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Old Gold & Black

OPINION: Men’s Basketball just won’t back down
Abigail Taylor, Contributing writer • February 27, 2024

Sinkhole on intramural field creates challenges

Pictured+is+the+sinkhole+on+the+college%E2%80%99s+intramural+turf+field.+The+college+was+unaware+of+the+sinkhole+until+it+caved+in+on+Nov.+13%2C+exposing+electrical+and+drainage+lines.%0APhoto+by+Anna+Lee+Hoffman
Pictured is the sinkhole on the college’s intramural turf field. The college was unaware of the sinkhole until it caved in on Nov. 13, exposing electrical and drainage lines. Photo by Anna Lee Hoffman

On Sunday Nov. 13., the Wofford News email system sent an announcement alerting all students, faculty and staff that a sinkhole had developed on the college’s intramural turf field. 

The message advised students to stay clear of the field because the sinkhole has exposed electrical and drainage lines. 

For safety reasons, only authorized personnel are allowed inside the fencing until further notice. 

Luke Nelson ‘23, the head of Wofford College Intramurals, was just as shocked as everyone else to receive this message, as he was not notified individually. 

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Nelson initially was left with no choice than to cancel all remaining intramural soccer games for the fall semester. 

However, the intramural staff and the athletic department were able to reach an agreement. 

The department is allowing intramurals to use Gibbs Stadium for all remaining soccer games. 

“Thankfully, the athletic department let us use Gibbs Stadium for the rest of the intramural season, a rare occurrence to say the least but we are very appreciative,” Nelson said. 

Wofford Director of Facilities Bill Littlefield was not aware of the sinkhole’s presence before it caved into the field. 

He reports that campus safety discovered a small hole forming on Nov. 13, which quickly developed into the sinkhole. 

Littlefield describes that the sinkhole arose due to piping problems. 

“The sinkhole was not present prior to the turf field being installed nor did installing the turf field lead to what happened,” Littlefield said. “We have a storm water pipe that crosses the field and proceeds down the bank. Some issues with this piping down the bank led to what happened.”

Nelson was informed that the sinkhole was a result of a constructional oversight from the Jerry Richardson Arena. 

“The sinkhole was from the construction of Jerry Richardson Indoor Stadium where a contractor did not pack in the dirt and room was left for rainwater and drainage to seep into,” Nelson said.

However, since the sinkhole arose, it poses a problem for intramural sports and all athletics that need the field. Littlefield says that he and his team are hard at work to fix the field, but it is proving to be more complicated than they anticipate. 

“We began repairs just a couple of days after the event. We are now in our third week of repairs, and I do anticipate several more before we are complete,” Littlefield said. 

The timeline remains unclear for when the field will be available for use. 

Nelson hopes that the Athletic Department will continue to allow intramurals to use Gibbs Stadium and other fields for intramurals until the field is once again safe.. 

In the meantime, students are advised to remain clear of the intramural field until the sinkhole has been repaired. Updates on the progress will be relayed via the Daily Announcements. 

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