Going back and forth: PNW sports teams to travel for practices and games

Due to the Hammond and Westville campuses unifying and becoming one team per sport, the campuses will divide PNW athletic’s practices and games.

Rick Costello, PNW athletics director, said the men’s and women’s basketball teams and volleyball team will share equal practice and game time on the Calumet and North Central campuses, respectively at the Fitness and Recreation Center and the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex.

Costello also said the men’s and women’s cross-country teams will share practice time on both campuses and that the baseball, softball, soccer and tennis teams will practice and compete at Dowling Park in Hammond.

On account of the campuses being approximately 35 miles apart, concerns over traveling has surfaced. Costello said student athletes will be bussed between campuses.

“While transportation of student athletes between campuses will be new, we recognize this will be a period of adjustment,” Costello said.

Costello said that the Ad Hoc Committee on Intercollegiate Athletics, comprised of faculty and students from both campuses, endorsed the plan to utilize facilities on both campuses.

Costello also pointed out the cooperation between the athletic department, student athletes and coaches in agreeing with the plan.
“Jen Madgiak, associate athletic director; Tom Albano, associate athletic director and former director of athletics for Purdue North Central and I met with the student athletes and coaches on several occasions to share the plan for utilization of facilities on both campuses and to receive feedback from student athletes and coaches,” Costello said.

“The plan was met with understanding, while at the same time student athletes and coaches realize that there will be a period of transition and continued evaluation of the impact on students,” Costello said. “The Student Athlete Advisory Committee, comprised of two representatives from each team, is provided the opportunity to recommend, review and provide input on PNW athletic policies and procedures.”

Ellie Michalski, junior forward for the women’s basketball team, said the amount of time traveling between the two campuses could become an issue.

“Initially, we were all pretty annoyed about having to travel 45 minutes to another campus when we signed on for Calumet campus. A difficulty we foresee is the large chunk of time we will have to spend traveling, then traveling back,” Michalski said.

Costello said practices will not clash with the athletes’ class schedules and that classes take priority.

“PNW student athletes are students first and athletes second. The PNW coaches and students are aware that students must attend class and are not allowed to miss class for practice,” Costello said. “To avoid conflicts, student athletes will try to schedule classes around practices. However, when conflicts do occur, student athletes will attend class and be excused from practices.”

Michalski said she and her teammates are overlooking the issue of time. Instead, they are looking forward to practicing and playing on the North Central facilities.

“After seeing the amazing gym on the North Central campus, we were all pretty impressed. A huge thing we are excited for is the amazing facilities North Central has to offer. The gym is amazing and we are all excited to play on that court,” Michalski said.