Virginia AD Shares Plan For Facility Upgrades, Increasing Fundraising
Virginia AD Carla Williams "outlined a 'master plan' for infrastructure upgrades" that includes "construction of the football structure and demolition/replacement of University Hall, the crumbling former basketball arena that houses offices and locker rooms for 10 sports," according to David Teel of the Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS. However, the University Hall project "must wait 9-12 months for workers to remove quarantined asbestos in the facility, meaning about 60 staffers will be moved to portable offices in an adjacent parking lot." Williams "did not share an estimated cost or completion date for the master plan." Rather, she is "focused on ticket revenue and fundraising." Both are "challenging given football’s struggles," as UVA "averaged 39,398 spectators last season for seven games at 61,500-seat Scott Stadium." To "recruit better requires better facilities." Williams spoke of the "efficiencies that added space and technology would provide the football staff" (Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS, 5/12).
POSITIVE START: Williams said there is "probably more to come at some point" from the Commission on College Basketball's recommendation for reform, but she added it is a "good step in the right direction." Williams: "I believe in the collegiate model. I love education. At the same time, I want student-athletes to benefit. I want student-athletes to get as much as they can as long as it doesn't take away from the educational experience." Williams: "I'm willing to talk about all of that, if there's a way to do that where it doesn't crush the educational opportunities for so many" (Hampton Roads DAILY PRESS, 5/13).
WAHOOS ON THE GRIDIRON: In DC, Gene Wang noted Williams spoke "almost exclusively about her efforts to return football to prominence via several avenues, most notably fundraising, facilities and ticket sales." Williams said, “It didn’t take me very long to start to realize that we’ve got a structural problem in football. We’re understaffed in some areas. Obviously we’ve got some facilities issues in some areas. Our budget isn’t where it needs to be, so all of those things need to change to have a consistently competitive football program” (WASHINGTON POST, 5/12).