Today was Pro Day at Clemson, many seniors and former Clemson players like Cullen Harper and Nick Watkins were there to showcase their talents for NFL Scouts...until early this afternoon when they wanted to do some shuttle runs and some route running and decided the astro turf in our "indoor practice facility", as the AD would tell you our Indoor Track building is if you asked them why CU doesnt have an indoor practice facility, was too bad in some places to make proper cuts and make proper evaluation of our players.
They said they preferred to go outside in the rain over the turf inside the building. Embarassing. You'll recall Bobby Robinson sold us on the Indoor track building as a dual-role facility back in the '90s, but it really isnt. Its also obviously in poor shape when we've shown that IPTAY at least has the cash reserve to build one.
Now I have come out against the necessity of an Indoor Practice building before, because for the most part they do go unused. Some years are wetter and theyre needed, but for the most part I don't think they are used enough to justify the cost....that is unless you have the money available. Not even the entire SEC had one, as of 2 years ago, though UGA is building one, and Florida could have one tomorrow if they wanted it.
Phase III of the WEZ was given the go ahead about a week ago, and according to Greg Wallace's twitter feed, the cost is expected at $4.9 million. An indoor practice facility itself would cost in the ballpark of $5-7 million for a basic structure, but closer to $12-15 million for one on par (though this is an all-inclusive complex) with some of our wealthier competition. All of the expense could be done in two years with just the AD budget if Barker and Sikes Hall would not take $2.8 million away as a tax/surcharge on departmental budgets. If Barker was truly committed to the 10 year goals he laid out when he was named the Boss, then he'd not push the AD into the red with taxes every year.
Dabo commented on it this afternoon
"Maybe that will help us (raise momentum) a little bit today, when you've got head coaches standing out there. It's something that we've talked about, but we'll have to fund-raise for. There's a priority list on things that have to be done, but it's definitely something I would love to have here. I'm very thankful for what we do have. At least we can go inside and get something done. But it's a need.
"Couple of things: One is, we had a lot of rain this year. And that's not the norm, but we went inside a lot. You just can't go full speed in there. It's too dangerous as far as the surface is concerned, number one. But we can get something done, and I'm thankful for that.
"The other thing that you don't think about is, a lot of time in the summer we have skills-and-drills going on for these guys. And a lot of times it'll rain. When I was at Alabama, that was the thing I always loved. We never missed a day throwing and catching. Ever. You get your day in, you have your school and you get your workout. It's time to do skills-and-drills, and here comes the rain and you can't do it. Whereas when you have an indoor (facility), you never miss a moment.
"And also days like today. There's a lot of benefits to it. It can benefit other sports. It would be a very useful thing to have.
"And a lot of schools are doing it. I know Florida State is building one now. Georgia has theirs in the works. Duke's building one. Tennessee is expanding theirs. So at some point...
"Rome wasn't built in a day. But we're trying to build Rome. We're working on it. It's just not quite there yet."
Now someone go wake TDP up and tell him.