Lady Cougars to forfeit games, appeal pending
     2012-12-27      By Staff report   
SCOTTSBLUFF — Western Nebraska Community College received some bad news on Dec. 7 when they were formally informed by the National Junior College Athletic Association the Lady Cougars women's basketball team will be required to forfeit 13 games from their 2012 season. The Lady Cougars are ranked 6th by the NCJAA but that could possibly change.

NCJAA bylaws prohibit any student athletes who have ever played professionally. Freshman center Evgenia “Jess” Samorodova was declared ineligible after the NJCAA discovered she has played professionally overseas. Samorodova is no longer on the team but it is still a student at WNCC.

The 6'3'' center joined the team this season after being recruited from Russia. She played in nine games for the Lady Cougars, but all games prior to the December 7th letter have been deemed losses.

Samorodova played professionally in one game each for Hapoel Tel Aviv and Elizur Ramla in Israel in the 2011-12 season. She also played in the professional Women's Basketball EuroCup in 2012.
The WNCC Lady Cougars will be allowed to play for the rest of their season and in tournaments in Region IX competition, but their perfect record of 14-0 will be changed to 1-13.

School officials said they were taken by surprise by this announcement. WNCC officials announced on Dec. 19 that they have submitted a letter of appeal, with extensive supporting documentation, to the NJCAA regarding the amateur status of women's basketball player Evgenia Samorodova. The college now awaits the determination of the appeal.

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