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Umpqua Community College men’s basketball head coach Daniel Leeworthy encourages the team from the sideline during an Umpqua Invitational game against Pierce College in November 2022. Leeworthy has been suspended for 10 games after sanctions were filed by NWAC for violation of its bylaws.

WINCHESTER — Umpqua Community College is seeking legal counsel after its men’s basketball program was sanctioned by the Northwest Athletic Conference.

Sanne Godfrey is the managing editor for The News-Review. She can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com.

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Note: Those who went on to professional sports careers from Douglas County did not go to UCC and do sports. The ones most known actually played football not anything UCC has offered. I do not believe that UCC offered any sports when the two mentioned were playing high school football here.

We need to be paying more attention to outcomes. The focus needs to be on making sure we have what students needed to be successful and it is not about sports.

We need leaders who understand what is important and the appropriate role of a community college. We need to make sure there is stable funding sufficient to pay quality educators and other staff to offer what students need for their future.

This recent audit of the CC system provides some valuable information.


Thomas Hall

I am supportive of Umpqua's recently expanded athletic programs, however,

am disappointed in the coach involved in the current situation, as well as the

athletic director.

The college presidents offers a number of lame excuses for the serious

violations that the college committed! All of the community colleges in

Oregon and Washington, as well as Northern Idaho follow the same


One of the president's concerns is "who blew the whistle on college's

serious violations! Does it really matter???

And, since the men's basketball team received extra benefits, how do you make the UCC students who didn't receive those benefits 'whole'?

The president feels the NWACC decision penalizes the athletes: it does,

but had the coach involved + the athletic director followed the rules this

wouldn't have happened!

Lots of excuses and slipshod leadership.


Perhaps no basketball next season will give some of those students a chance to improve on their academics? I had attended UCC from 2007-10. I noticed a lot of the basketball players that were in classes with me seemed to be complete morons when it came being at the same level academically as the non sports players in the same class. The problem seemed to be because they missed a lot of classes traveling when playing games. I saw several that failed classes, and some just ended up having drop out or else a failing grade would decrease their GPA which can be bad if you're on a scholarship or some other aide that requires you to have a certain number. I think a lot of them seriously thought they were going to have a career in the NBA or something if they did real well on a community college basketball team. The two are comparing apples to oranges, and although I could be mistaken, I've never read of anyone that was born, went to school and graduated from a school in douglas county making it into any type of pro league sport when they grew up.


Perhaps we need to stop sports at our local community college period. UCC has not always had sports and many community colleges do not offer them because the CC system is about preparing people to make a living, not play games.

This is not something they need to be focusing on. This is particuarly true when we import people and take up housing needed for the community.

Although this report talks only about this individual buying housing to rent to students, this is what the UCC sports program has been doing. This includes rental units that are no longer availalbe to the people who need it in our community. Often taking up the limited "affordable" housing stock. Like the housing owned by NeighborWorks Umpqua (non-profit, taxpayer funded) "affordable" housing provider. This has taken housing out of the market for seniors and people with disabilities who need this housing because they cannot afford to live anywhere else. It also takes housing out of the market for low wage workers.

UCC's sports program has also taken away the only family or youth homeless shelter Casa De Belen that our county has ever had. It could have been saved when their former board failed to keep it alive. It could have continued as a shelter or better yet created more permeant affordable housing to address our homeless crisis. The fact that the then chair of Casa board and UCC board are married may have played a role in the deal to remove it from the community benefit it was supposed to provide.

UCC and all community colleges need to focus on educating our youth for living wage jobs so they can have a real life,

Leave the playing of games to those who want to donate their time and energy in community leagues. Wasting our limited public dollars on sports at the community college level in this economy is nonsense.

The president of the college only does what the board wants. So they are the real problem here. It seems it may be time to change who is there. There are four seats open for the upcoming May election. We need people on the board that care about a quality education. If you want to run, you have until this May 16th to file for office.


You didn’t do your research! Community colleges all over the state offer sports, in fact only 3 don’t. If the college didn’t have sports they would close because of the number of students it brings in, now who would that benefit? There are many athletes who go on and play at 4 year universities where they can earn a bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree so they can earn an above a living wage.


How many from UCC? How many that would have done it without sports?


Then you have not heard of Troy Palamalu


He graduated from Douglas High in Winston (Trojan) - went on to play for USC (Trojan) and became a huge star for the Pittsburgh Steelers...Hall of Famer


I don't really follow sports as I think they're pointless and irrelevant. Though only being able to say one person from here out of 100s in my lifetime that had it in their head they were going to be in the NBA or NFL shortly after high school and clearly had their head in the clouds is not great odds with anyone with such ambitions.


Josh Bidwell too.

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