Kehoe Safety Isn't a Game
Published: Friday, September 6, 2013
Updated: Friday, September 6, 2013 01:09
The threat of injury is an accepted risk taken by athletes. What’s unacceptable, however, is when neglected upkeep of sports facilities needlessly imperils those who play on them.
The condition of Kehoe Field has been steadily deteriorating despite localized repairs each year, and it has now reached a state of neglect that must be corrected.
Beyond the more than 800 varsity athletes at Georgetown, there are 30 club sports teams, many of which have no choice but to practice on Kehoe. But conditions are now so bad that some have been forced to alter practice routines to avoid injury. The Ultimate team — one of the fastest-growing club sports at Georgetown — now prohibits diving on Kehoe Field because of the risk of landing and skidding in a damaged, turfless area. Earlier this week, club soccer had to cram its 100-person tryouts onto a restricted section of the field due to safety concerns. Who knows what measures intramural sports will have to take to avoid constant twisted ankles and gashed elbows.
Confusion about who is responsible for the field — control moved from the athletics department to a department within the Office of Student Affairs in 2007 when the field was declared unfit for varsity practice — have hindered renovation efforts. Since then, club sports membership has grown. In January, the university received a $1 million donation for repairs to Shaw (formerly North Kehoe) Field, where the varsity soccer teams compete.
While administrators now maintain that the field is safe for recreational use and will eventually be renovated entirely, no construction will be initiated until studies of the field have been completed in the spring. Meanwhile, even a cursory glance reveals its poor condition, unfit for the hundreds of club sports athletes who will spend this year playing for a school that has failed to prioritize their safety.