Club sports practices to relocate from Lusher to Yulman Stadium

Adrienne Underwood, Staff Reporter

Club sports athletes will enjoy a shorter, safer walk to practice as Yulman Stadium becomes available to club sports team practices this fall.

Tulane administration will begin offering practice space at Yulman for club sports teams this fall. Since the construction of Yulman Stadium, club sports teams have been practicing at the fields at Lusher Charter School. Students voiced worries this past semester about the safety and convenience of this arrangement and that it negatively impacted students’ club sports experiences.

“I think [practicing at Yulman] really alleviates some of those concerns students had,” said Brian Johnson, assistant vice president of Housing and Residence Life and Campus Recreation.

Tulane’s administration plans on working out the accompanying scheduling and logistical adjustments to the club sports program over the summer. So far, club sports athletes have said they are pleased with the prospect of a new practice location.

“I think it’s very useful to freshmen and sophomores,” senior and president of club soccer Andrew Aitken said. “Some of these students don’t know where Lusher is, don’t have a safe way to get to Lusher and don’t want to go to Lusher.”

Johnson hoped gaining access to a new on-campus practice location for club sports will ease scheduling difficulties and safety issues. Both Johnson and club teams feel the transition will strengthen and open up opportunities for exploration within campus recreation.

“Being in a stadium would definitely make it feel more like an actual team, plus allow for a broader range of activities we can do during practice,” freshman club soccer player Andrew Lacovara said. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Club sports athletes said the combination of Lusher’s location at Freret Street and Nashville Avenue, late practice times and a lack of transportation created a safety concern for athletes practicing at Lusher — specifically, the walk to and from Lusher.

There have been ten crimes along the walk from Tulane to Lusher along Freret Street and 56 crimes within a half-mile radius of Lusher since the beginning of the semester. These crimes include theft, burglary, drug violations, DUIs and assault.

“I don’t think I even feel comfortable walking with a group of girls,” freshman club lacrosse player Lindsay Koolik said. “Because that’s pretty scary. My mom always told me be very careful around New Orleans, but I never thought that within so close [a range] that there could be such a large amount [of crime].”

The location is close to campus, but students said a 20-minute walk to and from practice is a significant amount of time taken from their busy lives that already include academics and potentially other extracurricular activities. Several students expressed concern for how the practice times and location inconvenience their overall daily life, leading some to skip practice altogether.

“You have to be more time-conscious,” freshman club lacrosse player Mary Wilkinson said. “If you’re cramming for a test or something, you have to leave 20 minutes earlier, so that’s like 40 minutes out of your day that you can’t do something [else].”

Johnson has faith that repurposing Yulman for club sports use will foster further advancement for the program and further strengthen its relationship with athletics.

“This helps us grow and develop our program in new ways,” Johnson said. “I’m excited about what the future holds.”