Ubben Expansion and Renovation

#27      
His support is enhancing the opportunity for future generations of Fighting Illini and ensuring the future of Illinois Basketball as one of the elite programs in the country."

Think Whitman has been spending a lot of time around BU?
 
#28      
Forgottonia
Serious question: Does NIL negate much of the facilities arms race? I mean Ubben and the Smith center can be world class, but if we aren’t getting players the top deals do they really care?
 
#29      
Serious question: Does NIL negate much of the facilities arms race? I mean Ubben and the Smith center can be world class, but if we aren’t getting players the top deals do they really care?
Players always care about facilities. There may be other things involved in the final decision but poor facilities are very difficult to overcome.
 
#30      
Washington, DC
Players always care about facilities. There may be other things involved in the final decision but poor facilities are very difficult to overcome.
Certainly, facilities won't become dilapidated, but there's way less reason to invest in facilities now than there was a little over a week ago. Previously, it was really the only above-board way to differentiate yourself from other schools. Now, if you tell someone like Kofi you can either practice in the best training facility money can buy or get a chunk of change for yourself, I'm willing to bet the athlete will take the money over the facility every time.

While inarguably a nice gesture, the timing of this is also us drastically misunderstanding the current landscape.
 
#31      
Gurnee
Players always care about facilities. There may be other things involved in the final decision but poor facilities are very difficult to overcome.
Poor- yes. But over the top may not matter for the top guys that much. It probably will for the core player though, especially in football where roster sizes are 7x basketball's
 
#32      
I'd like to see a policy where 30%(?) of all new project specific contributions go toward the general athletics fund debt. This way the donor can see something concrete for their money, and help with the bigger problem.

Background: The Illinois Athletic's Department is ~$325 million in debt. They borrowed heavily from U of I, and have annual debt payments of ~$20M. That is a significant portion of their budget.

This debt makes it much harder to get donations. Pretty much any donation is a drop in the bucket with no return. Why contribute hard earned money to pay off someone else's debt? All of the projections about future contribution used to justify the past expenditures failed to account for human psychology. This debt is going to be a significant issue for 15+ years.

Donations are much easier to get when the donor gets to see the actual results. Witness the donations for the Ubben upgrade. The solution -- proposed at the top -- may be a way out of this mess. The donor gets to see something new, and the debt gets paid down.
 
#33      
Certainly, facilities won't become dilapidated, but there's way less reason to invest in facilities now than there was a little over a week ago. Previously, it was really the only above-board way to differentiate yourself from other schools. Now, if you tell someone like Kofi you can either practice in the best training facility money can buy or get a chunk of change for yourself, I'm willing to bet the athlete will take the money over the facility every time.

While inarguably a nice gesture, the timing of this is also us drastically misunderstanding the current landscape.
Why does it have to be an either/or proposition? Why can't it be both?
 
#34      
Forgottonia
Why does it have to be an either/or proposition? Why can't it be both?
Well that would be ideal, but it seems like raising funds has not been that easy for the expansion. The $ available are large, but finite.
 
#35      
Well that would be ideal, but it seems like raising funds has not been that easy for the expansion. The $ available are large, but finite.
I'm not sure what they've brought in during Covid, but the Ath Dept. was setting funding/private donation records prior to Covid.