Marquette Student Government discussed the availability of green space on campus with Director of Athletics Larry Williams during its meeting last Thursday.
Representatives of club sports teams asked MUSG to help them gain more access to Valley Fields. Currently, the majority of club sports activities take place at Norris Park, located on the northwest corner of 18th St. and Kilbourn Ave.
Erin Reiff, a sophomore in the College of Health Sciences, said only one of the club soccer team’s three weekly practices was held at Valley Fields, and it needed to be from 10 p.m. to midnight. The other two weekly practices were held at Norris Park, a field that Reiff described as not fit to host the team’s practices.
“The ground is very, very bumpy and holey, so trying to pass the ball, the ball will hit a bump and go in a different direction,” Reiff said. “And girls do get hurt on the field, which is a huge problem. People are twisting their ankles and stuff, and we can’t have that.”
Caroline Villa, a sophomore in the College of Engineering, said the club Quidditch team was forced to hold its three-game series against Minnesota at Schroeder Field Sunday. Norris Park was closed and Valley Fields was unavailable. Villa said the location of last weekend’s games did not allow the Quidditch team, or Marquette as a whole, to put its best foot forward when hosting other schools.
“I think club sports also get Marquette’s name out and give Marquette a great name throughout the country,” Villa said. “Last year was our first year with Quidditch, and we made it to nationals … so even though it’s a club sport, we’re still giving Marquette a good name. And currently we’re ranked No.2 in the nation for Quidditch, but we’re still showing a pick-up kind of league when we play (at Marquette’s lesser fields).”
Williams said he has not done much in terms of assigning Valley Fields time. He said he is dedicated to finding a solution that accommodates all the teams on campus, namely developing more fields, or even a field house, on campus.
“There is a lack of field space opportunities and no indoor fields,” Williams said. “We are looking at how we can create indoor play space for the entire institution, and we are acutely aware of the issue.”
Williams also fielded a few questions about the future of the Big East. He said he was confident in the outlook of the conference, despite the planned of big-name schools like Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame. With a possible TV contract on the horizon with either ESPN, NBC or Fox, Williams said the conference is doing just fine.
The athletic director also gave some insight into the financing of the varsity sports program. Williams said men’s basketball is the only sport that actually makes money, and all of the excess revenue the men’s team brings in helps pay for the rest of the sports at Marquette.