In My House?
Back in May, word circulated the Notre Dame Board of Trustees had finally green-lighted the long-awaited upgrades to the Joyce Center, and there was much rejoicing.
Then we sank back into information blackout. The approval depended on the athletic department obtaining financing, and depending on who you listened to, they were either on the cusp of getting all the money or were far away from the leadership gift because of on-campus political concerns. Frustrated at the direction chosen, ND fans (myself included) were left to stew in uncertainty.
But the sun has risen once again on the much-maligned South Dome. At a recent UND night on the East Coast, Kevin White told people he expected to call a press conference this week, hopefully on September 7th, to announce the receipt of the necessary funds to get started on the Joyce Center basketball upgrades. A few inquiries on campus yielded the same hopes, although no info on the donor, so it sounds like the money is on its way, if not already in hand.
This is certainly wonderful news. As I've said on this and other forums, the overdue improvements to the physical plant is the first step in revitalizing the program. It tells the college basketball world -- which includes potential players, potential coaches, media, long-suffering fans -- that Notre Dame takes basketball seriously and is committed to excellence in that endeavor. It effectively blunts the negative recruiting lots of players hear as they whittle down their preferred lists. While not a panacea to everything that ails the Irish, it's something directly under the school's control that can be done at any time, so I'm glad to see they're going to do it.
Now it depends on the plan, which few people have seen. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes, and so practice facilities (again, to beat this drum) must come first. I can handle bleacher seats and portable press tables if the Irish players have a quality area for themselves as part of these upgrades. Word on the street is a practice facility was being pitched to the heavy-duty donor types by the folks in Development, but there's no word whether that effort is part of the (hopefully pending) announcement.
So no, this doesn't necessarily mean I'm going to stop harping. We'll have to wait and see. But I feel better now than I did two weeks ago.
No matter what, this will be an interesting season.
Labels: hoops facilities