Monday, October 16, 2006

California JUCOs a Drain or Gain?

Frank Gifford, Warren Moon, John Madden and O.J. Simpson. What do these four men have in common? They all got their start in California community colleges. Many players end up at a community college because they didn't get noticed or didn't meet academic eligibility requirements to enroll at a four-year college. And California is a gold mine for talent. Each year, there are about 1,400 sophomore players in the California system, and between 100-150 sign with a Division I-A team. Oregon State has 13 California JUCOs on its roster, Nebraska has 10. "I don't know if it sounds a little too businesslike, but it's almost like in the NFL, when a team goes after a free agent," Oregon State coach Mike Riley said. "You're going after a free agent who can come in and start for you, and the place to go for that is junior college football in California." The state has 72 teams, more than the rest of the nation combined. The reason? Public subsidies. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the cost to the state each year is in excess of $5 million. But the system is under attack. Only about 61% of community college faculty is full time. Critics say the state is balancing the budget on the backs of part-time faculty, who get paid less and are classified as temporary. "These are people who are screwing the part-time faculty so they could have a nice football team," said David Milroy, who heads a part-time faculty association. ... Plus a detailed look at the cost of fielding a team. Thanks to the Midwest Correspondent.

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