All-American recognition.

Betts, who scored 20 touchdowns a year ago and averaged 6.8 yards on 262 carries in 10 games, completed 18 units in the spring semester, Taylor said. But it still wasn't enough to overcome struggles in the fall semester of 2011.

Taylor said Betts returned to Banning and is not enrolled in at OCC. Taylor noted Betts could come back and play next season, if he can regain his eligibility, but the coach speculated that Betts may also pursue opportunities in the Canadian Football League.

After last season, Betts received scholarship offers from LSU, Auburn, Arizona, Purdue and Syracuse, among others and Taylor said there was also interest from at least one CFL team.

The Pirates, 4-6 in 2011, open their season on Sept. 1 at home against Moorpark.

— Barry Faulkner

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