SBCC sports opt-out for another semester over COVID-19 concerns

Kyle+Froemke+walks+off+the+field+after+one+of+the+City+College+baseball+teams+final+home+games+against+Oxnard+City+College+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+20%2C+2020+at+Pershing+Park+in+Santa+Barbara%2C+Calif.+shortly+before+the+rest+of+the+2020+season+was+cancelled.+The+baseball+team%2C+along+with+all+late+spring+sports%2C+have+decided+to+opt+out+of+competition+for+the+remainder+of+2021.

Sarah Maninger

Kyle Froemke walks off the field after one of the City College baseball team’s final home games against Oxnard City College on Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020 at Pershing Park in Santa Barbara, Calif., shortly before the rest of the 2020 season was cancelled. The baseball team, along with all late spring sports, have decided to opt out of competition for the remainder of this year through 2021.

August Lawrence, Associate Editor

It’s been about a year since any kind of league sporting event has taken place at La Playa Stadium.

City College has opted-out of playing sports due to COVID-19 concerns for the second semester in a row.

“We didn’t want to opt-in and then, a few weeks from now, have to opt-out,” said Athletic Director Rocco Constantino. “We want to make sure things are heading in the right direction and not put anyone in jeopardy.”

All late spring teams—men’s and women’s track and field, softball, baseball, women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s tennis and golf—will not compete, as of now.

Superintendent-President Utpal Goswami said athletic success is important to the school and that “we still have the option to opt-in closer to April.”

City College is the only two-year university between Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo that opted-out.

The students’ eligibility to transfer to a four-year won’t be affected. But Constantino said recruiters might pass over Vaquero athletes because they won’t have had as much chance to play as other schools.

Goswami said sending videos showcasing athletes to recruiters is a possible way to help students.

“We will provide opportunities to get in shape,” Goswami said. “What concerns me the most… is the recruiting aspect for scholarships.”

Practices and conditioning classes will take place as usually scheduled.

Coaches have found new, socially distanced ways to hold practices. Different City College teams might also scrimmage each other to stay in shape.

Filling out a health evaluation app is also required before stepping foot on La Playa field.

“I’m very proud of our coaches,” Constantino said. “They’ve found creative ways to deal with this.”

The College hasn’t said whether it will participate in sports in the Fall 2021 seasons but both the athletic department and administration are determined to find the safest, swiftest way to return to the field.

“I was an athlete myself so I know the feel of needing to compete,” Goswami said. “However the risks are just too great.”