Whenever a new athletic director comes to town, this happens. Santa Barbara City College needs to be reminded they do not own the ground on which the track sits. It is owned by the City of Santa Barbara and, as such, comes under a 40-year-old agreement that gives the public access to the track. SBCC owns the stadium and surrounding areas.
It is legally wrong for them to close the field and require that members of the public (who pay taxes) obtain permits to use the facility. They are no doubt aware of this agreement but have chosen to ignore it, thinking there is no one around who knows about it. In other words, until they are challenged on it, they think they’ll get away with it.
Beverly Lewis is Club West Track president, and USA Track and Field commissioner for Santa Barbara area colleges.