Field hockey opinions to be aired today

By Todd McMahon

Opinions will be heard today concerning the possible end of NIU’s field hockey program.

From 1-3 p.m., there will be an open-forum meeting in Room 505 of the Holmes Student Center concerning Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell’s recommendation to drop field hockey as an intercollegiate sport and replace it with women’s soccer.

Each person will be allowed five minutes to address members of NIU’s Athletic Board.

O’Dell presented his recommendation April 15 at the monthly meeting of the Athletic Board.

At that time, only members of the Board, including student representative Pam Snavely from the field hockey team, were allowed to express comments and concerns over the recommendation.

The next Board meeting is scheduled for May 6. The members are scheduled to take a vote on the recommendation then.

The Athletic Board is an advisory group to NIU President John La Tourette, who will make the final decision concerning O’Dell’s recommendation.

“I don’t want this to appear to be a one-sided debate,” O’Dell said during the April 15 meeting as to why today’s forum is being held.

“The open hearing on April 29 is ample opportunity for all to vent concerns,” said Gip Seaver, who acted as Board chairman April 15.

“It’s (the decision) basically final,” field hockey player Kristina Hahn said. Hahn, who will not speak today, said, “It’s to the point right now that I have put things behind me and forget about it.

“But the Board members should be aware of what O’Dell has done. It’s a burden on the school, money-wise, because maybe only one player is going to transfer. So now the school will be spending money (honoring scholarships) because most of us are staying.”

Hahn said just two field hockey players out of the nine that would have been coming back from last year will be addressing the Board today—redshirt Alice Wassmann and Danielle Derr.