After reading an article posted by Joe Christensen “Gridiron Gold” in the Minneapolis Star Tribune about Northwestern getting the go-ahead to build “the multipurpose lakefront facility” that will forever change the dynamics of that program, I felt like ranting about it a bit.
The football program at Minnesota has always had a difficult time getting recruits and a big reason for that is due to the outdated practice facilities at the U of M.
Recruits want to come to a school where they will get the best treatment, receive the best training, and use the best facilities. Ultimately winning is the goal, but good practice facilities are a great extra incentive for signing a LOI with any program.
Minnesota’s facilities are far outdated and Athletic Director Norwood Teague needs to make it a mission to get renovations for new ones. The Gophers already have some of the worst practice facilities in the Big 10 and that is not attractive to any major recruits looking for the school that feels most like home.
When every other Big 10 school has state of the art facilities except for Minnesota you know there’s a problem.
For some instate recruits, luxury is what’s driving them elsewhere. Christensen’s article noted that Big Ten Network’s Gerry DiNardo tours Big 10 school’s twice per-year. In Minnesota, DiNardo found that its athletes didn’t even have a proper dining room to eat their meals at. Instead, they ate in the hallways.
That is simply just not going to cut it. It’s absurd that student athletes who commit to the U of M need to accept those sorts of standards.
TCF Bank Stadium is nice, but the players typically only play the games there and practice is where it all begins.
Teague needs to address this problem quickly and find the funds to secure new facilities or the football program may never take off like it’s supposed to.