McPherson High’s Jace Pavlovich was among the Kansas Football Coaches Association members who is against the Jayhawk Conference perhaps increasing the number of out-of-state players allowed to 30.
A vote on the matter by school presidents is scheduled for Aug. 4.
When word came out earlier this week that there was going to be a vote to raise the number of out-of-state players from 20 to 30, the KFCA sprang into action led by president Steve Martin of Wichita Northwest. A survey went out to the 156 members, 73 of whom responded, according to The Wichita Eagle’s Tony Adame. And 95 percent of those, Adame wrote, said it “was a terrible idea.”
The caveat in the increase is that the 10 extra out-of-staters that would be allowed must come from bordering states Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri and Oklahoma.
There are eight Jayhawk Conference football teams which currently are allowed to set their rosters at 63, 20 of those being from out-of-state with no restrictions. In the old, old days, schools were allowed only 10 out-of-staters before it was bumped up to 12 and then 20, which came as late as 2013.
“I am a Kansas high school football coach,” said Pavlovich, who in his soon-to-be 11 years at MHS has sent a healthy number of players to the Jayhawk. “I cannot support junior colleges increasing their out-of-state scholarships by 10. I want Kansas kids to get opportunities to earn a scholarship and play college football.”
But Pavlovich did add, “I would also have a hard time boycotting those junior colleges from coming in to recruit my players if it does pass.”
According to Adame, 70 percent of those coaches who responded were in favor of a recruiting boycott, but that could result in their players having no place to continue their careers, which is a yellow flag for Pavlovich.
“I do understand where some of the junior colleges are coming from that want to add 10 more out-of-state scholarships,” Pavlovich said. “They struggle to get Kansas kids in and have to live on out-of-staters. Schools like Butler and Hutch do very well recruiting Kansas. They have an easier sell getting kids to go to their school than a Coffeyville or a Garden City.”
The Jayhawk Conference has been one of the crowned jewels of junior college recruiting in the U.S. Butler has been the Jayhawk’s gold standard, along with Hutchinson in recent years. The other schools have had their moments, but those two schools have been the flagship programs.
When coaches could recruit only 10 out-of-staters, they would lean toward using the scholarships for a quarterback, running back, a receiver or two, a couple of big defensive linemen, a pair of linebackers and a couple of defensive backs. Schools like Oklahoma often place a player at a school if they don’t make grades, with the idea of having them on their roster down the road. Kansas State’s Bill Snyder has made a career of unearthing juco gems that often are overlooked and they later become stars.