Photo by Jeff Vorva
Moraine Valley women’s basketball coach Delwyn Jones said the NJCAA is taking 15 victories away from the Cyclones for “very minor infractions.’’
Moraine Valley Community College officials plan to appeal last week’s National Junior College Athletic Association’s decision to strip the nationally ranked women’s basketball team of 15 victories for using ineligible players.
Coach Delwyn Jones said he found out about the penalties on Feb. 15. At the time, his team was 25-2 and ranked 13th in the nation among NJCAA Division II schools in a coaches’ poll.
“These are very minor infractions,” Jones said Thursday night, after his team’s 84-61 victory over Waubonsee in Palos Heights, which would have given the Cyclones a 10-0 mark in the Skyway Conference and 26-2 mark overall if not for the forced forfeits. “With one player, they wanted two different forms and we sent them one of the forms. But both of the forms say the exact same thing. All the information is the same. We gave them a release but not a transfer waiver. But since she never enrolled in the previous school, we will argue that you don’t need a waiver if she didn’t enroll.
“The other player is a good academic student. This is her sixth semester and she needed 60 credit hours and she had 54. She is eight credits from graduating with a 2.75 GPA and she’s ineligible. It doesn’t make any sense when you have kids playing 12 credits and a 1.75 GPA. We’re hit by red tape. There are some things we probably should have seen that we didn’t. For the sophomores who worked so hard to get this record…it’s tough.’’
If the NJCAA sticks to its guns, the Cyclones enter this week 11-17 as the players involved did not play in all of the games this season.
The Cyclones have hopes of making the NJCAA national tournament and they were not penalized for the postseason. But seeding the Region IV tournament will be unpredictable. Jones said the coaches will gather Feb. 26 for the postseason seeding meeting.
“That’s going to be a question mark,” Jones said. “It’s gone both ways in the past. The team at the top is not going to want to play a team that is literally 26-2 on the court. They don’t want to play a team like that early.’’