Pima Community College sports

Pima Athletic Director Jim Monaco: School Officials to Potentially Meet Friday to Discuss Athletics in 2020-21

With reports circulating of the Maricopa Community College system canceling its sports for 2020-21, Pima Community College is keeping a watchful eye on the development and school administrators will potentially have a meeting Friday to discuss Aztec athletics in 2020-21, according to athletic director Jim Monaco.

“Our leadership team, we are going to meet on Friday, and we’re assuming that we’re going to have discussion on Pima College athletics at that time,” Monaco told AllSportsTucson.com.

When asked if the discussion will be about canceling the 2020-21 season for all sports or have it modified under COVID-19 conditions, Monaco said:

“I’ll be honest with you, we’ve worked incredibly hard to try to put forth the best plan to re-enter that we can. My boss, the head of athletics, Bruce Moses, the Associate Provost all the way through the governing Board and the chancellor … everybody’s involved, including Bill Ward, our Vice Chancellor of Facilities. We’re trying to put together the most comprehensive re-entry plan we can. Hopefully that’s enough. But only God knows what’s going to happen. Until official word comes from the Maricopa Community Colleges, I think everybody is just going to be sitting on the edge of their seat waiting.”

Jim Monaco (Pima photo)

The 10 community colleges that comprise the Maricopa Community College system in the Phoenix area are cancelling their sports for the 2020-21 season, according to a tweet from Lee Patterson, sports radio host and sports director at KATO-AM in Safford.

No official word yet if the season is cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns or for budgetary reasons.

The 10 schools in the Maricopa Community College system are Chandler-Gilbert, Estrella Mountain, GateWay, Glendale, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Phoenix College, Rio Salado, Scottsdale and South Mountain. Rio Salado does not have an athletic program.

The reported cancellation leaves only Pima, Eastern Arizona, Arizona Western, Cochise, Yavapai and Central Arizona as the only teams that are scheduled to compete in the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference in 2020-21.

“Will this make or break us (for 2020-21)? I don’t believe it is a make or break,” Monaco said. “I think what’s gonna depend is how our college proceeds with what’s going on. That’s the best answer I can give you right now.

“Until something official comes out (from the Maricopa Community Colleges) and we can look at the entirety of what’s happening and what’s happened, what we’re looking at now, and this comes from my boss (Moses), we’re going to kind of just take it slow for right now. We will see what’s going to happen. As soon as I have something, you bet I’ll answer every question you have because then I’ll have facts.”

As the former football coach at Pima, which had that sport cancelled last season for budgetary reasons, affecting the education of almost 100 student-athletes, Monaco empathizes with the uncertainty young people are facing right now at Pima.

“As a coach, you feel bad for the young people, and those coaches that love doing what they’re doing,” Monaco said. “As an administrator, you have to sit back and think what is the best for the college and those student-athletes.

“We might put them in a compromising situation by bringing them back. It is one of the most difficult things outside of family tragedy that I think we have had to deal with.”


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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