I-A College Football
       === Notre Dame Stadium to have synthetic turf for 2014 season ===
 South  Bend,  IN (SportsNetwork.com) -  The University of Notre Dame announced
 Saturday  that artificial turf will be installed at Notre Dame Stadium in time
 for the 2014 football season.
 The  installation is set to begin during the University's commencement weekend
 from May 16-18, with an anticipated completion date set for Aug. 15.
 "We  had  a strong  predisposition to  stay with a  natural grass field," said
 Notre  Dame vice president and director of athletics Jack Swarbrick. "However,
 the  reality  is  that in  two  of  the  last  three seasons  since  we  moved
 commencement  to the  Stadium we  have been  unable to  produce an  acceptable
 playing surface. That, combined with the likely impacts of future construction
 at  the  Stadium, led  me to  conclude that  we would  continue to struggle to
 maintain a grass field that meets the expectations of our student-athletes and
 fans as it relates to appearance, performance and safety."
 The  FieldTurf  surface, which  is  currently  being  installed at  Frank  Eck
 Stadium, Notre Dame's home baseball facility, provides greater consistency for
 the  Irish  squad, as they  already practice both  outdoors and indoors on the
 artificial turf.
 "Synthetic turf will assist our game preparation because our team will be able
 to  play and practice  on the same surface," Swarbrick added. "We will also be
 able  to  utilize the Notre Dame  Stadium field for practices on home football
 Fridays   and   other  occasions,   whereas  that  is  currently  unrealistic.
 Additionally,  this change allows us to eliminate the risk to players posed by
 the asphalt perimeter that has to be maintained around our current field."
 Ten  of  the 14 Big Ten  Conference fields, including Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio
 State and Wisconsin, feature some form of artificial turf.
 04/12 17:09:09 ET

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