Tony Petosa, the dean of all CSI coaches, manning the CSI men’s basketball sidelines in his 21st season, has been named the Staten Island Advance’s Sportman of the Year for 2010, it was announed today. The coach was profiled in today’s Advance, spotlighting his achievements turning from an accomplished local basketball product into the backbone of the CSI coaching staff. The 47-year-old, notched his 300th a win a year ago, and recently saw his team cap its ninth annual Tournament of Heroes at the Sports & Recreation Center, a tournament he created in 2002.
Petosa began his CSI and CUNYAC career in 1982, as a freshman for head coach Evan Pickman for the Dolphins flourishing program, entering only its sixth-season as a four-year college team. Even before that though, Petosa was a standout four-year basketball player at Monsignor Farrell High School, setting off on a journey that would never lead him too far away from his passion.
Petosa won three CUNYAC Championships at CSI, playing side-by-side with teammate Tom Hannafin, who years later is honored with the Tournament of Heroes as a former CSI basketball pupil and victim of September 11, along with Scott Davidson and Terrance Aiken, whom Petosa coached.
By the time his personal career was over, Petosa became CSI’s all-time leading rebounder (982), and his 1,684 points stood as a CSI career scoring record for 16 years.
After graduation, it was no wonder that former coach Thomas Keenan wanted Petosa on his coaching staff, and for Petosa it was a pretty easy decision. “I enjoyed being around the game,” he reflects. “I really enjoyed being an assistant coach.”
Petosa stayed on as an assistant for three seasons, the last two under Howie Ruppert. CSI posted a 63-26 record those three seasons, and Petosa was not only getting the hang of the coaching system at CSI, but he was also donating more time to his players, becoming increasingly invested in their futures after basketball. Not long after his appointment as assistant coach, Ruppert stepped down from his head coaching position, and Petosa was nominated for the job. The irony lies in the secret that Petosa declined the offer, only to reconsider a few weeks later.
“I didn’t think I was ready for the job,” he stated in a 2003 interview. “With school (Masters Degree) and working full-time, it was a tough decision. Then one day I just realized I wanted the job. To me, there’s nothing better than being at a practice for three hours, no matter what else I was doing. I came to realize that I enjoyed the teaching.”
Petosa endured three straight losing seasons, pioneering the program on the sidelines with longtime assistant and friend, Matty White. “I look back on those years and I realize that I wasn’t a very good coach,” he laughs. “I needed to learn. I’m still learning, but I think I’ve gotten better.”
Better indeed. The next season, CSI put up its first winning campaign under Petosa. Two years later, the team won 20 games. Systemizing the team according to his personal coaching style was the key to Petosa’s success. For once, Petosa was operating under a new formula: his own.
Petosa has learned that stability in players and sticking to his own coaching style were keys to developing quality teams over the long haul. “The operative word for us is not ‘team,’ it’s ‘program,’ teaching kids how to play, developing them. Over time, you depend on them. You hope that they depend on you a little too. That’s what building a program is all about.”
Twenty years later, Petosa was in the Bronx when CSI erased a late deficit to win a 66-64 nailbiter at the buzzer over Lehman College, his 300th career win, the 56th NCAA Division III coach to turn the trick. It remains a career highlight for many current Dolphins on the team who were there.
Fast forward a year later, and Petosa was the solitary body at the Sports & Recreation Center this past Monday, as Staten Island was rocked by 16 inches of snow to threaten the 9th annual Tournament of Heroes. There, Petosa spent about eight hours on the phone making sure three teams were arriving safely, organizing staff, and letting in teams to shoot-around. Less than 24 hours later he logged a few hundred miles all over Staten Island picking up catered food, t-shirts, and awards to get the Tournament off. He also coached the Dolphins to a 23-point win over the University of Dallas.
“That’s Tony,” said David Pizzuto, associate athletic director. “He dumps every resource and ounce of energy that he has into his program and what he believes in. You learn a lot watching him work and manage his time.”
To achieve the amount of success he has is incredulous, given his part-time status at the College.
“I don’t know how he does it,” said fourth-year assistant Chris Peterson. “His program never suffers because he never leaves a stone unturned.”
Petosa certainly doesn’t do it for the paycheck, and without dorms and a high academic index for play may even put him at a competitive disadvantage to his peers, but Petosa notes that there are incredible benefits to doing what he does year after year.
“Sometimes it’s frustrating, but when you find that kid who does enjoy playing you learn to appreciate him a little more,” he states. “What keeps me invested is that I sometimes struggle to find those players, but when we do, you can’t help to be somewhat impressed by them, and working with them becomes special.”
Forging a special bond with them is nothing new to Petosa, who after 20 years at the helm, recognizes how serving at CSI has become a backdrop to nearly his entire adult life.
“A lot of my memories, both personally and in business revolve around what has happened here,” he began. “This job for me is almost like a marriage, there are stretches of happiness or frustration with everyone involved, even myself, but I’ve definitely grown here.”
Petosa will be honored by the Staten Island Advance officially on January 20, with a dinner in his honor at the Hilton Garden Inn in Staten Island. He is the fourth CSI coach to earn the honor. Fomer assistant and friend Matty White was honored just a handful of years ago while former baseball skippers Bill Cali and John Scrivani shared the honor less than a decade ago.


The College of Staten Island men’s basketball squad led for a majority of the way, but couldn’t seal the deal, falling to visiting Anderson University (IN), 70-67, in the Championship Final of the 9th Annual Tournament of Heroes at the Sports & Recreation Center this evening.  The win lifted the Ravens to an overall record of 7-3, while the Dolphins fell to 6-3.  It was the third time CSI advanced to the Final, but again the Dolphins were denied the crown.
CSI took a modest 11-7 lead in the opening minutes powered by back-to-back three-pointers by Bloochy Magliore, but the Ravens powered back with a 9-0 run at 12:41capped by a Gabe Miller three to take their biggest first half lead, 16-11.  That sparked a 10-minutes stretch where the lead was exchanged hands five times and no team led by as many as three points.
Things turned in CSI’s favor in the closing minutes.  A pair of Jordan Young freebies gave CSI a 31-30 lead and after a Tibbs lay-up, Young converted another off of an Anderson miss.  After Anderson’s Brock Morrison answered with a three to make it 35-33, Tibbs fed Matt Van Manen underneath with six ticks left.  tibbs then promptly forced a Miller turnover and put up a three as time expired which sank through the net, giving CSI a 40-33 lead heading into the lockers.
CSI used the first 3+ minutes of the second stanza to open up its biggest lead at 46-35 on a David Hughes jumper.  Four straight points by AU’s Andrew Jones and another Morrison three cut the lead but CSI went back up by 11, 57-46, with 11:21 to go capped by another three-ball by Tibbs.
From there, however, momentum was seized by Anderson.  The Ravens opened a 14-1 run with five-straight Miller points, and an Jones lay-up gave the Ravens a 60-58 lead with 6:18 to go.  The teams traded shots from there, matching field goals and misses until Tibbs notched yet another three to knot the score at 67-67, with :48 to go.
Anderson drove down the clock, and after a timeout, Jarrin Forte took a pass and raced left to right, penetrating the paint and putting home a lay-up off the glass for a 69-67 advantage with 20 ticks to go.  In a bizarre twist, CSI then ran rampant with errors.  Bracing for a final shot, Jordan Young was called for steps with just seven seconds left.  Then, even with Dale Taranto making an extraordinary defensive play to break up a pass off of an Anderson player out of bounds, giving the Dolphins the ball again with six seconds left.
CSi asked for time but on their inbound, Tibbs tried to find Magliore but the pass was stolen by Miller.  Csi fouled and Miller made one of two free-throws to make the score 70-67 with five seconds to go.  Down to one final shot, Dale Taranto lost the handle on an inbound pass at center court, giving CSI three turnovers in five seconds of game play and never affording them an opportunity to tie in the frustrating final.
Despite the loss, CSi shot a blistering 53.1% from the field, arguable matched by Anderson’s 52.6%.  Tibbs led CSI with 22 markers, adding eight assists.  Magliore added 18 with four rebounds while Young closed with 12 points, shooting 5-5 from the field, notching a team-high eight rebounds.  Anderson was led by Jones’ 24 points in 31 minutes of action, Miller and Morrison notched 13 apiece, while Forte finished with 10 points and three assists.  For his performance, Jones was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Forte (AU) and Tibbs (CSI) joined Richard Stockton College’s Kai Massaquoi and University of Dallas’ Breaton Hightower as Tournament All-Stars.  Stockton defeated Dallas earlier in the evening, 70-39, in the Consolation leg.
CSI will pick up action again in the new year.  The team will travel to Brooklyn, NY, to take on Medgar Evers College on January 5, at 8pm.

Business Innovation Club Inaugural Meeting

(Bottom row, L-R:) Alexandra Doronina, Megan Ernst, Francesca Navarro, Latiece Munnerlyn; (Top row, L-R:) Joseph R. Petrucelli, CPA; Jerry Stanley; Michael Allamby; Bekim Kaja; Austine Buchanan; Bruce Toussaint; Prof. Jonathan Peters

The Business Innovation Club held its inaugural meeting recently with a holiday networking event. The club was conceived by students majoring in Business to provide an opportunity to unite the diverse concentrations of Accounting, Finance, Marketing, and International Business around common areas of interest such as developing networking skills, innovative ways to be noticed by potential employers, and networking with fellow students.

According to Club President, Michael Allamby, “The CSI Business Innovation Club was created to provide business students with the knowledge and networks necessary to become tomorrow’s business leaders.”

Presenters included Adjunct Accounting Professor Joseph R. Petrucelli, a CPA certified in forensic accounting, business valuations, and public school accounting, and Mike Breon, whose experience includes working as an auditor for Deloitte, and also with human resources benefits for the Hershey Chocolate Company.

Prof. Petrucelli emphasized the importance of essential first-impression skills such as business dress, a firm handshake, eye contact, positive attitude, knowledge of the company and current trends relative to the positions that students are seeking, cordial conversation with potential coworkers, and a 12-word opening “sound byte.” “Remember when you are interviewed to have a small prepared sound byte that you actually lived through that shows the interviewer you are the solution to his or her problems related to the position. Remember to always be ready for an interview because you never know when the opportunity may arise.” noted Petrucelli. In addition, Petrucelli acknowledged the difficult employment environment but pointed out that there is plenty of work for accountants now and how vital it is for employers to hear life experiences that can be translate to job skills, such as volunteering to assist senior citizens with tax preparation and active membership in professional associations.

Mr. Breon engaged students in mock interviews, encouraging them to actively demonstrate crucial first-impression fundamentals, adding, “Always bring a copy of your résumé that is fact-based and focused on experience and special skills.” He emphasized the importance of demonstrating initiative by researching the organization, obtaining a copy of the company’s annual report, and to know the finer details of the career path. The importance of being able to hold a knowledgeable conversation with an interviewer and avoiding awkward silences is seen as critical to a potential employer’s first opinion.

Club Advisor, Professor Jonathan Peters, recommended that students read the newspaper continuously to stay abreast of business news and to visit financial Websites such as the IRS for updates. Peters strongly recommended that students join professional associations and societies relative to their field of interest. “Pretend you are what you want to be. You will learn if you sit and listen to ongoing conversations in the profession…you’ll catch on.”

Career Development Specialist, Nina Long of the Career and Scholarship Center, spoke on the importance of networking and reviewed ten basic tips, highlighting interview preparation, displaying genuine interest, and never underestimating the importance of following up an interview with a thank you note, adding “Savvy networkers know that building connections takes time.”

Over 70 students attended the CLUE-certified event, along with Alumni Board members Lynne Libert ’06 and Sumi Raj ’90, who lent their support and shared their expertise with attendees. In addition, three students won raffle tickets for a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank.

The new club is open to all students. Events planned for spring semester include visits to the New York Stock Exchange, American Museum of Finance, and industry panel discussions. Club Officer, Bekim Kaja, summed up the occasion, “Being a member of the Business Innovation Club, where each member is as important as the next, is one of the highlights of my college career. As far as our future plans [are concerned], they will hopefully exceed the expectations of faculty and students.”

Celestial Ball Raises $600K for Scholarships

CSI President Dr. Tomás Morales (fourth from right) poses with some of the student attendees at the Celestial Ball.

The Second Annual CSI Celestial Ball, held at the Richmond County Country Club on December 4, was another huge success, raising over $600,000 for student scholarships and support.

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The event was attended by an enthusiastic group of over 220 people, including community leaders and business people, honorees and their family members and friends, and members of the CSI community, including CSI students. All attendees had the opportunity to celebrate and support the impact that a CSI education can make in the lives of our students, preparing them for success in an increasingly competitive job market, but also giving them the tools that they need to make the world a better place.

CSI President Dr. Tomás D. Morales presented the President’s Medal, with the assistance of Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. William Fritz, to the Ball honorees who included Salvatore Cassano, Fire Commissioner of the City of New York; Dolores N. Morris, former Vice President of HBO Family; and Dr. Fred Naider, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the College of Staten Island and a member of the Doctoral Faculty at The City University of New York.

During the program Joe Ricciutti ’94, Celestial Ball co-chair and President of the Staten Island Yankees, recognized the generosity of some of the major contributors to the College, including The Brooklyn Home For Aged Men, Con Edison, Northfield Bank Foundation, the Staten Island Foundation, National Grid, the Verizon Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, the Institute for Mexicans Abroad Scholarship, the Switzer Foundation, the Petrie Foundation, and Edgar and Lillian Rios.

Ten CSI students who have benefited from CSI scholarships were also in attendance to underscore the importance of these funds for so many who would not be able to get their educations without this crucial assistance. One such student, Megan Ernst, a freshman Business major, and a recipient of the CSI Foundation and John & Filomena Merlino scholarships, addressed the attendees, as did Student Government President Jolanta Smulski. 

The Celestial Ball was chaired by three volunteers, Dr. Christine Cea ’88, President of the Friends of CSI and Scientist at the Institute for Basic Research; Donna Fauci ’96, ’03, Member of the Board of Directors of the CSI Alumni Association, and Admissions Counselor and Program Coordinator with CSI’s Office of Recruitment and Admissions; and Joseph Ricciutti.

Last year’s Celestial Ball honorees, Dr. Gordon and Lorraine Di Paolo, Zane Tankel, and Robert Scamardella, served as Honorary Ball Committee members for this year’s Ball.

Alumni Mentor Students in the Art of the Business Meal

Kristian Gargasz chats with students at the Business Etiquette Luncheon.

In today’s fiercely competitive job market and economy, today’s graduates need every skill they can acquire to get an edge on the competition. Toward that goal, the College’s Career and Scholarship Center and the CSI Alumni Association teamed up last Friday to present “The Business Etiquette Luncheon.”

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The two-hour event gave a capacity group of 58 CSI students the opportunity to enjoy a five-course professional business lunch, while a CSI alumni member at their table offered helpful suggestions on the proper way to conduct themselves during a real-life business meal situation. Beyond the one-on-one interaction with alumni, who are seasoned business professionals, the attendees also enjoyed a presentation from the Career and Scholarship Center’s Nina Long, who, between courses, shared more valuable information regarding the proper behavior in such a scenario.

Francesca Navarro, a junior studying Business Management with a minor in Corporate Communications, was one of the student attendees. When asked what she hoped to get out of the luncheon, she said, “I hope to develop the ability to go to an interview and present myself adequately, and if it is a dinner, so that I can have good communications skills and not offend anyone in the process.”

Another student, Michael Wallace, a sophomore majoring in Biology, added that, when he eventually faces a potential employer, he wanted to be able to “have a good interview and get a good job.”

Explaining the importance of the luncheon, Joanne Hollan, Associate Director of the Career and Scholarship Center, commented that “The business dinner and the interview that takes place along with it are the latest trend in how students are recruited into today’s job market. Many of the larger companies are now holding this kind of ‘Interview Day’ where students are invited to the company for the entire day to conduct a series of interviews with staff including the business interview luncheon or dinner. It can be a deal maker if done correctly. It can also be a deal breaker if students are not well prepared on how to conduct themselves during the business interview meal. In order to help our students be as competitive as possible, especially in today’s job market, The Career and Scholarship Center wants to provide students with these “career building” skills that will set them apart from other college graduates conducting a job search.”

As for the CSI alumni who were on hand to share their expertise, the general goal was to help prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s job interviews.

Frances Melendez, PhD ’80, ’94, the Deputy Director of the MA in Mental Health Counseling program in the Psychology Department, who received an AA in Liberal Arts and Sciences and a BA in Psychology from CSI, noted, “I think, as a CSI alumna, that it’s important that students see that CSI alumni can be successful. It’s also for them to understand what the real world is like–how to interview, what the etiquette is, how they should prepare themselves, to empower them to do a good job on an interview.

Joe Ricciutti ’94, President of the Staten Island Yankees and a Foundation Board Member, who CSI graduated with a BS in Business Management, commented, “Being a CSI graduate and a member of the business community, any opportunity that I can give back, even if it’s just a little advice, I’m happy to do it. Given how competitive the job market is, it’s tough enough getting a good job, nevermind being right on the cusp and losing it because you did something [wrong] at an interview.”

Another alumnus was Kristian Gargasz ’06, who received a BS in International Business from CSI, eventually launching Grand Prix America, the North American offset of Grand Prix-Trading House, the European Dance and Fitness Apparel Company. He explained that “As students… we were educated very well, [but] as far as circumstances in the real world, we had little practice. When it came time to face real people in business we didn’t have the proper scenario in order to speak and articulate with those whom we were going to work with in the future. This [event] gives [students] an opportunity to practice and step forward into the professional world.”

Also on hand was Carole Gervasi ’02, Vice President of Online Degree Programs for the College Bound Network and a CSI alumni Board member with a BS in Communications from the College, who said, “CSI has definitely given my company a lot of interns over the years…I’m here not only to get an idea from the students in terms of what their opinions are of the outside world, but also how I can help them by bringing all of my expertise and experience, and see how I can recruit some more potential interns into my company because we’ve had such success with them in the past.

For the last seven years, the Business Etiquette Luncheon has been a part of the many events and services offered by the Career and Scholarship Center to help students succeed in the job market, and the event seems to draw more student participation every year. With that in mind, although, as Hollan mentioned, this is an usually an annual event, she said that “We had an overwhelming response to this event [this year] and would like to do another one in the spring, if we can.”

For more information of the many services that the Career and Scholarship Center has to offer, visit their Website at http://www.csi.cuny.edu/career/index.html or call them at 718.982.2300.

CSI alumni who are interested in participating in future Etiquette luncheons should contact the Alumni Relations Office at 718.982.2290.

This event was generously funded by the Campus Activities Board with Student Activity Fee funds.

Business Alumni Reunite at Residence of Dr. Morales

L-R: Crystal Deosaran ’04, Prof. Cynthia Scarinci, Prof. Eugene Garaventa, Christina Bosco ’08, Prof. Daniel Gagliardi ’70, Prof. Rosane Gertner

An enthusiastic group of nearly 100 Business alumni and faculty gathered at the residence of President Tomás D. and Mrs. Evy Morales last week for a networking evening. Alumni, spanning from the 1970s to our most recent grads, the class of 2010,

L-R: Crystal Deosaran ’04, Prof. Cynthia Scarinci, Prof. Eugene Garaventa, Christina Bosco ’08, Prof. Daniel Gagliardi ’70, Prof. Rosane Gertner
L-R: Crystal Deosaran ’04, Prof. Cynthia Scarinci, Prof. Eugene Garaventa, Christina Bosco ’08, Prof. Daniel Gagliardi ’70, Prof. Rosane Gertner

and representing the fields of accounting, finance, management, international business, and information systems, had the opportunity to catch up with their favorite faculty members and fellow grads.

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President Morales highlighted the College’s record enrollment and discussed plans to advance the College further with the strategic planning process currently underway.

In addition, the President spoke about the importance of alumni remaining in touch with the College and our students, underscoring the strides that the College is making in fundraising efforts, including major gift development. On a related note, he discussed the importance of supporting the upcoming Celestial Ball on December 4, which provides much-needed funding for student scholarships.

CUNY Trustee, the Honorable Kathleen (Kay) Pesile ’73, reflected on how far the College, the CSI Alumni Association, and Business Department have come since her days as a student, and the challenges ahead, given significant budget cuts to the CUNY system.

Vullnet Kollari, Esq. ‘98, Alumni Board President, brought greetings from the Alumni Association and discussed the important contributions that Business faculty members have made in the lives and career paths of alumni.

Professor Thomas Tellefsen ’77, Chairperson, Business Dept., brought alumni up to date on the Master’s in Business Management program and the proposed plan to transform the department into a School of Business.

Richard Prinzi, CPA ’93, past Alumni Board President and current Treasurer of the CSI Foundation, spoke of his strong ties to the College, borne of his positive undergraduate experience, and the value he has found through the years in recruiting more than 60 accounting students for internships and employment. He concluded by encouraging his fellow alumni to get involved with their alma mater in whatever way they can, whether it be offering a job, an internship, or being a mentor for our students. He assured them they would not be disappointed.

Throughout the evening, the attendees enjoyed each other’s company, sharing career and personal updates with friends and faculty while mingling and exchanging business cards. Faculty in attendance included: Deborah Brickman, Daniel Gagliardi ’70, Eugene Garaventa, Susan Holak, Rosane Gertner, Cynthia Scarinci, George Stern, Thomas Tellefsen ’77, and Alan Zimmerman.

College Admissions and Financial Aid Information Night

The CSI Alumni Association hosted a College Admissions and Financial Aid Information Night for alumni, their college-age children, and the local community.

According to Associate Director of Alumni Relations, Jennifer Lynch, “President Morales is supportive of new and innovative ways to provide services of value to our extensive alumni base here on Staten Island. This event was a perfect opportunity to demystify the college admissions process and provide relevant information families need.”

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. William R. Fritz opened the presentation by bringing alumni up to date on academics and facilities at CSI. Emmanuel Esperance, Director of the Office of Recruitment and Admissions, provided an overview of the steps in a solid college admission plan, and Philippe Marius, Director of Financial Aid, provided a wealth of information about how financial aid is determined and he discussed federal and private loans.

Alumni Board Member Anna Fiorentino ’03 spoke of how her undergraduate experience created many opportunities to combine her passion for biology and computer science into a viable career path.

Alumni Board Members Marietta DeLuca ’85, Robert Ferone ‘86, Michele Karpeles ’10, Lynne Libert ’06, Theresa Marro ’89, and Sumi Raj ‘90 were in attendance to meet and greet our alumni and guests.

Memorable Evening Had at Second Annual Baseball Alumni Game

It felt like a midsummer night as 20 former Dolphin Baseball players turned out for some friendly competition at the second annual Baseball Alumni game at the CSI Baseball Complex. Alumni from teams ranging from 1985 to 2006 put on their gloves and got out their bats to be Dolphins baseball players for one more night, as alumni from the odd-numbered years defeated the even-numbered-year squad 3 to 2.

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Current CSI assistant coach John Scrivani coached the winning odd-numbered team that donned black jerseys and consisted of Frank Guglielmo ’03, Kevin Biesty ’05, Ted Maceda ’04, David Granato*, Anthony Hillery ’07, Mark Gonzalez*, Steven Schnell*, Robert Marolla ’96, T.J. Greco ’01, Joe Ruiz ’06, and Victor Reich ’90. Wearing blue was the even-numbered team, coached by CSI assistant Tom Wohlfit, which included Anthony Avena’01, Bill Lonergan ’93, Anthony Calafiore ’92, Nick Secchini*, Andrew Fraschilla*, Joe Perrotta*, Matt Stefanski*, Pat Smith*, and Arne Mattsson ’79.

Mark Gonzalez was awarded MVP honors for the black team after knocking in the winning run and getting the save on the mound. Anthony Avena, who tallied three hits, an RBI, and a run scored, was named MVP for the blue team.

CSI head coach Mike Mauro ’89 and associate head coach Neil Barbella organized the Alumni matchup, and CSI’s Alumni Association provided t-shirts and raffles. All members of the 2009 CSI CUNYAC Championship team were there to help with batting practice and registration.

“It was a great night, thanks to our supportive alumni and the hard working staff at CSI,” said Barbella, “I’m happy so many people look forward to this night and the alumni and their families have an enjoyable evening. We hope it continues to grow as word spreads to all of our Dolphin Baseball alumni.”

*Denotes that a player attended CSI but did not graduate from the College.