New athletic complex leaves clubs in limbo

Paige Godden

A new athletic complex will take over the intramural field east of Wallace and Wilson halls, leaving the clubs that use the field wondering where they will practice this spring.

When asked what he thought would happen after the new sports complex is built in the field they play on now, Colin Wilcox, sophomore in pre-business and a member of ISU Men’s Rugby for three semesters, said, “Your guess is as good as mine.”

He said he doesn’t know if the club will move to the Southwest Athletic Complex or the old soccer field.

“As far as I know, we’re just displaced,” Wilcox said.

The team practices every Tuesday and Thursday during warmer months and once a week at Lied Recreation Athletic Center during the winter, Wilcox said.

The club plays several teams including the University of Iowa, Northern Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

The team also hosts a Veishea tournament that invites alumni of the rugby club to play.

They have 40 members who regularly attend practices and pay $100 dues to be registered with USA Rugby.

Last spring the team participated in a tournament at Wayne State, which hosted 70 teams from the United States and Canada.

Wilcox said he doesn’t think the Southwest Athletic Complex would work very well; the soccer field would probably be a better solution.

Michael Giles, director of Recreation Services, said he doesn’t think the rugby team has anything to worry about.

“I’m kind of surprised the rugby club is concerned,” Giles said.

Giles said the club attended a meeting with himself and athletic director Jamie Pollard to discuss what is going to happen.

“Details aren’t available yet … We have an opportunity for what I truly believe could be an improvement for everyone,” Giles said.

“It is our intention to disrupt the programs as minimally as possible.”

The sports complex has raised concerns amongst community members as well.

“This university has not been transparent with this neighborhood,” said Al Jergens at a community meeting in the Knapp-Storms Dining Complex in November. “As an ISU alumnus, I expect more than that from a world-class, land grant facility.”

Some concerns raised included a fence that will be built around the property and the light and noise pollution that the facility might cause.

“I will be immediately across from this proposed complex, and I do feel this is an unnecessary and redundant site proposal,” Jergens said. “It’s going to devalue my property.”