College Volleyball: Raiders could miss postseason after forfeiting 6 games
The Central Lakes College Raiders forced to forfeit first six wins because of a computer glitch.
BRAINERD — Central Lakes College is disputing the National Junior College Athletic Association’s (NJCAA) decision to sanction the college’s volleyball team with six imposed forfeits.
The issue stems from how the college uploaded the team’s roster into the NJCAA website portal prior to the start of the season. Although College compliance officials uploaded the volleyball and football rosters in the same manner, the volleyball roster alone was deemed improperly transmitted. Two weeks later, the NJCAA alerted college officials of the issue and sanctioned the college to forfeit six prior wins. The college’s appeal submitted on these premises was denied.
“The sanctions imposed on CLC by NJCAA are excessive,” said Dr. Hara Charlier, CLC President. “We strongly encourage the NJCAA to reconsider and not punish today’s dedicated, hard-working Raider athletes due to a flaw in their web portal. CLC asserts that our rosters were appropriately submitted, that the sanction inappropriately adversely impacts innocent student-athletes and urges reconsideration, particularly in light of the college’s recent clean eligibility audit of its women’s volleyball program. Nevertheless, despite CLC’s clear disagreement with the decision and the sanctions, the college will take responsibility for this situation.”
Mary Sam, CLC Dean of Students, Wellness and Equity added: “Needless to say, the actions by the NJCAA are extreme and only hurt our athletes. To punish our students because of a website flaw is simply wrong.”
CLC is pursuing other remedies to the sanctions imposed and is doing an internal review of processes within the athletic department.
Currently, the Raider volleyball team is 14-4 on the season and is ranked No. 3 in the latest NJCAA DIII national poll.
On CLC’s athletic website, the six games being forfeited includd the Raiders’ win over defending national champion Owens Community College as well as four Northern Division games. Those four division losses push CLC’s record from 9-0 and atop the division standings to 5-4 and fifth in the division standings.
If the season ended today, the Raiders would be out of the Region 13B Tournament. CLC does have seven division games remaining on its schedule.
“We are and we will do what we've always done -- every practice, game, season, and year -- focus on being the best college volleyball experience we can be,” Raiders head coach Jane Peterson said. “We're focused on winning one game at a time, as many times as we can. I am super proud of this team and the competitive conviction and determination we've shown since early August. We are confident in the knowledge, the fact, that no one in our volleyball program has done anything wrong."