EL DORADO — Two years ago, the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference decide to lift any and all restrictions, paving the way for the influx of out-of-state athletes into the Jayhawk Conference.

Starting in 2021, foot- ball will be limited to only 55 out-of-state scholarship student-athletes. It’s a large compromise that saw the restrictions significantly lower a few years ago.

Unlike their first announcement, this quietly flew under the radar with no official announcement from the conference or any of their affiliated schools.

Previously in football, schools could have no more than 30 out-of-state student-athletes, and all would abide by the NJCAA Division II guidelines of scholarship: Books and tuition only. That was also lifted. By the 2017 season, all of the community college’s rosters could be field with out-of-state student-athletes.

“Everyone gets riled up that you cannot compete with Kansas kids,” Butler Athletic Director Todd Carter said. “That’s wrong.”

Garden City, who was the main proponent be- hind the change, saw a National Championship under the previous restrictions, with Peyton Huslig of Andover as their starting quarterback.

The Impact

Gone are those who pushed for the changes, such as Jeff Sims of Garden City. Sims and other rural community colleges threatened to pull out of the oldest conference in the NJCAA if their needs were not met.

Fast forward and Sims is coaching in Division II and the other movers, such as Jason Brown of Independence, have moved on. Those remaining are left to clean up the mess.

Of the 543 players with hometowns listed on the KJCCC website for the 2018 season, only 59 of them came from the Sunflower state, a whopping 10.8 percent.

“This doesn’t affect us,” Butler football head coach Tim Schaffner said. “We’ll keep doing what we’re doing.”

Butler accounted for 33 of the 59 student-athletes in the football conference. Coffeyville was second with 16.

“We’ve maintained those relationships within the state,” Schaffner said. “It’ll be up to the rest to rebuild the bridges they’ve burned.”

While this doesn’t go into effect until 2021, you may see some immediate effects. Players that were offered a scholar- ship now, may have that pulled when the new restrictions are implemented.

Outcome

By 2021, there should be restrictions on out-of- state student-athletes on all sports.

“We’d like to see changes across the board,” Carter said. “Our first proposal wanted it brought to 40 or 45 out-of-state scholarships.”