Photo Courtousy of Scottsdale Community College, Phoenix College, Mesa Community College, Glendale Community College.
By Mike Niezgodzki ’18
Maricopa community colleges are looking to end all their football programs after the 2018 season due to the recent emphasis on player safety and concussions voted upon by a state board.
Recent NFL players have come out and said they’ve been worried about being diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) and other types of brain trauma related to football.
This is one of the reasons why community colleges are looking to end their football programs.
Brophy senior and incoming freshman at Mesa Community College (MCC), Xavier “X” Juniel ’18, says that he will be playing football at the school next year anyway.
Juniel ’18 played football all four years at Brophy, including being on the varsity team the past two.
He plays wide receiver and was recruited by many other schools to play collegiate football.
“I’ve had a lot of questions about MCC about ending their program next year,” said Juniel. “All I can say is football isn’t going anywhere.”
His former high school football coach, Mr. Scooter Molander, also had strong opinions on this topic.
“This is all negative. There are not enough opportunities to play college football and to take away this chance for athletes is terrible,” said Mr. Molander. “Junior college is almost ⅓ the price of U of A and ASU and is very affordable for those who can’t attend those schools.”
“I played three semesters at Phoenix College and eventually played at Colorado State,” he added. “Junior colleges offer the opportunity to take that next step and I hope X is able to take that.”
Athletic director Mr. Bill Woods has similar thoughts on this topic. He said he believes athletes need more opportunities to pursue sports. “Athletes who have God given talent should be able to share it at any level, no matter the college,” said Mr. Woods.
In higher level football like the NFL and NCAA Football, concussions continue to hinder the game. High schools have dealt with similar concerns. Advancements in player’s helmets and new rules have been implemented to decrease the risk of concussions and injuries over the past few years, but these injuries are still a huge area of concern.
Community colleges are on pace to play football for this upcoming year, but it is still in a standstill for the 2019 season.