In a student journalist press conference on Thursday, California Community College Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley clarified several questions regarding the resumption of athletics in the spring.
“It is unlikely that we'll have major athletic events, certainly no athletic events with spectators in the spring,” Ortiz Oakley said.
Despite the chancellor’s statement, Orange Coast College athletic director Jason Kehler was more optimistic about fans.
“We need to continue to follow county and district guidelines in terms of what the best and safe measures are. It’s too early to say whether we would have fans or not, but it would be whatever is deemed safe by the district,” Kehler said.
OCC’s athletic director and chancellor are, however, aligned in their stance on the return of spring athletics.
“The plan is to revisit athletics in the spring with an emphasis on those sports programs that have limited contact and are smaller in nature,” Ortiz Oakley said.
The chancellor did not hint at the idea of the spring season being postponed or cancelled during his hour-long web seminar, which indicates that hope is for returning athletes to competition.
“I think the CCCAA (California Community College Athletic Association) not having changed anything leads us to believe we are hopefully staying on track to return for competition. But as we said, we are just monitoring the situation as it is going on,” Kehler said.
The fate of athletics next year depends on what the CCCAA deems “safe” for organized sports to return.
The chancellor explained the return of “some sort of athletics” is healthy and encouraged.
“First, we need to make sure that student athletes are getting the education that they came to us for, and that their safety is primary,” Ortiz Oakley said.