From the outhouse to the penthouse.
The Indiana football team needed locker rooms while the recently completed Terry Tallen Football Complex construction was underway.
The solution? The visitor’s locker room.
Let’s just say that IU, like most schools, doesn’t go out of their way to make those visiting locker rooms anything special.
“The visiting locker room. You ever been in there? Yeah good,” IU head coach Tom Allen said, with a grin. “The new one is a lot nicer, I’ll leave it to that.”
While Allen hasn’t been spending a lot of time dwelling on the amenities that welcome visiting teams, that wasn’t the case when it came to his team’s new complex under the stands on the west side of Memorial Stadium.
And the now third year head coach is pleased with the results.
“Well I was real involved from the beginning with everything. It all comes together and you see it in pieces but when I walked in there, because there were several days when they were putting the finishing touches on it,” Allen said.
“There are still a few things that they are working on, but the lighting, the brightness – it is just so sharp. And the way it is configured. The ceilings – when you walk in it is just so big (tall). It’s a ‘Wow!’, it really is. I have been in a lot of different ones over the years and the locker room part of it, it is hard to find a better one.”
“It has so much space for the guys. When you compare it to what we used to be in and then what they were in the last few months…it’s a really sharp, classy look that I know our guys are proud of and we are proud of as a staff and want to take great care of it.”
Open the doors + turn over the keys! 🔑 pic.twitter.com/C6tIIVEGV1
— Indiana Hoosiers (@IUHoosiers) August 14, 2019
While the coaches and current players are enjoying their new facilities, Allen wasted no time letting his recruiting targets see the changes as well. Allen shared the reveal to his players with the recruits in real-time.
“What I did right away, we had some recruits on FaceTime as the players were doing the reveal,” Allen said. “So we had parents on FaceTime and recruits on FaceTime and they were seeing it with us, which was kind of cool.”
Allen and his staff weren’t finished promoting the complex to recruits.
“Then the next day we got some key pictures and sent them out to them and included a long text talking about the investment. And it said that exact thing, we have recruited at the highest level we ever have the last couple years.”We are investing in football at the highest level that I have ever seen since I have been here.”
“And we said this should show you and continue to prove to you what we are building here with the commitment from our administration. And we challenged them to want to be a part of it.”
At a time when Big Ten Network revenues distributed to the schools are growing every year, there is a well documented facilities war ongoing in the league.
While Indiana may still be behind in many respects when it comes to facilities in the Big Ten, Allen and his staff are attempting to show recruits that they won’t be wanting for much.
“We are just trying to capitalize on everything we have in front of us,” Allen said. “It’s a huge a recruiting tool for sure. You still have to go out and play football, but there is no doubt that they notice the bells and whistles and things that continue to show you that football is important.”
— Indiana Football (@IndianaFootball) August 14, 2019
Now the challenge will be to keep everything nice and clean so that it can be handed down to those succeeding classes.
Allen is already stressing that point to his team.
“It’s a huge emphasis,” Allen said. “At the end of practice, that’s what we talked about. It’s a new facility and it looks awesome, but now you have to take care of it. That’s part of being a pro – taking care of what you have.”
While that sentiment is understandable, it may not be necessary.
After doing time in the visitor’s locker room, the players may already have all the incentive that they need.
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