Tennis courts closure addressed

Though once open to Samford and the surrounding community, the tennis courts have recently been closed and locked up until further notice. Photo by Natalie Wilkinson

Abby ColellaNews Writer |

If you’ve been wondering why the tennis courts have been locked and closed, wonder no longer.

The Athletic Department closed the courts mid-semester because of overuse and damage. Athletic Director Martin Newton noticed the damage being caused to the courts and decided to shut them down.

“The lights were left on overnight and the nets and courts were being destroyed by people not wearing the proper shoes or using the proper equipment,” Newton said. “We had to do something from Athletics to protect the integrity of the courts with the wear and tear, but this is not an Athletic Department problem, it is Campus Rec’s.”

Newton said it is up to Campus Rec to monitor the courts so people will use them correctly and to ensure “they are protected and ready for Division 1 competition.”

“Being open to the general public—non SU students and faculty—and not being monitored to ensure proper equipment and respect for the facility is in place makes that very difficult,” Martin said.

Martin met with Campus Recreation and discussed the need to put up a gate. They also agreed to monitor the courts to protect them and not incur the additional cost for repairs and electric bills by the lights being left on at all hours of the day and night.

The courts will be reopened at the beginning of the spring semester and will be monitored by Campus Rec employees as they finalize the staffing that will be used to allow the public to assess the courts again.

Renie Moss, the assistant dean for Campus Life, said that Campus Recreation will communicate the usage hours and policies to the campus community once they are complete.

“In order to put an effective plan in place for the safety and convenience of our students, Samford Athletics and Campus Recreation collectively decided the facility needed to be closed temporarily,” Ross said. “The overall goal is to create a better environment in this area for the Samford community.”

The Athletic Department as well as Campus Recreation supports Samford students using the facility. In order to do that, however, the courts must be taken care of.

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