By Michael Harrell: PNT Staff Writer
One vehicle’s off-roading venture at 10:30 p.m. Tuesday has cost an Eastern New Mexico University women’s soccer field considerable damage, as well as serious safety concerns for the players. Deep tire tracks were found meandering throughout the grass by the team’s head coach Travis McCorkle.
“It’s the second time this has happened on a campus field,” McCorkle said. The men’s soccer practice field was vandalized about a month ago.
According to an intelligence report by campus police there are no definite suspects.
“We are trying to keep a close patrol of it now,” said ENMU Police Chief Ray Chambers. McCorkle also said he would take random nights to keep a lookout for perpetrators.
Ruts gouged into the playing field by vehicles cause the most harm for athletics, according to Chambers. Both the college and city use the area for sports, including youth football and soccer.
The imperfections in the grass could easily injure a player, said McCorkle. He said it hurts the athlete, the integrity of the team and affects recruiting.
Besides a loss to the team, it could cost ENMU up to a $7,500 deduction in compensation per injury, according to McCorkle.
Close to 100 hours are spent planting seeds and filling in holes to make the field safe for the players prior to use. Now the field is unsafe, he said.
“We can hopefully try and stop this,” McCorkle said.
Chambers advises people who know anything about the vandalism or see anyone driving on the field to call the campus police department at 562-2392.