Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
During practice times, varsity runners and other sports teams are allowed to use the track and field, while non-athlete students are banned, leading some students to wonder why teams are granted this privilege.
Director of Sports Information Kyle Leach says, “The Athletics Department considers its facilities (fields, tracks, pool, tennis centers, etc.) as our classroom and feel others on the track could be a distraction and possibly change the way a coach may conduct practice. The policy, as with all other athletic facilities, is the specific areas (in this case the track) will be closed during varsity practices.”
Additionally, there are safety concerns about those who are not directly involved in sports. Says Dean Kelly Wilcox, also the field hockey coach, “It is very much a safety issue, particularly with sports with airborne balls: lacrosse, softball, baseball,” and the like.