Community college athletes fed up with a lack of facilities addressed the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees during Feb. 12 bi-weekly meeting.
West Los Angles College baseball players Samuel Mason and Lawrence Reese expressed concern about injuries, missed games and a strenuous practice schedule to the board.
“We have not practiced at the West L.A. College field since before last fall. The field was scheduled to reopen Jan. 13, then pushed to Feb. 1 and now March 13,” Mason said. “Last Tuesday was the first game that we had to cancel.”
The team has been practicing at Los Angeles Valley College, but is having difficulties with traveling roughly 20 miles to go to practice, he said.
The drive to and from Valley College also conflicts with class scheduling, which results in less attendance at baseball practice, Mason said.
“We are paying $600 each to attend classes and play baseball at West L.A. College, but we are unable to physically play at the college,” Mason said.
The conflict at West L.A. may affect Pierce College by possibly removing one team from the league.
Several players for the West L.A. College attended the meeting in support of their fellow teammates.
“We have to worry about pot holes [on the field],” Reese said. “We have had several health issues within the team due to the field.”
Reese missed nine months of baseball practice after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on the field. The field was closed soon after.
Miguel Santiago, president of the Board of Trustees, said that they could not comment on the issue at the time and he would discuss it further with Nabil Abu-Ghazaleh, president of West L.A. College.
Board member Nancy Pearlman continued to question the problem.
“This field was used in the 1984 Olympics — why is it not up to par now?” Pearlman asked.
Abu-Ghazaleh apologized and explained the field’s situation.
“I am truly sorry. The baseball field has had a new lawn recently installed, and the warranty requires a certain amount of time for the lawn to establish itself,” Abu-Ghazaleh said. “Where we could have improved the situation would have been to aid the students with transportation. It is unfair for the students to provide their own transportation.”
The board listened to the two student presenters, but the resolution for the issue is planned to be resolved at a later date. More information about the schedule for the LACCD Baseball games will be available in the future.
Students and faculty are encouraged to attend the LACCD Board of Trustees meetings to gain more information and insight to what is going on at their schools. Anyone with matters they feel need to be addressed to the LACCD Board of Trustees can find information about meeting dates and times at the LACCD Board of Trustees website or call (213) 891-2044.