The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

Club sports frustrated over fields: Members lament lack of resources, places to practice

The Upper Intramural fields were closed following the Notre Dame game on Oct. 3.
Allen Randall, Staff

The Upper Intramural fields were closed following the Notre Dame game on Oct. 3.

“They are turning our club sports field into a practice soccer field, to no longer be used by any type of campus recreation.”

For women’s rugby club president Brianna McEwen this was the culmination of a problem which started during Clemson’s most recent football season.  

On Oct. 3, 2015 the Clemson Tigers played against Notre Dame during a torrential downpour, a product of Hurricane Joaquin. A combination of the weather, tailgating and heavy foot traffic left several of the fields destroyed.

Many of these fields were used by club and intramural sports to practice and play on, but after that weekend they were no longer safe to use. 

“Many of the fields had huge tire divots which made them unsafe for us to use,” said Mcewen. 

That meant these teams were displaced and forced to either miss practice time or work in less than favorable, and potentially dangerous, conditions. The teams understood that this wasn’t something that could be helped, plus it was football season so they were more than happy to take a back seat at that time. However, McEwen noted that, “[The University] expressed concern for the use of fields in relation to tailgating, their concern for club sports was minimal.” 

Now, club sports are reaching the time of year when they begin their competitive play. But, the field situation hasn’t improved. 

Certain fields that had normally been used by club sports, such as Jervey Meadows, has been reassigned to Athletics in order to build two practice soccer fields and are no longer available for use. Due to the loss of fields, what time and space is available has had to be split between club and

intramural sports. 

McEwen expressed frustration with Athletics, and argued that club sports should be given priority for practices on LoConte Field, which, as McEwen put it, “was donated by the LoConte family specifically for club sports.” 

However, the club sports are now practicing on an old baseball field located at Old Stone Church in Clemson. This area also does not have portable lights, meaning the teams must practice at earlier hours, which excludes some of their players from participating due to class conflicts. 

The teams have also been forced to practice on fields that are not designed for their sports. McEwen also pointed out that one of the pieces of equipment they need to practice on is still located on a field now closed to use. The piece is too large to move and without adequate time to practice on it, “we will be playing unsafely.”

In regards to the use of LoConte field for club sports, Executive Director of Campus Recreation Dave Frock disputed the claim, saying that the LoConte field was always intended to be shared between club and intramural sports. 

“The LoConte Family Field was never designated to be a club sport field. We do not have enough inventory to ever consider allocating a space to one program area,” Frock said.

The Tiger reached out to the Athletic Department regarding the issues club sports have been facing, but received no comment. 

The club teams have suffered negative consequences as a result of lost field space. Many of the teams have not had adequate time to prepare for matches and some teams have even lost players because of the situation. 

“The lacrosse team have lost eight players specifically to not being able to practice. They have personally donated from their parents about $20,000 to the LoCote Field … and they don’t even get to use it.”

Ultimately, McEwen felt apathy from campus recreation regarding club sports.

“I think [Campus Rec.] don’t know [that] we care … [Campus Rec.] will make a huge ruckus if intramurals is cancelled … we pay a lot of money to be on these clubs and we give a lot of time and a lot of effort and it’s very insulting to be treated this way.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *