CU men’s basketball finished at the bottom of the Big 12 last season. That is where the quality of the university’s basketball facilities sits as well.
When new head coach Jeff Bzdelik began talking with Colorado, he knew that needed to change. Bzdelik immediately pointed out the insufficiency when he met with Chancellor Bud Peterson, athletic director Mike Bohn and associate athletic director Tom McGrath.
“It was the first thing I addressed with them. They are well aware of how far we are behind in terms of facilities,” he said.
Bzdelik recognizes them as the worst facilities in the Big 12 when it comes to basketball.
He feels so strongly about the issue that it even holds a special spot in his contract with Colorado.
Bzdelik’s five-year, $750,000 a year contract includes a $750,000 buyout the coach would have to pay if he left CU in 2008 or 2009. However, that buyout clause becomes void after three years if the school has not gathered the funding and started construction on a new practice facility-meaning Bzdelik can walk free of charge. The facility will be built adjacent to the Events Center.
The arrangement ensures that every one is on the same page, Bzdelik said.
“What impressed me was their commitment to the situation,” he said. “An agreement like that really means something when it’s in writing.”
The ball is already rolling on other critical projects.
The program awaits the completion of the basketball operations center inside the Coors Events Center, set for October.
The team will also meet with a lockeroom renovation company on Wednesday to address CU’s lockerooms that are “well behind when compared to newly renovated lockerrooms that other schools have,” Bzdelik said.
The company has renovated lockerrooms for other NCAA programs throughout the country, including Kentucky and Texas A&M. The coach said CU is looking to raise the money to complete the project by the fall.
While trying to salvage a recruiting class, Colorado is involved with a player who has narrowed his choices down to four schools: Kentucky, Arkansas, Wake Forest and Colorado, Bzdelik said.
“Our facilities are so far behind, you can only imagine how difficult it is to beat other schools that have up to date facilities in recruiting,” he said. “If you can get a player that places like Kentucky, Arkansas and Wake Forest want, then you have a pretty good chance of competing on the court with those teams. You are not going to beat those teams if they constantly get those types of players.”
Although these improvements will have a great impact on the future of the program, the team is not forgetting about its current roster for next fall.
The players will have charter flights next season enabling them to travel faster and miss less class, Bzdelik said.
“Those types of tangible improvements will continue to create a greater sense of enthusiasm and energy toward our program,” he said.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Corey Jones at email@example.com.