Hip Hip Hoo-meh

July 19, 2013 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

I had a dream. I dreamt that Husker athletics would add a men’s soccer program; the men and women would both leave their current field behind; both would move into a classy facility in the Haymarket even better than Creighton’s Morrison Stadium; and the stadium would be shared with a PDL, USL, or other “minor league” team. That was my dream. I dreamt it not as a Husker fan, but as somebody with a vested interest in the local soccer scene.

Reality is a big disappointment.

The Husker soccer team is going to leave its current awful field inside the track on campus. That part of the story is fantastic. Their current field is an embarrassment to Division I soccer. It’s small, it’s dangerous, and it’s about as fan-friendly as sandpaper bleachers. The rest of the story isn’t so great.

The mockup of the complex is extremely uninspiring. In fact, the field very closely resembles the Abbott Championship Field, where the Huskers used to play. That is, the team is going back in time rather than forwards. (Although in fairness, the field at Abbott was much better for teams and fans than the present field.) There is nothing particularly unique to see here. There’s still plenty of time for the mockups to evolve into something exciting, of course. But if the Athletic Department planned something excitement I’m sure they would have told us about it.

The location is a bummer, too. The Haymarket is booming. The leftover floodplain land north of Salt Creek? Yeah, not so much. Technically the location is on campus, but only just.

And so much for a men’s team. If the Huskers were going to get one, the construction of a new facility would have been the perfect time to announce it. No such luck. Without a men’s team there’s no way Lincoln will see a PDL-type team. I suppose there is still the possibility of a comparable women’s team, but I don’t see Lincoln supporting that until they’ve shown a strong interest in UNL’s team first.

Overall this announcement is a loss for the Lincoln soccer community. There was hope for some big news and this isn’t it. The new field is certainly better for the Husker women, but it falls far short of its potential.

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The Comments

Fletch July 19, 2013 at 3:52pm

I’ve been to 2-3 women’s Husker games, and you are correct that it’s a sucky venue to watch a game. From that standpoint, I like what they are doing.

From a logistics point of view, I don’t know about the location. Perhaps now with a booming Haymarket, there’s no place to put something like this. I’ve not seen the map as to the new locale in relation to Devaney, but with the improvements there, and it being the home of winning volleyball, winning track/field, and more, I don’t think it’s awful.

I would love to see UNL get a men’s team. I’d also love to see UNL add hockey and help move the Breslow center along (I call for another big red N on the building). I’d even dig them to have some kind of men’s volleyball, even if it’s just in the sand.

However, I think Title IX is partly to blame for these things not happening. The idea of Title IX maybe was once a solid idea, and perhaps it can still be, but it puts a silly crimp on college athletics by limiting many programs rather than expanding them. Part of this is the huge inequity of male vs. female athletes, simply due to the huge number of players that are needed for a football program. Other things are equal.

To add any men’s sports, you’d have to add women’s sports too. What would those be? I can think of women’s hockey, women’s lacrosse. What else? We have some stellar women’s athletics at UNL, and I would love to see that continue.

peter July 19, 2013 at 9:30pm

The Big 10, last month, announced men’s and women’s lacrosse as the 27th and 28th official conference sports.  Only a handful of universities playing though.

“Big Ten competition in both sports will feature Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers, with Johns Hopkins participating in men’s lacrosse and Northwestern competing in women’s lacrosse”

How about field hockey?  There are 7 women’s teams playing field hockey.

There are also 7 women’s rowing teams.

JT July 22, 2013 at 1:00pm

Sorry about the soccer but it’s a big win for the tennis programs. As bad as the soccer facilities are the tennis courts are probably worse. Also with an AD from Wisconsin and the Big 10 having it’s own hockey conference it’s only a matter of time before there’s Husker hockey. The big question is whether they’ll play here somewhere or if they’ll do some weird merge with UNO and play up there.

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