Nothing says commitment to success in basketball like expensive, super-posh dorms aimed specifically at basketball players. Kansas is building one that's set to open this fall. It includes an indoor half-court basketball court. Kentucky opened its hoops-directed mini-dorm in 2012, and it is unreal. NC State is making the move to join them, getting approval from the UNC Board of Governors to begin planning a $15 million luxury dorm specifically for the benefit of Wolfpack basketball players.
The Kansas and Kentucky dorms have occupancies for 38 and 32 students, respectively. Since NCAA rules stipulate that at least 51% of a dorm's population must be non-athletes, KU and Kentucky are limited to housing only their men's basketball teams in those buildings.
NC State is thinking bigger than those bluebloods--its hoops-centric luxury dorm will house 62 students. Which is to say that 30 student-athletes can live in that building, allowing plenty of room for both the men's and women's programs. This proposed facility, which will be called Case Commons and located on central campus near Reynolds Coliseum, will be funded entirely by the Wolfpack Club. It'll be interesting to see where they put it relative to the Case Academic Center, but no doubt some parking spaces are going bye bye.
The proximity to the academic center is an added bonus, and Billy Randy pushed the academics angle when speaking to the UNC BOG about the project:
"It will have both the men's and women's basketball program, where we know that in the early stage of their career at the university they're most vulnerable to student success issues and retention," Woodson told the board. "This is housed right next to what's called Case Athletic Support Facility, where all the student athletes receive their tutoring and academic support."
And that's all fine, but it ain't what this is really about. This is all about crootin', son. Capital-C, turn-it-up-to-11 Crootin'. This dorm ensures that NC State will continue to boast some of the finest facilities in the country, and when you don't have the #brand of certain other major programs, that's crucial. No doubt this is a potential difference-maker for Mark Gottfried, who is constantly battling programs with more recent success and more resources.
But think of the boost to Wes Moore--I mean, how many places have super-fancy dormitories for female athletes? Moore is already killing it in recruiting, probably in part because of what he can show kids about the future of Reynolds Coliseum. When this dorm is done, and he can get kids on campus to tour it? Gonna be huge.
Fifteen million for a mini-dorm made for athletes/'crootin may seem like college athletics gone mad to you, and that is an entirely fair reaction. This whole notion of luxury dorms for athletes is mildly insane, this I readily admit. But it's also simply the cost of keepin' up with the Caliparis.