AP NEWS

San Jac phasing out athletics at Central campus

November 1, 2016

Coaches were shouting instructions and plays were being run, but behind the look of normalcy at San Jac’s Monday afternoon basketball practice, it was anything but.Shock and dismay had taken hold after news had trickled down that the women’s volleyball and the men’s basketball programs at the San Jacinto College central campus was going to be phased out.Ravens head coach Scott R. Gernander and volleyball coach Sharon Nelson were notified of the plans earlier Monday.But across all three San Jacinto College campuses, North and South, athletics will be phased out with the exception of the baseball program on the north campus and the softball program at the south campus.Soccer at the South campus and women’s basketball at the North campus will also eventually be shut down.For the Central campus programs, the plan is to keep both sports going through the 2016-2017 and the 2017-2018 seasons before officially shutting them down.Scott Horstman, a San Jac assistant basketball coach for 22 seasons, showed up at Anders Gym Monday almost in a state of disbelief.“It kind of hit me blind side. Nothing’s ever been mentioned about doing away with the athletics program. First thing to hit my mind is how are they going to do it?, why are they going to do it? I’ve talked to Big G already (Scott Gernander) and we were asking the same questions every other Ravens fan will be asking,” Horstman said.After over a half-a-century of Ravens basketball, it’s going to take a long time for this news to sink in, if it ever does.“I mean I look forward to coming to the games right now. I’ve already got their games on my calendar. I love junior college basketball and all of a sudden I’ll have nowhere to go. I’ll find somewhere to go. I’m sad for the program, but I’m a whole lot sadder for the coaches. It changes the recruiting philosophy, the type of player they’ll recruit. These players now are in a limbo,” Horstman said.Monday’s news comes on the heels of the announcement earlier this year that the school’s venerable nine-hole golf course was shutting down. Plans were for that facility to remain open until early December, but a sign on the fence currently reads: “Course closed.”