by OCC Sports Information
Orange Coast College will be eligible for postseason competition for the 2016-17 season following the rulings given on Thursday by an arbitration panel in review of proposed sanctions issued by the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA).
The panel declared that all athletic programs, with the exception of football, are eligible for postseason play, overruling the initial decision of a postseason ban for all OCC sports for one year.
"We appreciate that the CCCAA followed its appeals process, and that programs that were not involved with these infractions will not be penalized," said OCC President, Dr. Dennis Harkins.
Those proposed sanctions were originally handed down in February and later approved by the CCCAA Appeals Board and upheld by the Board of Directors. Following a careful review of the CCCAA Constitution and by-laws, as well as the documents presented by OCC, the arbitration panel reached the decision to place the College on probation for two years and exclude the football program from post-conference competition for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 academic years. The probation terms include a total program review of OCC's intercollegiate athletic department.
"The College is always looking for ways to improve in all aspects of instruction and resources for our students," added Dr. Harkins. "The hiring of a full-time athletic director to oversee our athletic teams is a significant action taken by the college to help augment ongoing activities that support a culture of compliance."
After the initial ruling, OCC appealed these sanctions for arbitration on April 11. The College contended that the proposed sanction were overly broad in scope, and that OCC did display institutional control by not only self-reporting, but also responding in a timely manner and set rules and regulations.
"OCC prides itself on a history of excellence and achievement for our student-athletes," said Dr. Harkins. "We will continue to work to get better in all aspects of competition and compliance."