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The Kansas High School Football Coaches Association isn’t happy with an upcoming vote by theKansas Jayhawk Community College Conference that would increase the number of out-of-state high school football players on its rosters. The conference of eight junior college (JUCO) teams will vote August 4th to raise the limit from 20 to 30 players.
“Let’s face it, college football is becoming a business and it’s starting to trickle down to the junior colleges,” said Steve Martin, head football coach at Northwest High School in Wichita and President of the Kansas High School Football Coaches Association. “We know our kids can get it done on the national level. The message we want to send our JUCO’s (community colleges) is remember where your bread’s buttered. The out-of state people aren’t going to be supporting our local community colleges that have been set-up for years. If there’s no local kids going there, what’s going to put butts in the seats?”
If the Jayhawk Conference, which includes Butler Community College, Coffeyville Community College, Dodge City Community College, Fort Scott Community College, Garden City Community College, Hutchinson Community College, Highland Community College andIndependence Community College, approves the increase to 30, it will be the second time since 2013 that the conference has made such a decision to increase the number of out-of-state roster spots. In 2013, the conference increased the number from 12 to 20.
Here is a link to the proposed change to the conference’s by-laws, which is scheduled for a vote on August 4th.
Martin says that the Kansas high school football coaches were only made aware of the vote after Tony Adame of the The Wichita Eagle wrote a story about the vote. According to Adame, earlier this year the conference decided against removing restrictions entirely, which would have meant a team could have as many out-of-staters as it wanted.
“If Tony (Adame) hadn’t done some good research, none of us would have known what was going-on,” said Martin, who is surveying individual coaches in the KHSFCA about possibly boycotting the local JUCO’s.
“As a state, our high school coaches are serious about a boycott,” said Martin, who sent-out a survey to all of the state’s 11-man programs. “Is a boycott harsh? Absolutely! Is giving 30 out-of-state scholarships harsh to our Kansas kids? Absolutely!”
Martin pointed to offensive lineman Ben Powers, who had zero Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) offers out of Kapuan Mt. Carmel High School in Wichita. Powers played at Butler CC last fall and then accepted a scholarship to the University of Oklahoma where in the spring, impressed enough to have his name mentioned as a possible starter at guard.
Another Kansas high school football player that moved-on to a successful college career is offensive lineman Quinton Schooley of Chanute High School, who played at NC State and then was signed in the spring as an undrafted free agent by the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“We known Kansas isn’t a big state for national recruiting,” said Martin. “However, our community college give exposure to our kids that have performed well at the next level after playing a short-time at the JUCO level.”
Former Jayhawk Conference players that are currently playing in the NFL, include: New York Giantsdefensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who played at Fort Scott CC; Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Nick Marshall, who played quarterback at Auburn after spending a season at Garden City CC, Minnesota Vikings QB Shaun Hill, who played at Hutchinson CC and Dremius Smith, a running back with theSan Diego Chargers, played at Butler CC after graduating from Wichita Heights High School. Others include 1972 Super Bowl MVP Larry Brown, who played at Dodge City CC and current CBS analyst and former Buffalo Bills special teams standout Steve Tasker, who also attended Dodge City CC after his high school days at Smith Center High School in Smith Center, Kansas, which owns high school football’s eight longest all-time win streak at 79 games.
For those of you wondering about the overall talent coming-out of the JUCO ranks, there have been four JUCO’s that became overall #1 picks in the NFL Draft. The latest being Carolina Panthersquarterback Cam Newton, who played for Blinn College in Brenham, Texas and led them to a JUCO national championship in 2009. Newton attended Blinn after transferring from Florida after his two years there.
Other JUCO’s that became #1 NFL draft picks are — running back O.J. Simpson, who played at City College of San Francisco (California), wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, who played at West Los Angeles College (California) and offensive tackle Ron Yary, who attended Cerritos College(California).
As of Friday morning, 73-percent of the coaches that responded to Martin’s survey, said they would support a boycott.
Martin will appear on next Thursday’s High School Football America Radio Show.
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