Central Lakes College will not be sending its football team to the 2012 Valley of the Sun Bowl in Arizona. CLC, which won the Minnesota College Athletic Conference championship Nov. 4, was to have played Glendale Community College on Dec. 1. It would have been the fourth bowl game in as many years for the Raiders. “It appears as though we may have had a relatively small, but still significant eligibility issue with a one or more football players,” said Kelly McCalla, interim vice president of academic affairs. He said the issue has to do with when a student is considered fulltime. “It appears to have been a student misunderstanding” as opposed to willful wrong-doing, McCalla said. “It was a simple mistake, but one with real consequences.”
Among the consequences is the loss of opportunity to achieve one more milestone in a successful athletic season in which CLC rose to a No. 8 national ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
McCalla met with players to explain the situation and remind them of a primary commitment the college makes: “To guide them to their degrees, to model good decision-making and act with integrity.”
He noted that Central Lakes College has the highest student retention rate and academic success of any football program in the state. “We continue to strive to do things right in every circumstance,” he said. “We feel deeply for the student athletes on the team who did everything correctly and still are not able to live out this dream.”
College administration has reported the potential eligibility conflict to the NJCAA.