Baseball/softball complex up for discussion at trustees meeting Thursday

Indiana could take a significant step this week in its goal of building a new baseball/softball complex in time for the 2013 season, athletic director Fred Glass said Monday at IU’s Tailgate Tour event in Bloomington.

At the IU Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday in Indianapolis, the IU athletic department will deliver a presentation to the facilities committee and the audit finance committee on the board.

The baseball/softball complex was originally approved in 2006 as part of a $55 million athletic facilities project that also included the North End Zone expansion in Memorial Stadium, the basketball practice facility that became Cook Hall and the academic center built underneath the east grandstands at Memorial Stadium. The football and basketball projects took up all of the funding, however, forcing IU to scramble for funds to finish the other two projects.
The academic center was finished earlier this year and now, Glass said the athletic department has the funding to build the baseball/softball complex without assistance from the university.

“We’ll be presenting a site that’s fully funded,” Glass said. “I’m optimistic that there will be approval given that they approved that project before and the funding ended up not being in place. We’re excited to bring to them a project that’s viable and fully funded.”

Glass said that he wouldn’t reveal the total cost of the project before presenting it to the board of trustees. He said this spring, however, that he expected the project to cost between $10 to $13 million. When it was first approved in 2006, it was expected to be built on a new site near the bypass. Glass said earlier, however, that it will most likely be built over the current baseball/softball complex at Sembower Field.

Glass said he will also be presenting the IU athletics budget for next year at the board of trustees meeting. He said the budget keeps the athletic department in the black even though it is investing more money in the football program. New coach Kevin Wilson’s $1.2 million per year contract is just less than double former coach Bill Lynch’s yearly salary. The team’s assistant coaches are also being paid from a $2 million pool while last year’s assistants were paid just over $1.1 million combined.

“We’ll continue to be in balance even though we’ve taken on some substantial obligations like the football program and like baseball/softball,” Glass said. “… We continue to have improvements, continue to move forward, but continue to do it in a responsible way that’s fully paid for.”

Glass also announced at the Tailgate Tour that he has agreed to a contract extension for women’s volleyball coach Sherry Dunbar, who led the Hoosiers to the program’s first ever Sweet 16 appearance last season. She had two years remaining on her deal already, so she’s now under contract for the next seven.

UPDATE: The above is my story for tomorrow’s paper. Some additional info that Glass discussed that couldn’t fit in the paper.

Glass was asked about the potential game day traffic disruption by the continued construction near the 45/46 bypass. He said he expects it to be a problem for most if not all of the season.

“We’re addressing it as well as it could possibly be addressed,” Glass said. “Then our plan is going to be communicate, communicate, communicate. Let people know that, ‘No kidding now, this year, you really do need to come early.’ … Traffic was a challenge on its best day and we’re going to have fewer arteries coming in. It’s just going to be more challenging. A lot of smart people put their thinking caps on. I think we’ll have some creative alternatives, but the bottom line is people are going to have to come early, come early, come early.”

Glass was also asked about the recent proposals for NCAA reform. He said he generally supports all of them, particularly academic reform proposals that would raise the bench mark for the Academic Progress Rate (APR) from 925 to 930 and would penalize schools for failing to meet those standards.

However, he did say the “devil is in the details,” especially when it comes to deregulation and removing certain rules from the NCAA manual that seem irrelevant and in increasing the value of the scholarship so it includes the full cost of attendance. He was asked about what he thought about the idea of better funded schools, mostly those in the BCS conferences, breaking off from the NCAA and forming their own conference. He said that it was his impression that bigger schools were still dedicated to keeping together a system in which big and small schools could flourish, but he said that reform might actually make it harder.

“Some of the things that are talked about are gonna create pressure between the have and have-nots,” Glass said. “Like deregulation for example. It sounds good. I like that idea, especially when I’m chasing my tail sometimes running things to the ground that don’t seem like you’re really advancing the ball that much. But in a deregulated environment, who does that favor? It favors the got-bucks people that have money to spend on stuff that was previously verboten and now suddenly you can do it. The question is, do you do it or do you not do it? Cost of attendance, the same thing. If that’s a permissive thing and a kid sees that he can get $3,000 from a high-resource university and zero for a less-resourced university, and you’re competing for the same kid sometimes, especially in basketball, that’s going to have a competitive impact.”

 

2 comments

  1. Good things happening at IU. I wasnt sure about Glass, but so far, hes doing a great job. Keep it up. Keep IU grads proud.

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