Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos in October gave some insight to facilities needs like a new golf practice facility and a natatorium.
Now that Scott Frost’s first season as football coach is over, it’s natural to wonder what facilities needs exist and might be addressed for the football program in the near future.
College football programs, particularly in cash-flush conferences like the Big Ten, are always looking to upgrade. Even schools like Purdue, which doesn’t generate the kind of crowds or attention schools like Michigan or Ohio State or Nebraska do, are in on the race. The Boilermakers opened a $65 million football facility last year and now are reportedly set to make Jeff Brohm one of the highest-paid coaches in the country.
So what’s coming down the pipe for Nebraska?
Moos told the Journal Star that nothing’s imminent, but the school is always planning long-range.
“There are facilities in football that I believe need to be upgraded,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s necessary to do it immediately, but we do need to have a long-range plan to address some of those things and we’re in those conversations as we speak.”
Whether it’s a stadium renovation or facilities upgrades or a standalone center like many power conference football programs are trying to go to, how do you know when it’s the right time to go for a major project?
“I want to be aggressive, and yet, we also want to be smart and really make sure, as we develop funding models for any of our facilities, that they are solid and realistic,” Moos said. “That’s really where we are right now on a variety of three, four, five facility needs that I think are important. Certainly we can get by and I think we can be competitive without (upgrades).
"But like I’ve said before, I’ve got people that are thinking about tomorrow and (also) that are seriously working hard to make sure we get things done today, but my mind is five to 10 years down the road. That’s where I have to have my focus. In that regard, there’s a lot of things that I think ideally could improve within the next three to five years.”
Nebraska’s football roster currently stands at 136 and Frost has said that he’d like to get that number up to around 150. Moos said recently on his Sports Nightly radio program that the athletic department can get the roster to that size and stay in compliance with Title IX regulations without too much change in other sports.
“I am not going to cut programs, and we’re not in position to add,” Moos said flatly. “Our count has it tight, and it’s important that we stay in compliance. There’s areas where we have some wiggle room.”
But an expanding football roster does bring its own challenges. For example, the Huskers already had some young players and staff members in auxiliary locker rooms in the Hawks Championship Center.
“You look at our football facilities — offices, meeting rooms, locker rooms and all that — they’re more than adequate. Our weight room, indoor facility, etc. But we’re heading toward adding more players to the roster, we’re competing against the top programs in the country because that’s where we want to get back to.
“We have to really look at what our competition has to offer and be humble enough to realize that we may need to go that direction in facilities. Not necessarily today or tomorrow but most probably, in my estimation, it’s going to be a necessity down the road.”