Bakersfield College will appeal football sanctions

Bakersfield College will appeal football sanctions

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Bakersfield College officials said that they will appeal sanctions announced last week against their football program.

The Kern Community College District Board of Trustees unanimously voted Monday to pursue an appeal of sanctions passed down by the Southern California Football Association.

"I am pleased our trustees have given us the go-ahead to pursue an appeal," BC President Sonya Christian said in a news release. "I've already begun working with Bakersfield College staff to prepare the necessary materials."

Friday, college officials announced they were eying an appeal. At that time, Christian said, "These sanctions are extreme," and said "the penalties should have just been levied against the college, not the students."

BC must vacate its 2012 California Community College Athletic Association football championship and all wins from the last two seasons after it was found in violation of multiple CCCAA regulations.

The Southern California Football Association found the violations applied to the football program and involved an unofficial booster organization, The Helmet Club.

The BC Renegades football program will also be under a postseason ban for the upcoming season and on probation for each of the next two seasons.

Specific violations, involving player benefits, were:

-- Paying students for work with funds raised by a nonaffiliated booster club. The work was arranged without the oversight of BC and was given to only football players.

-- Housing BC football players from outside the permissible recruiting area in lodging facilitated by staff.

-- Facilitating the payment of rent to the owner of the housing.

-- Implying the availability of housing and student work to gain interest from players.

-- Providing a weekly meal to football players, subsidized by boosters.

-- Providing a dinner to football players before home games.

"We don't dispute that we were technically in violation of some rules, such as those concerning student employment," said the school president on Friday. "However, these students were academically eligible, they paid market value for the housing, and they did honest work. The team was by no means given a competitive advantage. Putting the college on probation is appropriate and understandable. But, the state championship and the wins should not have been removed from our students."