Tallahassee Men’s Basketball Wins Season Opener

In a game dominated by poor shooting from both sides, the Tallahassee Community College Eagles defeated the Faith (Ga.) Baptist Crusaders 69-59 in the first game of both team’s seasons.

Tallahassee shot 21-72 from the field, and 2-17 from three-point range. Tallahassee head coach Mark White said it’s the lowest field goal percentage his team has ever had in a victory. He attributes it to his team’s stout defense.

“It [the success on defense] is the reason I believe what I believe and my philosophy is what it is,” said White

Tallahassee forced 20 turnovers, which helped keep Faith Baptist’s offense from running effectively.

The game was close throughout. With five minutes left in the game, Tallahassee had a slim 61-56 lead. Freshman Tre Todd sank a three-pointer with 4:43 left in the game. This was the start of an 8-1 run by the Eagles to put them on top.

Sophomore David Simmons had eight points and seven rebounds, he said that the last few minutes of the game are what the team needs to build on.

“Probably the last two minutes of the game when we really separated ourselves a little bit,” Simmons said.  “I was like ‘if we can play like this the whole 40 minutes, then I think we have a chance.”

The Eagles’ next game is Friday, Nov. 4. They take on Atlanta Metro State College at 7:30 p.m. in the Seals Financial Tip-Off Classic.

TCC Basketballs Hold Higher Purpose

When you see a basketball player with their ball, one might assume it’s just a piece of equipment.

But for the Tallahassee Community College women’s team, the ball holds a higher purpose.

Franqua Bedell has been the head coach at TCC since 2013. He’s carried this tradition with him ever since he was an assistant coach at Southeastern Missouri State University. Coach Bedell said it’s to show his players what their true purpose is.

“You come here for books and basketball, so we would give them a basketball and we would give them a backpack and then all their books for their classes,” Bedell said.

Lindsay John is in her second year on the team, and she was initially confused about the tradition.

“I didn’t really understand the purpose of carrying the ball, but then I realized it was just the process,” John said.

The girls are required to carry the ball everywhere with them for 24 hours a day from the first day of their freshman year to the last day of their sophomore season. Because of this, many people around the community instantly recognize the player.

TCC basketball player Lindsay John studies with her ball by her side.
TCC basketball player Lindsay John studies with her ball by her side.

Bedell said that this recognition makes the players role models for the community.

“You’re representing yourself, the program, and you’re representing something,” Bedell said. “I think what that is giving our student-athletes is a sense of responsibility, first of all, a sense of pride, second of all, and third of all it’s given them a sense [that] it’s more to the game than just basketball.”

Walking around the team’s gym, it’s almost guaranteed that one can see players with the blue and yellow basketballs. While the manifest effect of the balls is to remind the players of their purpose, it has also given them an identity around campus.

“It’s given us a brand. So when our student-athletes, our young ladies, are walking to class the very first day, people know ‘thats a basketball player’,” said Bedell.

Including TCC and Southeast Missouri State, Bedell has coached at five different colleges. He’s carried this tradition through each school, and each year he sees the graduating sophomores understand the ball a little more.

“You can talk to our sophomores now and they have a better understanding from their freshman year to their sophomore year of what that ball represents and what it means,” Bedell said.

Bedell hopes that with each year the girls learn to be more balanced, and discover their true purpose so they can lead successful lives after college.

“We’ve had success stories. I mean to be honest with you, I’m not bragging [but] we’ve probably had too many to talk about, and that’s a good thing. And that’s what I’m most proud of.”

Recent NCAA suspensions highlight different NJCAA Rules

By Alex Krutchik

This past Saturday, the Florida State University football team beat a Charleston Southern team that had 14 players suspended for NCAA violations. The players’ wrongdoing: using scholarship money to buy pencils, binders, and electronics.

In total, more than 30 players were suspended. Because there were so many, players were given a choice of either sitting out of the game against FSU or this week’s game against Monmouth.

Tallahassee Community College plays in the National Junior College Athletic Association. NCJAA rules are different than NCAA rules and the chances of something similar happening at TCC are slim.

Most four-year universities rely on compliance officers to inform the athletes about what they can and can’t do, and they leave it up to the players to listen and follow the rules.

Rob Chaney has been the Athletic Director for TCC since 2009 and says that TCC has its own way of minimizing the chances of an athlete breaking the rules.

At TCC, bookstore employees are told what the athletes can and can not purchase with their stipend; so even if a student-athlete wanted to buy headphones or snacks with his or her book money, he or she would be blocked from doing so by the cashiers, Chaney said.

“The bookstore knows to not credit them [student-athletes] for anything other than a textbook,” Chaney said. “We don’t put that aid in their [student-athlete’s] hands. We wait to get their class schedule, we take the schedule to the bookstore, they fill the orders, and they send the bills back to me.”

Chaney also said that the two-year environment is a lot easier to control than a larger four-year environment. Four-year universities offer more sports, and therefore, have more players under their watch. So the chances of something major like this happening at TCC are less likely than at a bigger school like Charleston Southern.

According to the NJCAA website, each school is allowed to award scholarships to cover “tuition, fees, room and board, course-related books, and transportation costs one time per academic year to and from the college by direct route.”

In addition, the NJCAA allows any school to buy $250 worth of necessary supplies other than books for each student-athlete. This includes any course-related material such as iClickers, calculators, and other course-specific supplies.

The NCAA also allows schools to give players as much book money as they need. Though if there is money left over, athletes cannot spend the money elsewhere, other than for other essential school supplies in the
bookstore. The NCAA considers binders and pencils essential school supplies. Not headphones and snacks.

The NJCAA rule was a new amendment passed by the NJCAA three years ago, in an effort to keep up with rising cost of education, said Chaney.

“Two-year institutions are not in as good of a position to absorb that full cost of education,” said Chaney. “There are more costs out there that are put on the student, and that was a way to help the student out a little bit and make attending college a little more affordable.”