View Full Version : JMU moves into facilti that rivals top I-A schools

April 14th, 2005, 02:58 AM
JMU's new APC (http://www.dnronline.com/sports-story2.asp)

Out Of The Stone Age

Daily News-Record

It might not be technically accurate, but the James Madison football team can’t help but feel that to the victor go the spoils.

In this case, the spoils are a new $10 million athletic facility, a nice upgrade for the Division I-AA national champions.

"It feels like a reward," defensive tackle Frank Cobbs said. "Even though it’s been in the works for a while – they were going to build it when we were 2-9 – but coming off this good season, having a real nice place like that to move into feels good."

Major construction on the Robert and Frances Plecker Athletic Performance Center in the stadium’s east end zone has been completed. James Madison’s academic support department moved into the building the last week in March. Last week, the football coaching staff moved into its offices.

"The timing could not be any better, to come off a national-championship season and move into the building we’re moving into," JMU coach Mickey Matthews said Wednesday after his team’s practice.

Players say they can’t wait to get into their new locker room, a move that won’t come until after spring practice ends. Still, the players have been in the new facilities and they like what they see.

"You don’t want to come out of it," offensive lineman Harry Dunn said. "You could basically live in that thing."

Dunn said JMU’s new home compares with some of the bigger schools the Dukes have played at recently – including Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

"We went into Tech’s locker room when we played there two years ago and we were just amazed," Dunn said. "Now, we’re like, that’s our locker room now."

Coaches have had the same reaction to their new offices and meeting rooms.

"We’re in the same ballpark with U.Va. and Virginia Tech," Matthews said. "Our coaches’ offices and meeting rooms are on par with Virginia Tech’s. We don’t have a 60,000-seat stadium like they do, but in terms of our working areas for coaches and players, we’re on par with them."

Matthews’ new corner office is more than three times the size of his old, windowless workspace. It has a view of the playing field and even a private bathroom. G. Harvey paintings of the Civil War era, picked out by Matthews’ mother-in-law, hang on the walls.

The new locker room – about 4,000 square feet, Matthews estimated – has 127 lockers, each with a JMU football helmet etched into them.

In the center of the locker-room floor, the carpet is a Dukes Dog logo, an addition that receiver D.D. Boxley suggested will spawn a new tradition.

"We got a big old Duke Dog and nobody’s steppin’ on it," Boxley said. ...

April 14th, 2005, 05:33 AM
Nice for the Dukes. We're a couple of years behind, but things are finally moving for our new facility at W&M. Lights go in this summer and the bathrooms on the north end are currently being renovated. I think construction on the building starts this year.

April 14th, 2005, 05:38 AM
Thats great... welcome to the big time. UMass just did the same a year or two ago with our weight room and such. It is in the top 10 in the country for quality. With the new lights and field turf at umass and all the changes other A10 schools are making... the A10/CAA will be one hell of a conference for years to come.

April 14th, 2005, 10:16 AM
Great to hear all these I-AA programs investing in their sports. It only gets better from here!

April 14th, 2005, 10:20 AM
Love to see this from anyone in I-AA, but it's especially nice to see it from a conference mate. Maine upgraded a couple years ago, Towson recently, now JMU and W&M, UNH is talking about it, UR talking about an on campus stadium... only URI left as the one big question mark. They are the only one to actually make their facilities (stadium at least) worse.

April 14th, 2005, 10:31 AM
Sounds like the ultimate for I-AA and certainly something to be proud of, but the writer of that realease must not have visited ANY of the TOP I-A digs.