The National Junior College Athletic Association placed Fort Scott Community College's football program on probation -- officially -- Monday morning.
Word had leaked that probation had already taken affect two weeks ago but only one person -- NJCAA Assistant Executive Director Mark Krug -- actually said it was so at the time. Fort Scott Community College admitted that the NJCAA was asking the college questions at the time but neither it nor the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference would actually use the word "probation."
Based on the inquiry, the NJCAA has placed the school's football program on probation for this season. The punishment, which includes a reduction in scholarships for the 2012 and 2013 seasons, makes the Greyhounds ineligible for participate in the Region VI Playoffs or an NJCAA bowl game this season.
According to a press release sent to the Tribune Monday morning, the NJCAA ruled that "17 students were recruited to play football at FSCC by signing an institutional scholarship, not a National Letter of Intent. All students that are recruited to play a sport at a NJCAA school must sign a National Letter of Intent."
During the inquiry process, FSCC showed that "out of the 17 students in question, only nine students actually attended Fort Scott Community College. The FSCC coaching staff told all 17 students that they were to receive a needs-based scholarship and would have the opportunity to try out for the football team. The NJCAA ruled that the students believed they were being recruited specifically to play football."
FSCC players are still eligible for any post-season individual honors from the KJCCC and the NJCAA.
FSCC's off-season and early season has been rocky. Former head coach Jeff Sims resigned the first week of July to take the recruiting coordinator position at Indiana University and offensive coordinator Curtis Horton was named head coach at the same time. Then the rumors of probation came out with the official announcement coming Monday.
Thursday night, Fort Scott's season opened with a 65-18 loss at the hands of Blinn College, which came into the season ranked No. 4 in the NJCAA pre-season football poll.