COA considering plan that would cut down on travel
A proposed change that will be voted on this week by the state governing body could rekindle the Taft-Bakersfield rivalry.
The Commission on Athletics, citing cost-containment as the primary reason, is considering a plan that would bring Bakersfield, Allan Hancock, Cuesta and Modesto colleges into the Central Valley Conference.
TC is a longstanding member of the CVC. Other schools include Sequoias, Fresno, Merced, Reedley, Porterville and West Hills. The CVC hosts Columbia College in volleyball, but that arrangement would end with the realignment, said TC Athletic Director Kanoe Bandy.
“That’s our longest trip,” she said, of the college that is located just outside Sonora.
BC, Hancock of Santa Maria, and Cuesta of San Luis Obispo may be forced out of the Western State Conference, Bandy said.
“They are essentially being kicked out of the Western State,” she said. “Travel is the main consideration.”
Bakersfield, despite its close proximity to Taft, rarely engages TC even in non-conference games.
Softball is the only sport the schools are playing each other in this year.
Baseball coach Vince Maiocco said he’d like to play the Renegades in a home-and-home series, but the Bakersfield school has declined.
He thinks the prospect of BC joining the Central Valley league would add luster.
“I welcome it,” he said. “It will make us – the CVC – one of the premier athletic conferences in the entire state. There’s talk that we’d have a north and south division and that would guarantee our conference at least four playoff spots.”
He sees another plus.
“It would continue those high school rivalries for another two years. These kids in the valley play against each other in high school, and this would keep that going.”
The Central Valley has wooed Bakersfield in the past, Bandy said.
“We’ve tried to get them in before.”
According to an article in the Bakersfield Californian, BC contends a switch to the Central Valley will drive up its travel expenses.
And, BC has more sports than most CVC members with 18 (nine for women and nine for men).
TC has just six sports – volleyball, soccer, basketball and softball for women and soccer and baseball for men.
An expanded conference may put pressure on TC to add sports.