TIFTON -- It was short and to the point and it ended any hopes the Abraham Baldwin Stallions tennis team had of continuing its season.
"We got word today (Thursday) that the appeal of our probation was denied by the national office," ABAC head coach Alan Kramer said. "That is basically all we were told."
On April 18, the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) put the Stallions on probation over the issue of out-of-nation waivers. The probation prevents ABAC from playing in any postseason tournaments, including tomorrow's Region XVII tournament, and more importantly, the national tournament to be held May 15-20 in Dallas.
ABAC is allowed eight scholarships, with two being allowed for international players. However, other members of the Stallions team had received the out-of-nation waivers for fees at the school.
According to Kramer, the school awarded 27 of the waivers for the Fall 2004 semester, 13 of those went to athletes.
"It is something given to international students, they don't necessarily have to be athletes. The program is run through the school. It is not done through the athletic department," Kramer, who is also the school's athletic director, said earlier this week.
After filing an appeal on the case April 22, the Stallions had hoped for the probation to be lifted in time to play in tomorrow's region tournament. But, any hopes were dashed by the NJCAA's short statement to the school Thursday.
Kramer's main concern now involves learning just how long the probation, which ABAC was told was indefinite, will last.
"We have got to figure it out, so we can tell something to this year's freshmen," Kramer said. "We are going to have to talk to the national office to see what we need to do, because right now we are still confused."
Kramer then added, "we just have to make sure we are both on the right page with the national office."
One good thing for the ABAC tennis program is that the Fillies were not affected by the probation. Coach Alton Hudgins' state title winners will travel to Tucson, Ariz. next week for the womens' national tournament.
"We are going to put all of our time in on helping the women at nationals," Kramer said.
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