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Colorado Daily – January

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    Jul 8, 2005
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    By Stuart

    Colorado Daily – January
    January 2nd
    Ringo on facility upgrades
    There has been much hand-wringing in the Buff Nation about the announcements -*by seemingly every other team in the Pac-12 – of facility upgrades. There is also the not-so-pleasant reality that the University of Colorado employs the only six figure football head coach.
    Kyle Ringo, of the Daily Camera and BuffaloSportsNews.net, has given out a few details concerning what he has heard about facility upgrades. Those comments are worthy of reproduction here:
    From the Daily Camera -
    “First let me say that CU is scheduled to receive a little more than $21 million in conference distributions in just the first year. It should increase each year after that, especially a few years down the line when the Pac-12 networks are humming along and gaining more audience.
    “CU has some big dreams and some smaller ones in terms of facilities upgrades. The priority is a permanent indoor practice facility for football that would be located next to Folsom Field and likely attached to the Dal Ward Center in the northeast corner of the stadium. It would be built on the site where there is currently a small parking lot for student athletes and staffers and where the grounds and recycling center currently resides. It would feature an underground parking lot that could be used on game days by some fans, probably those season-ticket holders with the highest priority numbers, and it could be used by students the rest of the time, including as a parking place for students who want to visit the campus recreation center. It also would include other amenities for student-athletes in all sports, a new football locker room, an expanded weight room and more space for academic needs.
    “This idea also would lead to enclosing the northeast corner of the stadium and likely adding more seats, maybe a few thousand at most.
    “CU officials also would like to tear down and replace Balch Fieldhouse and Carlson Gymnasium and add suites and a new pressbox to the west side of Folsom Field and new office space for other sports. If the program could justify it with increased demand for tickets, the school might embrace the idea of adding a small second deck of seats on the west side as well when these improvements are eventually made.
    “Beyond that, the school always has been interested in improving facilities on south campus for tennis and possibly other sports, but the city has not allowed water out there because some believe it will lead to sprawl. Smaller scale improvements for soccer, cross country/track and field and skiing eventually will happen as well. All of this will take time and is still a few years away at the very earliest. And it won’t be accomplished simply by relying on the new money from the Pac-12. Donors are going to have step up a contribute millions.”
    Ringo’s comments from BuffaloSportsNews.net, which has a few variations -
    “I was asked last week for the Friday Buffzone.com mailbag about what CU plans to do in terms of facilities upgrades with the new Pac-12 money. I guess the way I worded my answer left some people thinking that I was saying CU is just dreaming about doing what I outlined in my answer.
    “Let me clear up that confusion for those of you here. There is a plan in place that will be announced in the near future that calls for CU to build a permanent indoor facility in the area just outside the northeast side of Folsom Field. It will have a parking garage and will be attached to the Dal Ward, thereby expanding that building. It will expand the weightroom, athletic trainer facilities, academic support facilities, etc. and provide other perks for the student-athletes in all sports and maybe even a space for media to work. It would lead to enclosing that corner of the stadium and adding a couple thousand seats at most, maybe not even that many. There are some pretty cool ideas being kicked around for other enhancements tied to this.
    “This is the top priority for the athletic department as far as facilities improvements go, but there are many other smaller scale projects the department would also like to do. So, I just want to be clear, since a couple people have emailed me about this, that this is the plan you can expect to be hearing more about from CU in the near future.
    “Some people might say it sounds just like the facility originally conceived by Dick Tharp in the Athletics 2010 plan. It is very much modeled after that and keeps a lot of that design, but it is also being updated in many ways.
    “Why isn’t CU announcing this yet? It’s just a big idea at this point and Bohn and his staff and the fundraisers at the CU Foundation need to get regents, president, chancellor, faculty on board. PLUS, and this is very important, this project will not get done without major contributions from the few big donors CU has. So they are working that end of it, too. At least trying to get a gift or two lined up to show there is donor backing and it won’t all have to be paid for by borrowing against future Pac-12 revenue.”
    While many can understand that the CU administration will require more than Pac-12 revenue to fund capital improvements, there also seems to be a lack of understanding in the athletic department that,*just like in recruiting, winning breeds winning, and losing breeds losing. As this off-season has demonstrated, it’s tough for Jon Embree and Co. to sell some of the nation’s elite prospects that they can turn around a program with just three wins in 2011, and bearing* the yoke of six straight losing seasons.
    It’s also tough for CU fans to invest in a vision for the future, when no vision for the future has been laid out.
    Schools like Utah, Washington State, and Colorado State, schools which many Buff fans would not see as the equal of the University of Colorado, are talking big. Will the new facilities and grandiose plans for the future bear fruit, and propel these programs into the national spotlight? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
    But many Buff fans would like to see CU at least get into that same conversation …*
    December 29th
    Embree talks recruiting
    B.G. Brooks of cubuffs.com did an interview with Colorado head coach Jon Embree, which is important enough to reproduce in its entirety here …
    1.*** CUBuffs.com: The current dead period ends Jan. 4, and I’m assuming you’ll hit the road immediately. What direction will you head?
    Jon Embree: “That’s right . . . and I’m heading West, to Hawaii and California. It’ll be my first trip to Hawaii and second to California.”
    •2.*** CUBuffs.com: What’s the biggest difference in this recruiting season and last – taking into account the full season you’ve had as opposed to last year?
    JE: “The biggest difference is that a year ago, we really didn’t get started (recruiting) until this coming week . . . talk about a short window. This year, we’ve had a better evaluation of players. We’ve gotten to see how they really feel about football and where it is on their list of things that are important to them, where it fits into their lives. And we’ve been able to establish relationships. We’re almost where we need to be . . . I’d like to be doing a lot of junior recruiting, but we’re not at that point yet. Next year I think we can be comfortably looking a year ahead.”
    •3.*** CUBuffs.com: How would you rate things to this point?
    JE: “I think it’s gone very well. We’ve missed on a couple of elite players, but only won three games. Say what want, but at end, it (winning) has to help. At the same time, we’ve gotten commitments from some very good players. We’ve been able to balance the roster at some positions. And there are still some guys we can finish on and have a very good class.”
    •4.*** CUBuffs.com: Have there been any major surprises out there for you?
    JE: “The response has been really good . . . I don’t feel like it’s ever been, ‘Wow, we don’t have a chance on that kid,’ but at the same time just getting in on a kid is not what you’re looking for. Are you in their top two? Did you have a legitimate chance? If you’re just one of five, you’re not really in it. You have to be in their top two.”
    •5.*** CUBuffs.com: You’ve said before your visits began that prospects’ reception has been good . . . has that held up?
    JE: “Yeah, it’s gone very well. Kids have been real receptive. They see the direction of program and want to be involved in helping us continue that process . . . and do some exciting things.”
    •6.*** CUBuffs.com: Along those lines, is there one common question recruits are asking you?
    JE: “Not really, there’s not one general question, but kids see what’s going on. It’s not like they haven’t been paying attention. They see opportunity . . . they can come in and have an impact early. Those kinds of things. Most kids want that opportunity. I’m asking them, ‘Do you want to play or stand on the sidelines and wait your turn?’ These kids want to be a part of something that’s growing. We won two of our last three, and we’ve talked to them about that every time we’ve called them. But you can’t sit there and pretend like you don’t have scars. We do, and I’m going to be honest. I’ll tell where we are, what the deal is. At the end of the day, they’ll know what our goals are – changing the culture, changing the environment, and giving them the opportunity for success in college. They’ve paid attention. It’s been really good.”
    •7.*** CUBuffs.com: Do you have any “silent” commits?
    JE: “Yeah, we’ve got a couple of guys – if they stay true to what they say. But I’ve told them that they need go public. They can help with some of the other players we’re after. If they’re going to truly be in, they need to be in. Taking trips is great, but if you’re going to be a Buff, now’s the time to do it. I can understand that some kids are involved in things they have to do, in recruiting and out. But we’ll see over the next two weeks or so.”
    •8.*** CUBuffs.com: CU “turned” a handful of recruits last year . . . do you feel you have to take that approach this year?
    JE:* “There are a couple of guys we’re actively recruiting who are committed to other schools. A year ago, we went out and got eight players from someone else. This year, we feel like we have to be good with the guys we’ve got (committed). The next two weeks are really important. Some schools during this time frame don’t go out at all. Some go to (high school) all-star games and see guys. We’d rather see the guys we have (committed).”
    •9.*** CUBuffs.com: Coaching changes have been prevalent . . . has there been an effect on your approach to things?
    JE: “It really hasn’t affected us. It may here or there help on a guy, but for the most part it hasn’t done anything. Some name schools – for example, UCLA – didn’t have a coach and still had three kids commit. Now, whether those kids wanted to get in before a coach was named and fill a scholarship, I don’t know. But the overall situation (of schools changing coaches) hasn’t really affected us.”
    10.CUBuffs.com: How would you respond to those recruiting analysts who say you’re dangerously short on four- and five-star prospects?
    JE: “That’s all right, it doesn’t bother me. To get elite playmakers we have to continue to improve ourselves. You can go around all day about stars. Greg Henderson (freshman corner) did pretty well for us and he wasn’t a five-star guy. I just want football players. That (star rating) stuff is for barrooms and the Internet. You can point to five stars that bust and one stars that become stars. I’m just trying to get the best players. But again, we won three games . . . I don’t think people realize how hard it was for us (CU) in the mid-90s. We’d won a lot of games, we had guys who had won the Heisman, the Thorpe Award and the Butkus. People have to realize we’re not a logo school . . . Ohio State and USC have great classes every year. They’ve got 50 or 60 years of tradition, huge national fan bases. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do it here. That’s what we’re shooting for.”
    •11.CUBuffs.com: So, from that answer on the star system, I’m guessing your opinion of those ratings hasn’t changed?
    JE: “How many of these people really see kids play? A kid commits to Texas and goes from no stars to three, or from three to five. Explain that to me. I’m not down on these (recruiting) sites; they give fans good reason to go them, but it’s like being in a sports bar. I’m not down on Rivals.com and Scout.com . . . I know they’ve helped kids get noticed. But their rating systems are different from coaches. Look at Michigan State, what was their senior class rated? You get a transfer in, you get some guys who pan out that weren’t five-star guys . . . We – and I’m talking about coaches – have to be able to develop guys to give yourself a chance. That’s just my take on it.”
    •12.CUBuffs.com: What would be a best-case finish for the Buffs in the final month leading to signing day?
    JE: “First, I’m very happy with the guys we have; we want to hold onto them. But if we could get a couple of more corners, the right tight end, maybe a playmaker or two, the right defensive lineman . . . our situation on that side of the ball is not good. We need to get as many as we can (on defense). Some will play, some will redshirt. We need to build there and have legit depth. This class, with last year’s class, gives us a good base from a program standpoint. We just have to go out and finish strong – and hopefully get a head start on some seniors for next year.”

    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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