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North Campus basketball courts closed to public

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At the new North Recreation Center in Columbus, Ohio, students can practice their basketball skills on the new basketball court which features four full-sized courts. Credit: Nick Roll | Campus Editor

At the new North Recreation Center students can practice their basketball skills on the new court, which features four full-sized courts. Credit: Nick Roll | Campus Editor

The newly completed construction of the North Residential District has left large amounts of North Campus changed, including the basketball courts.

The old basketball courts were open to the public and did not require a BuckID to swipe in for access. Now, four new, fenced-in basketball courts are available for use, but only after entering through the North Recreation Center — which requires a BuckID or a paid membership.

“We feel that it’s important for Recreational Sports members to have complete access (to the courts),” said Ohio State Office of Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs.

Isaacs said the BuckID-only court design came from the bottom up.

Isaacs said OSU got feedback from Recreational Sports members that they weren’t always able to use the courts because large amounts of players not affiliated with the university could make the courts crowded at times.

Members, Isaacs said, included students, faculty and staff.

Kelly Shorter, facility manager for the North Recreation Center, said the open courts also presented logistical problems.

“There were no accountability factors, there was no swipe data,” Shorter said. “Our courts aren’t for the community, they’re for students.”

Isaacs said there’s a balance that has to be struck between OSU and Columbus.

“Ohio State is still part of the Columbus community, but since members are paying for the facilities, we thought this was more fair,” Isaacs said.

The Recreational Fee assessed in tuition for this school year was $123.

Isaacs said there were no immediate plans or designs to implement similar changes to the South Campus basketball courts on East 11th Avenue.

Kody Barth and Taylor Broderick, who were playing basketball on the South Campus courts Sunday afternoon, said they were not too concerned about the changes.

“I’m a student, so I don’t mind,” said Broderick, a third-year in finance. “It sucks though.”

Barth, 20, who does not attend OSU, was not too concerned that space would become a problem at the South Campus courts.

“I’ll play anywhere (in Columbus),” he said.

Broderick added that there could be a silver lining for the South Campus courts now that the North Campus courts are BuckID-only.

“I prefer more people playing (on South Campus),” Broderick said, “It could bring more competition.”

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