Citadel volleyball team to play at Pentagon
Playing a volleyball tournament at the Pentagon is no routine matter.
“Lots of paperwork,” said Citadel coach Amir Khaledi, whose squad will play in the All-Academy Championships this weekend at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.. “It was a lengthy process to get everybody cleared and approved. But I think it will all be worth it.”
The Pentagon is the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Defense, a sprawling five-sided building featuring 6.5 million square feet of floor space, 17.5 miles of corridors and about 31,000 military and civilian employees.
It also has an athletic center, and in conjunction with 9/11 memorials, the Pentagon Athletic Center will host The Citadel, Army, Navy, Air Force and the University of Denver in the All-Academy Championships on Friday and Saturday.
Needless to say, security is high.
There will be no cell phones or video cameras allowed at the matches, and only two family members per player can attend. NCAA and Southern Conference rules require that all matches be filmed, but that can’t happen at the Pentagon.
“We had to call them and explain why we can’t tape these matches,” said Khaledi, whose team will face Denver and Army today and Air Force and Navy on Saturday.
The Bulldogs’ players will get a tour of the Pentagon at 11 a.m. Friday, with Citadel alumni stationed at the Pentagon and elsewhere in Washington on hand to greet them. The tour will include the memorial at the site where a hijacked plane crashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, killing 189 people.
“Our players are very excited about being able to tour the Pentagon and see what it’s all about,” Khaledi said. “It will be a great learning experience for all of us.”