Reward successful athletes with new, renovated facilities


DePauw athletic teams have done something college and professional teams struggle to do — step up consistently and perform successfully, no matter the surface they play on.

Softball has worked its way through the conference and is on its way to the postseason once again. Women's golf is the No. 1 ranked team going into the national tournament and is hopefully going to bring home another National Championship.

The school itself has dominated the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference winning six straight President's Trophies, given to the school who has the best overall athletic success of the year.

As an athlete, what amazes me most about all of this success are the conditions we play in.

This past year, there has been a lot of scrutiny about the surfaces our athletes play on. In fact, they were in such rough shape that the field hockey team got kicked off its field and was forced to share the soccer field.

Why was field hockey kicked off?

So the school could fix up the field in time for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament. The football team still isn't sure if its field was painted with a green fertilizer mix or if the dirt was really painted green to make it look good from above.

I'll never forget after the team played Sewanee: The University of the South, I was walking across the field with my dad and he said, "Wow, this field really needs some work."

We played Sewanee the third game of the season and had only played one home game before that.

Baseball was fortunate its season wasn't until the spring because their field might have been the worst of all.

These fields need to be taken care of, if not because of the success of our athletic programs, at least for the health of our athletes. There was a rule implemented on the football team this year that every player must have some sort of ankle support for any contact practice.

If our rivals down U.S. Route 231 can get new athletic facilities, why can't we? Wabash redid its football field by putting down turf and resurfacing the track. They're already planning on redoing the soccer field next year, putting in new grass and giving it a small remodel.

I understand it is going to be expensive, but I feel like it wouldn't be hard to raise the money. Allow former athletes to donate to these funds. Allow them to put their money into the university toward this cause.

Athletic renovations would affect more than just student-athletes. How about a renovation to the Lilly Center? I like that DePauw does not have separate gyms for athletes and non-athletes. Just because we play sports, doesn't mean we should receive this special treatment, but something does need to happen at Lilly.

There are lines for the treadmills, rusty weights, old bikes and some benches that aren't even screwed down. Oh yeah, don't forget about the holes on the walls from the weights resting on them. We have tried to cram too much equipment in there to make everybody happy, but it has only made it worse.

Athlete or non-athlete, it is clear that the athletic facilities should get a jump-start on the DePauw 2020 plan.


— Brown is a junior from Poway, Calif., majoring in communication.