Turf becoming an issue

posted in: Sports, Winter | 0
Pacific University’s turf field is used by four different sports offered by Pacific, including football, men’s and women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse. It’s fair to say that with all the use the 
turf field sees throughout the year, natural wear and tear is to be expected. The field is now in its 10th year since being put in back in 2006. With a projected 8  to 12 year life expectancy for the field, the field is about due to be resurfaced before it becomes unsafe for the athletes who are using it.
This season, Pacific’s football team experienced multiple injuries in practices and games that has some players questioning whether or not the field is indeed safe enough to play on. The team saw a number of players go down with knee and leg injuries, one of these players is junior wide receiver Chad Aragon who tore ligaments in his knee during the final week of practice, for the second time in his career here at Pacific.
“I think it played a factor,” Aragon said. “When you take into account the conditions we play in and the fact that the field isn’t necessarily 
taken care of like it should be, I think it is a part of the reason why a lot of us got hurt.” Another football player, junior cornerback Max Look, battled through various injuries all season and feels that the turf played a role in a couple of his injuries. “It just doesn’t give like it should,” Look said. “It’s really run down and hard under the surface, so when you go to plant your foot in the ground it just sticks. When your momentum is going one way and your foot is planted in the ground the other way, that’s when guys get hurt.” Despite the high number of injuries, Athletic Director Ken Schumann does not feel like that is a result of the turf field.“I don’t think it’s been a factor,” Schumann said. “We do a safety analysis, which is a test 
that’s done on the field every year called the Gmax test and that’s an analysis that gives us information on the safety of the field.
Along with that, the analysis has also told us that the field is 
nearing the end of its life.” Schumann is aware that the turf will need to be replaced in the immediate future and says that there are plans in place to do so. “We don’t want anyone to question whether or not the field is unsafe,” Schumann said. “The safety of our student athletes is our top priority and we will do what we need to do to make sure it’s safe.”

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