Measure S wants to spend $45 million on a sports pavilion. With Measure V money they built press boxes in La Playa Stadium and spent bond money renovating the track, which doesn’t even belong to SBCC. District taxpayer money was used to improve City of Santa Barbara property so they could have a better athletic field. They even wanted to build a $10.5 million Aquatics Center to house the new women’s water polo team.
So before we approve the $288 million Measure S, it might be worth mentioning that only a small percentage of all SBCC athletic teams are composed of local student/athletics.
The latest statistics from SBCC’s fall 2014 sports show the football 81-man roster contains but 14 local students. Thirty-seven players are from out of state, seven from out of the U.S. Similarly, men’s soccer has but two locals out of 30 players of whom 27 come from out of country.
In women’s golf there is but one local out of eight players. And in women’s volleyball, only one local out of 15. Women’s soccer has three local out of 26!
A few years ago SBCC was involved in a scandal when it recruited Venezuelan basketball players and tried to pass them as locals for tuition purposes. This is no accident. SBCC seeks out these students. They recruit them online. The application offers assistance in locating housing which Measure S may be used to build or purchase.
The reason all this is important is that it illustrates the callousness of SBCC toward locals and local needs. These “student-athletes” deny space and opportunity to our neighborhood high school kids. This SBCC infatuation with imagined athletic prestige highlights the question of its lack of concern for academic and vocational classrooms and programs that a community college should concern itself with. How many career opportunities are there in water polo anyway?
Vote “no” on Measure S, and send the message to SBCC that it needs to refocus on our students, our needs and our purposes.