USF Plans $40M On-Campus Football Center, But Timeline Is Contingent On Funding
USF unveiled plans Thursday for a $40M, 160,000-square-foot "football-exclusive center that will include a 100-yard indoor turf practice field," according to Joey Knight of the TAMPA BAY TIMES. USF in a release said that it will "seek private and corporate support for the complex." The school also said that "no student fees or tuition dollars will be involved in the project." Knight notes the only "apparent catch: the construction timeline is contingent on funding." The announcement is a "possible game-changer for USF, which has lagged behind" the state's other prominent D-I programs in terms of "on-campus amenities." The commitment to such an upgrade also "could entice" first-year coach Charlie Strong -- whose name already is "being tossed around for possible Power Five job openings -- to remain in Tampa." The current football space in Selmon Center (approximately 30,000 square feet) "will be used for other Bulls sports" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 11/10). Knight in a separate piece writes though the project is "contingent on private and corporate support, this will get done." Common sense says the school "already has a few financial pledges secured." This is a "far greater priority than an on-campus stadium, because it's a far more viable recruiting tool." Knight: "This type of 21st-century swag is vital. ... And even if an on-campus stadium's never built, USF still can sell kids on playing home games in an NFL facility" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 11/10). In Orlando, Matt Murschel notes USF "joins other Florida schools" like Florida, Florida State and UCF with indoor practice facilities. Miami has "plans to build an indoor practice facility which is expected to be completed" by August (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/10).