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School: Claimjumpers Will Play

Columbia College officials say that despite sanctions by the Central Valley Conference, the school´s men´s basketball team will participate in the upcoming 2003-2004 season.

In a written statement, College President Jim Riggs says school officials want to “learn from this and then go forward with a new set of priorities.” Riggs says the new priorities will include working to make the college´s athletic program better at meeting the needs of students while working within Central Valley Conference rules. “We will continue to examine and evaluate our entire intercollegiate sports program to ensure that it serves student athletes, who graduate from our local schools, as well as the needs of local area residents,” he said.

Sanctions against the men´s basketball program were put in place after an internal investigation at the school found several violations of conference rules. Those violations included things like players getting text books on credit and having the coaches pool players financial aid and work study checks.

Riggs says the school will fully cooperate with the CVC commissioner. “We accept the sanctions,” he said. “I would like reassure our student athletes that our college fully supports its athletic programs and will do whatever is necessary…to have the best season possible and to support them as students and athletes.”