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Cal football could be getting practice field at Maxwell at expense of field hockey, who could file Title IX suit

Just the news you want to wake up to!

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

I have stated for a long time that the Bears have needed a practice football field in order to get things kicking into high gear. It's just a necessity in the modern age of college football to have a dedicated place where your football players can practice with unlimited space.

Good news! It seems like it could be on its way!

Bad news! It seems to be costing Cal field hockey a new home.

Maxwell Family Field has been the home to Cal field hockey for many years, but it's been demolished this year as part of the still-ongoing athletic renovations surrounding Memorial Stadium and the new SAHPC. When it's rebuilt, apparently instead of continuing on as the home to field hockey, it will be Cal football's new practice field, leaving the field hockey team nowhere to play when they return in 2015.

The result could be a Title IX lawsuit that just sounds ugggggglly. More from Jeff Faraudo.

Instead, just weeks before the start of classes in late August, they said they were told there was no adequate place on campus for a practice field. They also found out the Maxwell site was being turned into a practice field for the football team beginning in 2015, leaving field hockey with no home field for next season, either.

"It shouldn't even come to that," Monica Marrazzo, a sophomore from Gilroy, said of a potential lawsuit, "but if it needs to, I'm all in for it."

Marrazzo and two of her teammates, Courtney Hendrickson and Kristen Lee, hired Equal Rights Advocates, a San Francisco firm that specializes in fighting for women's rights.

If the university can't deliver an adequate solution in a timely manner, attorney Kiki Williams said a Title IX lawsuit is possible.

"We do think it's a strong case, and now that we're involved, we hope they'll actually take this seriously," Williams said.

Cal interim athletic director Michael Williams said Tuesday that his staff is "working on something" to resolve the issue and hoped to have an announcement no later than Wednesday.

Yikes. Apparently, there was a huge breakdown in communication here, and the result will be another PR nightmare for Cal Athletics at a time where they were just starting to get positive momentum on this front. I hope the athletic department fixes this situation and soon.

The problem is I have no idea where to put Cal field hockey. Underhill definitely doesn't work--that ball will not bounce on that turf. The answer would be a new structure, but where and how and when? Cal field hockey isn't exactly donor-rich. My guess is that some sort of compromise is reached to share Maxwell, but I have no idea what it would be.

Ugh. This is a story that should have been avoided. Total mess here.