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SDSU intramurals should not use the softball field

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by Brendan Price, Contributor

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Spring semester is over two weeks old, which means intramural spring sports are about to get started.

Basketball, indoor soccer and volleyball are hosted at the Aztec Recreation Center. Bowling is hosted at Aztec Lanes in the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union. Outdoor soccer is hosted on football practice fields and the field by the Exercise and Nutritional Science building.

Softball, however, is hosted at the San Diego State University Softball Stadium, home of the SDSU softball team.

Practically, the use of the field isn’t a major issue.

The objection to it is more symbolic than practical.

Playing intramural sports at the softball stadium is something that, however clearly unintentional, disrespects the hard work put in by head coach Kathy Van Wyk, her staff and her players.

The softball program has made eight straight NCAA tournament appearances, and having an autonomous playing surface is key to continuing that success.

“I want to be as cooperative as anyone, but I believe that for us to be a highly-competitive program, this field should not be shared by an outside entity,” Van Wyk said.

Moving the games from the softball stadium over to the fields buttressing Peterson Gym, which are more than adequate enough for softball, could be a reasonable solution for all.

Logistically, it would not require much.

A three-to-four hour block once or twice a week for a month to six weeks at most during the fall semester seems doable.

Student-athletes put forth an effort and a sacrifice that can’t be understood by a regular student because they have demands and require efforts that are different than the general student population.

The softball stadium is a tangible reminder for the players, the coaching staff and the grounds crew of their sacrifice. 

After countless workouts, injuries, practices, road trips and struggles, the team gets to play at their home in front of their fans. The grounds crew works to put the field in pristine shape, both as part of their jobs and as a sign of respect.

“There are guys that work grounds around here that work really hard and take pride in that and the students won’t,” Van Wyk said.

“It’s a different level of understanding and they won’t understand that.”

Other sports venues around campus are treated with nothing short of reverence, because of the success of both the teams and players that have passed through.

It’s a reverence that stems for our respect and awe of their achievements.

The softball program is meritorious of the same reverence, and the fact that they don’t get it is incomprehensible and unjust.

However, Van Wyk points out the arrangement is, for now, just the way the ball bounces.

“It’s a philosophical problem … I have almost come to the conclusion that I would be better off to not waste the energy and put my energy towards other things and then just keep an eye on things,” Van Wyk said. “I don’t think it’s fair, I don’t think it’s right, but it’s something we have to live with.”

If this situation involved basketball, football or any men’s sport, I find it hard to believe that an arrangement like this would exist.

Sharing Qualcomm Stadium for intramural football or Tony Gwynn Stadium for intramural baseball seems ludicrous, so why doesn’t this? 

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4 Responses to “SDSU intramurals should not use the softball field”

  1. Carla Meshack on February 3rd, 2016 10:34 am

    I agree wholeheartedly with the coach!

    Womens sports deserve the same respect as men’s sport.

  2. Emiliano Booke on February 3rd, 2016 11:14 am

    Those fields get torn up, especially with the spring rain. The administration should be doing all they can to ensure the field is in good shape as possible. It is not an aesthetic issue but a health issue for the SDSU softball players.

    A compromise may be the students who compete in the games should devote some time during the season in helping the crews keep the field at top shape.

    SDSU softball is a top 25 team and should be treated as such.
    Mic Drop

  3. Lynne zwickl on February 3rd, 2016 11:41 am

    If all varsity fields are being used for intramurals than I could see using the softball field. However, it states that the men’s sports use practice fields, isn’t this a clear violation of Title IV created when there is inequity between men’s and women’s sports? The fields require a lot of prep and cleanup as well as the use of the dugouts and other equipment that is needed to run a successful program. The netting takes additional stress from additional reps, the basepaths wear down, etc. no varsity sport should be required to share facilities with intramurals. The fields should be preserved and maintained to give the student/athletes the safest and best maintained field for competition. Not to mention the cost and loss of field use that could arise from damage that is inevitable from this multi-use platform.

  4. Butch Wahahee on February 4th, 2016 7:38 am

    I agree that intramuruals should not be using a well made NCAA facility. However, the article fails to give another side to the argument. Associated Students raised portions of the proceeds to build this facility and sharing was the agreement from the start. The softball coach agreed to share when someone else was raising the funds but now cries foul? The article also should have investigated the immature way the softball program has acted in sharing this facility. (Stories are rapent on campus of the softball program trashing the field on purpose to blame associated students and locking the field when they knew intramurual games were about to be played.) The AD should also be ashamed of the quotes by the softball coach in the article. Show class and respect will be given.

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