City College student-athletes get ready to transfer

Tyler Madden and Tyler Madden

More than thirty athletes will leave City College to play sports at four-year schools this year although chances are high that none of them will go on to play professionally.

Less than 2% of the 400,000 student-athletes who play NCAA sports will go on to play professionally, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Ingrid Schmitz, a Physical Education professor and Academic Advisor at City College, says she loves to see athletes transfer from City College because it means they’re successful in the classroom, as well as on the field.

“We offer the athletes a great deal of help and advise them from the first day they step on our campus to the day they transfer,” Schmitz said.

The number one factor potential schools and recruiters look for, besides sheer talent, is the athletes’ academic record.

Former City College quarterback, John Uribe who was named Offensive Player of the Year in the American Pacific Conference and made the All-California Region VI team said, when coaches called, their number one question would be about grades.

“They would check up on me all the time, make sure I was going to class and make sure my grades were okay,” Uribe said.

Uribe transferred to Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri following the Fall semester in 2010 and will major in business administration.

“I didn’t realize how well prepared academically I would be,” Uribe said. “Classes here (Lindenwood) are no more challenging than SBCC’s.”

Tutoring is offered for all athletes, and forced upon if an athlete is on probation or suspended.

Schmitz explained that athletes can be placed on either of the two “for many reasons” including missing classes or poor grades.

“Our goal is not to punish the athletes,” Schmitz said. “We just want to help them get back on the right track.”

Jonathan Pickert was a standout basketball player at City College from 2002-04. He went on to play for Division-II powerhouse Fort Hays State in Kansas. After graduating Pickert went to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he is now a law student.

“It was always my dream to play professional basketball,” Pickert said. “Realistically , I knew my chances were very slim. I knew I would need something else to fall back on.”

Fortunately for Pickert, his time at City College led him to become very interested in studying law.

“SBCC was definitely a great stepping stone for me in sports and academics,” Pickert said.

Schmitz commented on how fulfilling it is when past athletes come back to thank the athletic department.

“We give them all the tools needed to succeed, so when the athletes take the initiative it’s nice to see them break the all-too-familiar jock label,” Schmitz said.