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Syracuse Announces New Football Facilities Plan, But Plenty of Work Still Left

Syracuse has announced plans to finalize designs and begin construction on a brand-new, state-of-the-art indoor football practice center. But there’s one catch. It’s not all funded yet.

Here’s Darryl Gross:

“We’re looking for people to get involved.”

Should Orange Nation avoid counting its indoor chickens before they hatch?

“We will be seeking generous support of the Orange Nation to help us move this project and others to completion in record time as we gear up for our move to the ACC this fall. Several naming opportunities have been identified to recognize contributors at all gift levels for this important project.”

It’s highly doubtful SU will ever have the football equivalent of one of those unfinished South Florida condos with the crane laying motionless. But it’s interesting (and slightly risky) the university will attempt to put the ball in motion of such a huge undertaking without having all the financials squared away.

It also makes sense though, as a self-fulfilling prophecy to announce the construction of a project, and then look for the funding after. The announcement (and sketches) help build excitement, and motivate people to donate to make it happen. Without acting as though it’s a done deal, who knows if it ever would be.

The reasoning behind it is unquestioned. Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting. You are now playing with the big dogs, time to look the part. And Gross’ words held a sense of urgency.

“We wanna start off winning championships. We’ve gotta get these resources for these guys.”

It’s important to note that the quickest time frame for Jim Boeheim to nab another 100 wins has been since the inception of the Melo Center. The arms race pays dividends.

Gross stepped slightly into lunacy when he called Manley Fieldhouse a “pantheon,” which is defined as a temple of the gods. But I guess the enthusiasm had him a tad giddy.

Scott Shafer might also want to polish up the talking points. In trying to reflect his optimism surrounding financial support from donors, here said he was fired up for “the commitment from the outsiders that are throwing money at us.” Hint: Don’t call the money makers “outsiders” and avoid characterizing their contributions as “throwing money.”

Shafer also defined why these facilities are the modern rage.

“Kids these days want to look good, feel good and then they’ll play good. Everything around them is state-of-the-art. You want a little bit of a ‘wow’ factor.”

It’s still going to take some major fundraising. And there’s always the possibility some of the bells and whistles will have to be shaved off because the funding doesn’t come around. But Syracuse must feel like it has enough of a baseline to start, and it needs the ‘wow’ factor. Let’s hope SU can make it happen.

Posted: D.A.

The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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