Keene State’s athletes are no strangers to living together in houses dedicated to their sport. Keene State offers many houses for their sports, allowing athletes to live with teammates in an area dedicated just for them.
Sidi Diallo is a member of the Keene State men’s basketball team who is experiencing his first year living with teammates. While the program is not mandatory, it is something that a lot of players have been doing by choice. “We see each other every day. To me it’s a different type of bond, and it extends to the court,” Diallo said. The prospect of building chemistry on and off the court is something that entices many of the players that tend to choose the housing option.
Junior Joseph Fletcher, a member of the men’s rugby team, also elected to live with teammates for the first time. “When I was a freshman here, the first meetings and the first memories that I have of being on the team were going to meetings at these houses where all these rugby kids lived at,” Fletcher said. “I always thought that when I’m ready to live off campus, I want to be able to have a house and live with the rugby team. It’s very cool, it’s a great experience; I’m loving it.”
Athletic Director Philip Racicot, who is in his first year of directing the program, shares the belief that there are a lot of positives to come out of the athletic housing situation. “They share the same schedule. Often times if you’re on a team that maybe practices early in the morning, or maybe sometimes can’t practice till nine or 10 at night, it allows them to be on the same schedule with the roommate situation. No one has to worry about having different schedules, so it creates a little harmony,” Racicot said. “It is good and bad. Being on a team is like anything else, any other kind of relationship. Sometimes you don’t always get along, but you have to learn how to work together. Living together helps you to sometimes solve the problems that you may have on the court because you have to work together off the court.”
Racicot also shared some concerns about the idea of athletes living together, discussing concerns that it doesn’t allow for a lot of the experiences that may have been gained living with other people. “It’s a little bit more about trying to diversify your background and your experiences. A lot of times there is the effort that if you’re a student in a certain program or a certain major that you can live together with them. You are closing yourself off to newer and other learning experiences you might have,” Racicot said. “Also, if the housing situations aren’t working out great, it may have a negative impact on the team as well.” While it isn’t a requirement for teams, a lot of students who chose to live among the houses chose to do so because they enjoy the company of their teammates. By doing so however they play into Racicot’s concern, in that they may not be getting the full college experience.
Alan Fortin can be contacted