The great and wise Keith Sargeant has uncovered the plan for the location of the Rutgers basketball practice facility. At the next Board of Governors meeting in June, Rutgers is expected to present the plan for athletic facilities and the basketball practice gym won't be part of an Athlete's Village.
Instead, it'll be next to the RAC on top of a parking deck. The parking deck, which will be open year round, is expected to generate revenue to pay off the facility.
This is all great, wonderful, and optimistic things. That means, while donating will be extremely important, paying the place off shouldn't cut into the subsidy all that much (if I'm reading right). When asked, super Rutgers champion and state senator Ray Lesniak said:
"My only advice is whatever they present, don't do it on the cheap. It's about the entire image of Rutgers athletics, making all of their teams ready to compete in the Big Ten, and what that can do not only for revenue into Rutgers itself, but to the entire state of New Jersey.''
And this is key. Rutgers can't put up a gym and be done with it. While finding a location and revenue stream is great, the next question is, what should be inside this practice facility? Clearly, there needs to be basketball courts (yes, courts), one for the men and one for the women, so each team has access to it 24/7. One of the problems with the RAC is multiple teams needed to access the court, and there was no freedom for the hoops teams to practice. So, there needs to be at least two courts.
I'm assuming the offices for both basketball teams will be located there as well.
So, let's look at two other facilities and get an idea what amenities each has.
VCU (moment of silence for Shaka Smart moving on to Texas) is opening a new facility this fall. It will include a trophy room, weight rooms, a game room and lounge, and fantastic locker rooms.
Duke also has a facility, the Schwartz-Butters Athletic Facility. This home of Duke basketball (and I'm highlighting Duke, not only because they're Duke, but because their arena is kinda decrepit too--though legendary). It features the same things... locker rooms, weight rooms, offices, trophy rooms, and a lounge.
This is what Rutgers basketball needs. It doesn't have to have all the bells and whistles of an SEC school. But it needs to be a place where more can go on than just practice. The weight rooms need to be state of the art, as do the locker rooms. The lounge should be there for fun--these are still kids, after all. Remember going to college? Click through the pictures at both those sites and get an idea.
Things are moving, now they need to move correctly.
Eddie Jordan doesn't only need a place he can practice whenever he wants (within NCAA rules), he needs a place he can sell to recruits. It has to be up-to-date and state of the art. It needs to be a place where kids go inside and say "Wow." Rutgers football has been able to do it with constant upgrades to the Hale Center.
Now it's basketball's turn.
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