Editorial: Undervalued assets

Student-athletes uprooted, lack administrative support

By Editorial Board

As the renovations to the Gym Annex Building, Men’s and Women’s locker rooms and Gymnasium push forward at full speed, the disruption they are causing student-athletes has been immeasurable.

Sure, questions have been raised in the past about the level of administrators’ support and, more importantly, the level of support from members of the campus community for student-athletes who wear Comet blue. But now, more than ever, these students need us.

To be perfectly honest, even when teams were performing at a championship level, support for Comet athletics hovered between listless and meh.

Because the Gym Annex Building’s construction is on the other side of campus, it’s easy to render it out of sight, out of mind.

However, some students are still forced to navigate the cone-zone in pursuit of their ultimate goal.

Students like men’s soccer team captain Elijah Musah Paul-Gindiri deserves recognition.

Paul-Gindiri currently has three jobs while maintaining a full course load, but finds time to study to keep his grades up along with financially helping his family in Nigeria.

A college athlete’s life is driven by sacrifice. However, without the support of the campus community, it is easy for these students to ask themselves if all the trouble is even worth it.

Now, as the football team, volleyball team and both men’s and women’s soccer teams enter the conference portion of their seasons, their effort is seen as less than an afterthought — it has essentially been erased.

Remember, all of the athletes who participate in sports in the California Community College Athletic Association are required to be full-time students who are forced to adhere to strict academic restrictions.

They are the much coveted full-time students who pay to be enrolled in 12 course credits per semester, which totals over $500 per semester.

With over 100 full-time student-athletes on campus during the fall semester, the lack of appreciation they receive in relation to their monetary value to CCC is staggering.

Carrying a full course load, and because the Gymnasium and surrounding area resembles a makeshift bomb shelter, volleyball players are forced to play their home games at Pinole Middle School.

This obliterates the idea of a home-court-advantage, which is important for a freshman-heavy team.

Currently, the team has yet to win a game. In fact, of the four teams currently participating in their fall season, they only share a total of three wins between them.

The football and soccer teams have also seen their crowd sizes dwindle because of current conditions.

This November, the basketball teams will be forced to play their home games some 20 miles away at sister school Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill — essentially the opposite of a home game.

Sure, for teams currently playing, it can be argued the product on each field is a larger contributing factor than the woes of navigating a disruptive remodel, but not supporting students who are working to keep Comet athletics afloat does not seem like the right path to take.