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Athletics could lose facilities with new campus construction

Elsie Ramos
Sports Editor

With the addition of a new parking lot and new state of the dormitories come consequences for some of the athletes and the athletic fields at the University of La Verne.

The new dorms will be built where the former tennis courts, now parking lot F, are located at the corner of Second and D streets and a new parking structure will take the place of what is now Ben Hines Field, leaving the baseball team and the men’s and women’s soccer teams with nowhere to play or practice.

Construction is set to begin at the end of the 2011 baseball season.

“I’m basically getting screwed out of my senior season,” Zack Canfield, junior infielder for La Verne’s baseball team, said. “They keep talking about ‘the future students.’ Well I’m a current student and my feelings aren’t being taken into consideration. We don’t get a say in any of it and it sucks.”

The fields are going to be replaced with brand new athletic facilities at some point in the future, but as of right now there is no set time table for the construction of that project.

For the 2011 season the baseball team has no home field and will more than likely have to travel outside of La Verne for practices and home games.

“Every time we take a step forward, we take a step back in terms of facilities and it’s because of a lack of planning,” Paul Alvarez, chairman of the movement and sports science department, said. “They’re tearing up a field with no backup plan, and that’s no plan at all.”

The men’s and women’s soccer teams will play at Ortmayer Stadium during the 2011 season, which could result in some conflict because there will be three different teamsplaying on the field during the season, including football.

Scheduling for men’s soccer, women’s soccer and football games will be changed so as not to conflict with each other. This season, on two occasions, the football team and the men’s soccer team played home games that started at the exact same time.

“I understand that the University needs to make room for new students,” Jared Taylor, freshman defender for the men’s soccer team, said. “But I think it’s going to hurt our chances of being successful if we all have to share the field.”

Practices will also have to be scheduled around each other and must be divided equally among the teams.

“Everyone’s just going to have to be more diligent when it comes to getting ready for the season,” Jason Munoz, senior third baseman, said.

Although La Verne is a Division III school, baseball and soccer are still very popular among the student body and both usually have attendances in the triple digits, but when the fields are relocated it is hard to say if the student body will be willing to travel with them.

Alvarez and President Stephen Morgan have conflicting opinions on whether the relocation of the athletic fields will hurt La Verne’s already diminished school spirit.

“I think it could be a detriment to the undergraduate experience,” Alvarez said. “Unless you’re close to the players, chances are you won’t travel a half hour to see them play.”

“Softball has been successful and popular and they play off campus,” Morgan said. “I sure we’ll be able to maintain that school spirit and athletic tradition while it’s relocated.”

With inconsistent enrollment over the last several years Alvarez believes it is hard to determine whether these dorms will have been built in vain.

“We may tear a field just to have a bunch of empty dorm rooms,” Alvarez said.

“I think they should have done it a long time ago,” Munoz said. “They shouldn’t have waited until enrollment went up.”

For now the athletes will have to deal with sharing fields and traveling outside the city to an unknown location to play their games.

“It’s a hardship and it will be difficult,” Morgan said. “But it has to be done.”

Elsie Ramos can be reached at elsie.ramos@laverne.edu.

Related posts:

  1. Sports complex faces rough road: Timing of construction projects puts the squeeze on athletes, MSS program
  2. Campus West site to open in April
  3. La Verne premieres Campus West
  4. Squads find homes, await new fields
  5. Field of broken dreams

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