• November 27, 2020

COLLEGE SPORTS: Odessa College coaches being cautious with return to recruiting - Odessa American: Sports

e-Edition Subscribe

COLLEGE SPORTS: Odessa College coaches being cautious with return to recruiting

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2020 5:14 pm

The National Junior College Athletic Association took a step toward normalcy earlier this week by lifting the in-person recruiting ban starting Saturday for all sports.

The dead period had been in place since March when the NJCAA canceled competition and the decision gives each school the authority to decide what it should do regarding recruiting visits and other in-person activities.

Even with that restriction lifted, Odessa College athletic director Wayne Baker said that the school wasn’t going to jump back to business as usual just yet.

“A lot of our sports were about 90 percent done with their recruiting any way so there wasn’t a whole lot to do there,” Baker said. “It may be more of where we allow recruits to come and visit campus which is now an open option.”

Baker agreed with the NJCAA’s decision to let each school decide how it moved forward in recruiting student-athletes to campus.

He added that Odessa College officials were in the process of coming up with guidelines on how campus would reopen and said that there is still a lot to work through in that process.

“We’re moving forward on trying to gradually reopen,” Baker said. “We’ll have guidelines in place for students, staff, faculty and everyone that’s here on campus. A student that would come to visit campus would follow those guidelines if that’s where we were at.”

The calendar has shifted, for the most part, to the 2021 recruits for all sports on Odessa College’s campus. Head softball coach Jeff Jackson said that he had some visits lined up for those prospects before things started shutting down to the coronavirus pandemic.

Like Baker and the other officials at Odessa College, Jackson is taking a conservative approach to getting things up and running again.

“Honestly, I’m playing the wait and see card. I’m not necessarily in a huge rush to get people out to campus just yet,” he said. “I want to make make sure that I’m following the administration guidelines and not putting people in jeopardy by bringing in some things that we don’t want around our campus.”

Jackson added that he believed it was a good sign that the dead period was being lifted and thought that things were heading in the right direction.

“It’s definitely encouraging that the ban is being lifted,” he said. “The school wants to see how things go with that and just make sure that we’re doing things safely and intelligently before diving off the deep end.

Men’s basketball coach Kris Baumann echoed Jackson’s sentiment, saying that he’s going to be judicious when rounding out his class for the 2020-21 season.

A bigger issue, he says, revolves around evaluating future recruits for the program. Since tournaments are being canceled or postponed, Baumann still plans to rely more on the technology to evaluate with in-person recruiting still being limited.

“I think it’s going to have ramifications on every level,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of kids that aren’t going to be recruited to live events like they have in the past.”

“I think you’re going to have a really good job as a coach of following up, getting film and finding out about as much of the character of the kid as you can.”

>> COACHING SEARCH CONTINUES: The search for a new women’s basketball coach continues at Odessa College after former head coach Ara Baten accepted the same position at South Plains College last week.

Baker said Wednesday that the job had been posted for the last six days and were in the early stages of screening candidates. He added that he was looking to start to ramp things up after Memorial Day weekend.

>> Follow Tony Venegas on Twitter at @OA_TVenegas

Odessa, TX

Current Conditions

Humidity: 29%
Winds: NE at 13mph
Feels Like: 49°

Your Extended Forecast


High 77°/Low 43°
Partly cloudy. Lows overnight in the low 40s.


High 56°/Low 38°
Times of sun and clouds. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the upper 30s.


High 54°/Low 31°
Morning clouds followed by afternoon sun. Highs in the mid 50s and lows in the low 30s.
Online Features

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

  • ALL-ACCESS: Subscribe to our e-edition and premium website at myoaoa.com.
    You can read your daily newspaper without taking a walk to the driveway.
    Look back at yesterday's newspaper, or issues from months ago with our archive feature.
    Call circulation at 432-337-7314 to sign up today.