San Diego City College student-athletes to return to campus

The decision comes after San Diego moves into a less-restrictive red tier

Knights against LA Southwest

The Knights during a time-out in the 2019 season against LA Southwest. City Times file photo

Vicky Pineda, CTM Operations Manager

The San Diego Community College District approved for student-athletes to return to its campuses for conditioning training next month.

“This is an important aspect of their training and we are happy to be able to accommodate this,” wrote Chancellor Constance Carroll, in the latest coronavirus update. “Student-athletes will return to Miramar College on April 5, while student-athletes will return to City College and Mesa College on April 12.”  

More details will be provided by the college presidents, according to the update. 

The decision for student-athletes to return to campus came after the announcement that San Diego County will be moving to the less-restrictive red tier. Both were discussed in today’s edition of News Radio Midday.

However, the district, which includes Mesa College and Miramar College, has decided to not participate in competition for the remainder of the academic year due to ongoing concerns related to COVID-19.

I have no doubt that the health and safety of the students, coaches, and staff played the biggest role,” Gustavo Celarie, Knights sports information officer,  wrote in an email to City Times. 

City College is one of several campuses in the region that decided to opt out.

“We will not be playing competition this year against other colleges,” acting Health and Exercise Science Dean and Athletic Director Aaron Detty said in an interview with City Times last month.

Some other schools are still participating in a different format, spring I and spring II. 

Spring I are the traditional fall sports, which include soccer and cross country. Spring II is the traditional spring sports that include baseball, softball and badminton.

Schools that are not opting-out will begin practices for spring II on March 27 and the season is set to end by June 23. 

“For our spring II, our spring sports, we have 65 (out of) our 110 institutions opting-in with at least one sport for spring sports,” said Jennifer Cardone, the Interim Executive Director for the California Community College Athletic Association, in an interview with City Times.

The CCCAA, is the sports association for community colleges in California. It establishes rules and regulations to administer athletic activities to nearly 24,000 students.

“I feel for both of the people that are opting out and opting in,” Cardone said. “So the opting-out folks, they have their reasons and they were valid reasons onto why they are opting out, and the folks that are opting-in, they have a lot of work ahead of them to be able to compete.”

The CCCAA is allowing regional championships for schools that are participating in spring II but further discussions will decide if it will remain.

City College will still have to wait and see if they can return to play in competition for the 2021-2022 academic year.

“The first thing we want to do is get our student-athletes back on campus safely and build from conditioning and then getting into competition,” Detty said.

The athletic department did update its website to let the student-athletes know about the decision.

“We truly love our student-athletes and we are with you,” said the statement on the Knights athletic website. “The staff will continue to support students academically.”