Junior college sports produce high quality athletes, stories

By Erain Valdez, Social Media Editor

With the start of the fall semester so starts the time for college sports

with Division I institutions get- ting the bulk of the attention from media outlets around the country.

Junior college sports are highly underrated and while the majority of the attention goes to these major universities, the media, schools and scouts often forget community college athletes.

Yes, Division I athletes produce a product worth buying thanks to the billions of dollars invested in athletic programs by these learning institutions.

You could call the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) a business or a profes- sional sports league thanks to the revenue it produces.

Junior college athletics should not be overlooked because of the lack of glamour and coverage its sports receive.

Across a variety of demograph- ics, stories of student-athletes having to resurrect their athletic careers or save their education at the community college level are inspiring.

All of the adversities that the students face are what make junior college sports unpredictable and exciting.

Also, having players for only one or two years can really compli- cate a coaches game plan, making recruiting a very contested event between junior colleges.

It all comes down to the money.

The unpredictability of junior college sports can deter some major advertisers from investing in these schools that do not have the big budgets to attract players.

All of these junior college stu- dent-athletes are treated as sec- ond-class citizens rather than potential Division I athletes because they don’t bring in the cash needed to get basic depart- mental resources.

Minimally, not giving them the same kind of medical insurance as the student-athletes in four-year state institutions is keeping those student-athletes at a disadvantage.

Not only on the field, but also when ensuring their physical health after their playing days are over.

Junior college student-athletes should receive the same protec- tions as those in four-year state funded schools because they run the same risks on the court or field.

Failing to provide the teams adequate transportation or new uniforms on a regular basis just because they don’t bring in a cash haul as the big schools is wrong.

The differences in overall qual- ity of play should not be taken into account, because the potential of watching an unknown athlete, overcome seemingly insurmount- able odds, is the most exciting part about watching what these teams can produce.

Media outlets need to give junior college sports more atten- tion because local athletes tend to hold close knit ties to their com- munity in their two years on cam- pus.

Many of the accomplishments by student-athletes at this school, as well as many other community colleges, go widely ignored.

Even when those same efforts are what propel them to the NCAA level or beyond.

By not providing these stu- dent-athletes a bigger platform to show their skills, we, as the media, are essentially helping to stunt their development.

Following conventional wis- dom, junior college sports will always take the backseat to four- year schools and professional sports teams.

If these two-year institutions provide a safe platform for stu- dents, they can perform better in the classroom, on the field and in life.