A hot start by many of Penn’s spring sports may be tempered by news that somebody has let the air out of Penn’s bubble.
Yesterday afternoon, Penn Athletics Director of Facilities Noah Gustkey discovered that someone had deflated the seasonal air structure that covered the Dunning-Cohen Champions Field.
The 70,000-pound air structure had been erected on Nov. 1 to provide the Penn Quidditch team a chance to train indoors throughout the harsh Philadelphia winters.
Penn Police are searching for a group of four males last seen suspiciously playing soccer on neighboring Adams Field, although the turf was specifically reserved for the club lacrosse team.
Bystanders reported seeing the boys fleeing the scene shortly after a lightning storm moved into the area around 10 p.m.
The destruction of the private property has serious consequences. The structure cost approximately $1 million to erect.
“We have a few leads, but we have yet to apprehend any suspsects,” Philadelphia Police officer Christine O’Brien said.
According to sources within Penn’s Department of Risk Management, the University has hired its own private investigators. Penn has hired former Wharton management professor Dr. Anne Greenhalgh as its Chief Investigator. She believes the work to be that of former Daily Pennsylvanian Senior Sports Editor Calder Silcox.
Early last month, Silcox, a senior science, technology and society major, wrote a scathing post on The Buzz, the sports’ blog of The Daily Pennsylvanian, where he accosted Penn Athletic Director Steve Bilsky.
Silcox compared himself to a modern Ronald Reagan in freeing the world of a gaudy monstrosity. He said the structure “makes Penn Park look like a campsite for the Michelin Man.”
No arrests have been made and Silcox denies any wrongdoing, although he said a lawyer would release a statement on his behalf later in the week.
An investigation into the collapse is still ongoing.
Schools around the Ivy League were quick to condemn the attack, except Princeton.
“Penn Football does not need anymore help beating us,” said Tigers’ Director of Athletics Gary Walters in a statement.
The groups most affected by the attacks are the men’s and women’s soccer teams who will be forced to play outdoors in the sunny 60-degree weather for the next week until the air structure can be repaired.
“Our midfielders can’t find their fitness or form and I’m chockers about the slow response to repair the pitch,” women’s soccer coach Darren Ambrose said before swearing in an unintelligible English accent.
For more information, check out this related story.