Students score bill for goalposts

By Chris Nelson

Following NIU’s victory over Pacific this past weekend, rambunctious students tore down the north end goalposts and threw them into the lagoon.

Those who missed the celebration shouldn’t worry about not having a part in the festivities, because all NIU students are footing the bill.

Huskie Stadium is a bond revenue facility, meaning essentially that it is funded by student fees so when damage occurs to any part of the structure, NIU students pay.

According to Ed O’Donnell, superintendent of Building Maintenance, a set of two complete goalposts has a going rate of about $3,500. When left alone, O’Donnell said, the aluminum posts can last “a long, long time.”

The goalposts were last replaced after last year’s Homecoming celebration, when both sets were sacrificed.

“Last year’s Homecoming was the first time I can remember both sets of goalposts being torn down,” O’Donnell said. “Usually just the north end set is taken.”

The crowd that took the posts down Saturday did so by putting weight on the crossbar, and in the process snapping the goalpost “gooseneck.”

According to O’Donnell, the gooseneck is the piece that originates in the posts’ base, curving forward near its top.

O’Donnell said work to replace the posts began Monday morning, as physical plant workers bolted the base of the posts to the ground.

NIU has one reserve set of posts it will use to replace the pair thrown in the lagoon. All that is needed is the gooseneck part, which has been ordered from a manufacturer in Florida.

O’Donnell said if the supplier has the part in stock, it should arrive by Thursday or Friday. If the piece is not available, O’Donnell said he and his crew will have to be creative in order to have the posts ready for Saturday’s game.

“The physical plant will do its best to have the field ready by Saturday,” O’Donnell said.

“Hopefully, students won’t tear the posts down again,” O’Donnell added. “It’s a shame because it (the repair) costs students. There are no freebies these days.”