Club soccer team strikes removed

After an athletics supervisor filed a report against them, the team received its probationary second strike, which has since been withdrawn.

March 31 was a rough day for the men’s club soccer team.

Around 4:45 p.m., the club’s leaders exited a meeting where they had formally received “strike one.” Club sports teams are disciplined for various infractions through a three-strike system. The team formally received its first strike for, among various things, using Campus Recreation facilities without permits, holding team activities prior to having players properly rostered, and collection of the players’ fees by the team president when those duties are supposed to be handled by a team treasurer or Campus Recreation officials.

“I was actually so angry with what had happened with that meeting, I was writing my letter of resignation to hand in [the next week],” Marlon Johnson, senior vice president of the team, said.

While strike one is simply a warning, Sports Club Coordinator Sarah Newton warned the club that further offenses would lead to strike two, which carries the penalty of being prohibited from practicing or playing games as a team. Newton declined to be interviewed, and elected to have questions answered through Steve Young, director of Campus Recreation. One of the potential offenses discussed was staying off Geasey Field while Temple Athletics’ teams were either practicing or playing games.

“They were warned that it was imperative on their part to stay off the turf until the varsity lacrosse team was done practicing, or their game was over,” Young said. “There have been a few times where an intramurals or club teams come on the field when athletics isn’t done yet, and coaches get ballistic about this. They’ve talked to us about this, and we’ve talked to our folks about this and our supervisors for club intramurals.

“Soccer’s been warned about this a few times,” he added.

Athletics have an arrangement with Campus Recreation for sharing Geasey Field. Athletics gets the field from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and after that, the field belongs to Campus Recreation for use by either club sports or intramurals.

About an hour after the meeting, three players from the club team arrived at the field as the lacrosse team was wrapping up a 14-12 victory over Princeton. At the same time, around five to eight individuals were kicking a soccer ball on the field before the three had players had arrived at the field. According to Young, an athletics administrator at the game approached the players and asked them to exit the field. The players complied with the request but made a point to tell the supervisor that those other individuals were not affiliated with the team.

Athletics spokesman Larry Dougherty said the supervisor who approached the players was a representative from Campus Recreation and not from athletics. Johnson said that although the woman who approached the players did not identify herself, he was sure she was from athletics.

The next day, Campus Recreation received a report from the supervisor and decided to give the team its second strike, putting it on probation.

“We got the report from the athletic administration that the club members were pretty disrespectful and belligerent,” Young said.

The last time a team received probation was the now-defunct cricket club team last year. Cricket went all the way to strike three, which is termination of the club after the team had repeated issues regarding the use of non-rostered players. For a player to be properly rostered, he or she has to sign all necessary waivers, disclose medical information to Campus Recreation and must have paid the associated fees. Campus Recreation will also not entertain the idea of bringing the team back or adding any new teams, Young said.

“We’re capped. We’re not going to entertain applications for new clubs,” Young said.

Limited staff and funding have been the primary reasons for the cap on club teams.

“We’ve got 1.25 staff taking care of 28 sport clubs,” Young said. “We would probably be in better shape with more staff to keep more fingers and eyes on teams, but resources are what they are. If anything, we’ve been involved in a budget constraint for the past two years.”

Brian Dzenis can be reached at brian.dzenis@temple.edu.

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