Study Hours: The missing buzzer

David Pradel, Sports Editor

Why is it that the community colleges, which have the word community in them, lack in bringing the community closer?

You would think the athletics program at community colleges would offer something different for sports lovers in the community, but instead it seems as if it is pushed to the side and is belittled by the San Diego media outlets as they play watchdog for the potential new San Diego Chargers stadium, the Padres star-studded team, San Diego State University football and basketball, and of course on the national sports news that can be heard every hour on “SportsCenter.”

Not only at City College, but at Mesa College, Miramar College, Palomar College, Grossmont College and Southwestern College seem to get this perceived notion from the media of a dead end, just like how a student says he or she is going to a community college to someone and gets the look of sorrow because he or she is not setting their goals high enough in life.

This is not the case for athletes — just like students, athletes find themselves wanting to save money, earn a scholarship and move on to a four-year university. What is so bad about having a plan rather than diving straight into a four-year university?

People seem to forget that NFL superstar and current Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers attended Butte Community College for one year and earned himself a scholarship to play for University of California, Berkeley. The moment he snapped on his CAL Bears helmet was the moment he had the national spotlight on him rather than his year at a community college where he led Butte to a No. 2 National Ranking with a 10-1 record and threw a total of 26 touchdowns — six in one game alone.

The 2015 NFL Draft concluded in the beginning of May and it seemed to have slipped through the San Diego media that a local football star was regarded as “the best QB draft prospect you haven’t heard of” by Bleacher Report earlier this year.

Chris Bonner attended Grossmont College for two years, where he threw nearly 3,000 yards in one season, and went on to play for Colorado State University, Pueblo. It’s a Division II school, but last year he led the WolfPack to a National Championship title and was recently training toward his NFL dreams on hearing his name be called. Somehow, the local San Diegan is overlooked by the media he grew up watching. Is it because he played community college football? Or played for a Division II university?

The 6-foot-7-inch quarterback with a rifle arm, however, did not end up being drafted after there was buzz going around he may be a late-round draft pick by the Denver Broncos.

According to his NFL Draft Prospect profile, Bonner “has enough arm talent and football intelligence to find his way into a camp,” and I believe once he does and if the dominos fall in his favor to be a starting QB on an NFL team, the San Diego media will jump on the local star’s bandwagon as if they knew about him all along.

There is talent at the community college level. Here at City College in 2009, basketball star Malcolm Thomas lit up the scoreboard for one year and went on to play for SDSU for two seasons, where he led the Aztecs to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament, and although he went undrafted in the NBA, Thomas found himself on NBA teams. But if the media were to put the spotlight on him, it would only be on what he did as an Aztec and not as a City Knight.

Talent still shines through the community college level — from the field to the court, athletes have found success — but it goes unnoticed to the eyes of the local news media, and the San Diego community.