contributed by JEFFREY MOSKOWITZ
A new basketball court was built on the campus of Manhattanville College, but some say the controversy surrounding it may outweigh its benefit.
In mid- August, 2014, the construction of a new basketball court began on the campus of Manhattanville behind the Damman and Tenney Residence Halls. It is an outdoor court that can be used by any student at the school, and it is fenced in and has lights so students can play at all times. M’ville’s indoor basketball court in the Kennedy Gymnasium had a new floor installed in the summer of 2013 after a donor made a contribution to the Athletic Department, and Benjamin Smith, the main contributor of the idea of the court and a Manhattanville alumnus, said that created a need for a second court
“I came up with the idea because with the need to preserve the new Kennedy [indoor] Court, students were going to need a new space to play on,” Smith said. “With the new sports studies major, M’ville is going to be getting more interested in athletics.”
Manhattanville Athletic Director Keith Levinthal believes that the Athletic Department has a responsibility to protect and maintain the floor. He mentioned that every time “outside shoes” are used in our gym the floor is damaged.
“Students benefit the most because they now have unlimited access to basketball courts,” Levinthal said. “Kennedy is so busy due to phys- ed, sports study classes and intercollegiate athletics. This should reduce traffic in Kennedy.”
But the court has also had its share of controversy from students that live in the Damman and Tenney buildings. Manhattanville junior Chris Lattarulo believes that the court is a great way to give students a chance to be active, but it presents a big problem with parking and the flow of traffic.
“The worst part is that if you can’t find a spot, you have to do a 15- point turn to turnaround and try and find another spot,” Lattarulo said.
“I am worried that a bunch of my teammates could get injured because their competitive nature will bring them to the court,” added Lattarulo who is a member of the baseball team at Manhattanville.
Coaches within the Athletic Department have also expressed concerns. “Our coach held a meeting after practice one day and told us that we are to stay away from playing on the new basketball court citing players being injury- prone,” Lattarulo went on to say.
Despite the controversy, the efforts to build the court have not gone to waste because students seem to be making good use of the court. Smith commends everyone’s’ effort in making this student- driven initiative come true including Athletic Director Keith Levinthal; Nikhil Kumar, VP of Enrollment; Dean Sharlise and Monica Rascoe the previous VP of student affairs, but most importantly, President Strauss. The school administration had the role of finding a location for it. The athletic department, mainly the head basketball coach, Pat Scanlon, had the role of finding high quality hoops, surfacing, and fencing. The provider of funding the court is unknown by my sources.