The Garden City Telegram
12/8/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Bowl bid

Plenty of lessons to learn for Busters football team.

Garden City Community College's football team had its share of ups and downs this year.

On Sunday, they endured another tough episode.

The Broncbusters fell, 47-21, to Tyler (Texas) Junior College in the Football Capital of Kansas Bowl at Pittsburg State University.

Garden City has been no stranger to bowl games, including an exciting GCCC victory last year over Copiah-Lincoln (Miss.) in the Mississippi Bowl.

This season, however, a bowl bid wasn't expected after a paperwork error tripped up the team.

In October came news of a random audit by the NJCAA that found the local community college did not have proper paperwork for two transfer players. The players were deemed ineligible, GCCC had to forfeit three wins, and the Broncbusters dropped to 2-7.

Players who saw victories erased received a sobering reminder that rules are rules, regardless of the intent. And when rules are broken — even in the case of an oversight — there will be consequences.

Those involved in the athletic department no doubt learned from the situation, and will do what it takes to ward off another such occurrence. That said, it's still difficult to consider the infraction egregious at a time criminal acts and other boorish behavior mar sports at the college and professional levels.

But again, rules are rules. And considering the Broncbusters officially were 2-7, it was easy for some to question whether they deserved a bowl appearance — even though their play on the field suggested they did.

Organizers of the Pittsburg-based bowl weren't deterred. They went ahead with the Garden City-Tyler, Texas, matchup.

While the result of the bowl game wasn't what GCCC had hoped for, the season — from start to finish — delivered plenty of life lessons that have a way of playing out in sports, from the importance of pushing on in the face of adversity, to how hard work can pay off. The Busters did indeed work hard during the season, and in the end were rewarded with a nice opportunity for players and fans alike.

They shouldn't be ashamed of how the season turned out.