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$5 million donation to help fund athletics complex

BY SUSAN MILLER DEGNAN

sdegnan@MiamiHerald.com

Thanks to the largest individual donation to University of Miami athletics in the program's history, the Hurricanes will build a two-story complex that will include a student-athlete academic center, sigificantly enlarged sports medicine facility, new football locker room and football lounge and a "gallery of champions'' at the entrance.

The $5 million gift was made by UM boosters Theodore Schwartz and his son Todd Schwartz, through the Ted & Todd Schwartz Family Foundation. The new complex, which will encompass 30,000 square feet of new space, plus a renovation of the current Hecht Athletic Center, will be named the Theodore G. Schwartz and Todd G. Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence.

Until now, New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez's $3.9-million to help fund Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field had been the biggest financial gift to UM athletics.

"It's going to take this program to the next level," UM athletic director Kirby Hocutt said by phone Thursday of the $5 million donation. "This isn't the end. It's the start of further enhancements to our athletic facility. Once we get this project finalized there are other needs that we have that we'll turn our focus to.

"We're so excited and appreciative of the Schwartz family stepping forward..."

Ted Schwartz, 57, a longtime Hurricanes fan, lives in Chicago and has a residence in Aventura. He's founder and chairman of the board of directors of APAC Customer Services, Inc., based in Bannockburn, Ill. His son Tod, 29, graduated from Tulane and is president of TCS Realty in Chicago.

Hocutt said the project has raised $10.5 million of its $13.68-million goal. He said construction should begin 12 to 15 months from now, and is expected to be completed in another 18 months from then.

The academic area on the second floor will include classrooms, tutor rooms, a computer lab, a math-and-science technology lab, academic advisor offices, a 120-seat auditorium, a learning resource room and study space to accommodate more than 400 student-athletes.

The first floor will have the new football team locker room, with a lounge for players to "congregate after and before practices, watch SportsCenter, play video games or just relax," Hocutt said.

When the football team moves into its new space, the area in which it now has its locker room, plus the 3,300 square feet used now for athletic training /sports medicine, will become a 10,000-square-foot sports medicine facility on the ground floor. The sports medicine complex will feature in-ground hydrotherapy pools, examination rooms, digital imaging and extensive rehabiliation space for all athletes.

Hocutt said the "gallery of champions'' will be a place to exhibit national championship trophies and other awards from the past. It will not take the place of the UM Sports Hall of Fame.

Besides Alex Rodriguez Park, the most significant enhancement made in the past few years to UM athletic facilities was the basketball field house with practice areas.

UM also made modest enhancements recently to Cobb Stadium for track and field prior to hosting the Atlantic Coast Conference championships last spring, as well as minor enhancements to the Schiff Family Tennis Center and some football support areas and coaching offices.

Comments

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But there's no money for a GOOD FOOTBALL COACH??? Fork the $$$ over already and get us a real head coach!!!

Kirby Hocutt has done a FANTASTIC job since becoming UM's Athletic Director.

Combine the great job Randy has done by bringing the program back from the brink with the already many accomplishments of Kirby's and it is clear the Miami Hurricanes football program has a very bright future.

Go Canes!


But there's no money for our GREAT FOOTBALL COACH??? Fork the $$$ over already and insure that Randy Shannon is our head coach for year's to come!!!

Go Randy & Go Canes

USC's new athletic center is $70M 110,000 sq ft compared to UM's $13M 30,000 sq ft. I just don't get it. I'm more embarrassed than excited.

Posted by: Dolemite

Agreed bring in Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, or Tony Dungy.

That's a nice contribution but will that include a state of the art weightroom, which has previously been described as below average?

^^ good point. USC's new weight room will be bigger than UM's new complex!!! (32,000 sq. ft.). it's just sad to see all these other programs crappy and good invest heavily in their programs rather neglect them.

UM's weight program is a joke. So why do you need better facilities. You need a strength/conditioning coach who does something other than circuit training during the season.

Guys, it's a start and I for one am excited about it. I've been hard on the coach and the team as anyone in here but this is fantastic news. The school is legitimately giving back to the football program for the first time. That's big. We aren't USC and quite frankly I don't want to be. Some of you just complain for the sake of complaining. This is great news for the football program. No the season hasn't gone as hoped and RS has issues. Not sugar coating it and honestly it's another subject entirely. But this is a major step in catching up or competing with the rest of the country in facilities. So give credit where credit is due and save the Coach Shannon argument for another topic.

Fantastic gift to the program!

Manny

Any chance some of that money goes towards a practice bubble? Sure beats practicing at 5am to avoid the weather in the summer, and 5 am practices in general.

Maybe letting Mark Whipple sleep in a bit has helped focus on calling more running plays since the O has been humming since those early morning practices have stopped.

Very Nice! Too bad it wasnt with the stipulation that we get it only if Shannon and Haith are both fired! Otherwise, its just more of the same - terribly coached basketball program and a clueless and average football coach (at best)!

Anyone posting anything in my name in favor of shannon is a fake. Shannon sucks as a head coach, the name Dolemite was misused in the above comments, I do not support him.

Hey Manny, thanks for all of the recruiting updates on the Blog at 2pm on Tuesday's. You're doing a stand up job and should get a raise. Also, If we win out and Va Tech loses to VA and the rest of the top 25 lose we will get to the Championship game. The BCS Championship game my friends. Check back later for an interview with the towel guy from the 1994 UM Big East Title team.

Good post Canespace
It would be nice for Manny to answer questions at 2:00 on Tuesday's like he advertises and as far as recruiting up dates, he's beginning to be like Shannon and give you as little info. as possible.

Man that's a lot of money. That's Dolemite, I mean Dynamite. I know you're here little piggie Gator troll aka Sean Wilson.

Posted by: Will someone please remove the Old Ball Coach's steamer from UF's fifty yard line

How do we know you really are a gaytor fan posing as a cane fan outing a gaytor fan? All you do is blame our problems on the gaytor fans! please quit being a can fan. People Aint Taking Anything from you anymore.

excited about the contribution but UM still has a ways to go in the athletics arms race

If any of you all have a problem with the school not having enough $$ to compete with USC you are more than welcome to donate....crickets??.... Shannon does need some of that money to hire some more competent assistant coaches. After Whipple, we have journey men. But hey, the University needs money everywhere. This is the real problem why we have no player development. Its why the most improved player Hankerson, had to go to Mark Duper to excel. This University is doing the best they can with what they have. Some idiots just dont understand that the school doesnt have the big bucks to compete. But we're doing a hell of a job even being relevent. This is not the 80's. We arent accepting the renegade players anymore, we arent bending the rules, the secret is out about the talent pool in South Florida, and other programs have many more millions than us to compete in this football business, and lower academic and ethical standards. If you want to do something to change this, come up with about 20 to 30 million a year to give to the university to keep up. If not, shut your trap!

Well Hard Rock Cane, using your logic then you know that I know that you know that I know that you know that I know that Sean Wilson is a douchebag Gator troll.

Thanks for the donation and its about time we started getting some of the money put to our football program. Now maybe one day we can get our own stadium where the seats are close to the field.

CaneBoss, get your facts straight dude. Last year Miami spent more money on their football program than any other ACC school (21M).

Pretty facilities aren't going to make you a better football player, it however might inspire you to get into the weightroom. You can have all the eye candy you want; great facilities, stadium, wieghtroom, etc. but it's coaching that brings the cream to the top. Our coaching staff is average at best but they are that way because they have only begin together a few years. Do we still need to tinker with the current regime, yes. We need a new strength and conditioning coach and definitley a new special teams coach. It all so wouldn't hurt to get a QB coach. The jury is still out on Barrow & Huff. The WR's as a group have dropped way to many balls and the LBs have not been consistant. We've had about 8 Wr's play this year and aside from Hankerson & some times Benjamin, who has progressed from that group. Johnson, Gordan, Ford, Byrd, have regressed and Streeter & Tomkins can't spell offense. The LB's have done descent but they to have been up and down. Besides Buchanan, Spence, and McCarthy and occassionally Cain, who else has developed at LB?
The recruiting part is what mystifies me. We have 7 guys verballed and we are 2.5 months away from signing day and I really haven't heard anyone mentioning being excited about the "U" and listing them as there front runner. You can't even get Manny to do an update. We have to beat Va. tech, no ifs and buts. If we win out & end up 10-3, that will make the off season more tolerable and definitely, the slogan they used this year will really need to be in place next year-"NO DAM EXCUSES"

@ Chris,

And you say that to prove what exactly? If what you are stating is true and you have those facts, please outline to me how much of those monies were spent on our football coaching. Spent on Football facilities? Please do tell.....

Posted by: Will someone please remove the Old Ball Coach's steamer from UF's fifty yard line

How do we know you really are a gaytor fan posing as a cane fan outing a gaytor fan? All you do is blame our problems on the gaytor fans! please quit being a can fan. People Aint Taking Anything from you anymore.

Posted by: Hard Rock Cane | November 18, 2010 at 04:33 PM

Florida had only 3 road games all season, 2 and 1 on the road. But they have 3 STRAIGHT losses in the Swamp, where they CLAIM they are unbeatable. That's right, they have as many losses in the Swamp as we have overall, so their trolls have to come here incognito, PRETENDING to be a Canes fan, since their previous attacks as Gator fans have been proven wrong.

The retaliation on Gator Clause worked, and they left us alone for a while, but it looks like they are back with a more subtle and less racist attack. As long as they keep it clean, let them try to have their fun, they are easy to spot with their lame attacks and lame links, but if they go back to their lynching threats, the payback will be the same as before.

Notice that "Hard Rock Cane" is a fake Cane fan who is uncomfortable with folks knowing about Sean Wilson. You don't speak for the Canes fans on here. And based on your posts so far, you can't even speak for ONE Canes fan.

Look at his link, www.virginia.edu, the sign that this "Hard Rock Cane" troll forgot to change his link from when he was taunting us after that loss.

Folks, judge his words, not his ID, because he will be pretending to be any one of us next. In the meantime, anyone making fun of another school with more losses (like the Gators, you know the team that is on a three game home losing streak) on this site are more welcome than someone like YOU that attacks the Hurricanes and their fans.

CaneBoss.. "Some idiots just dont understand that the school doesnt have the big bucks to compete." quoting you brah!

Don't have the break down dude, but I can tell you, there needs to be an audit, cause I'm curious to know where it's going myself.

@hereisibis

you say pretty facilities don't win championships and I agree to some extent...but what they do win is recruits. it's a fact of life that UM is up against schools with better facilities and for some prospects that factors into their decision. I also agree that coaching can win recruits but when the coaching staffs are similar the facilities may be the kicker

Chris the books are audited every year. You can call The U and request a copy.

"I see your Schwartz is as big as mine!"

"May the Schwartz be with you!"

"Use the Schwartz Lone Starr, Use the Schwartz!"

Sorry, After reading the article I had an urge to post some really bad references to the movie Space Balls.

People who think our facilities are outdated should ask the pro canes in the NFL why they continue to come back and work out and train in our "run down facilities" when they aren't obligated to do so.

Ca u please spend some of the money to hire a real coach... Facilities dont mean crap if we still have the same crap as a coach.. FIRE RANDY SHANNON... i will donate ten thousand dollars to start a fund for a real coach...

Where do you propose they build a 110k sq foot facility? LA has space to spare. Coral Gables doesn't.

I am going to Google Sean Wilson tomorrow. I will also pay the $50.00 to run a skip trace in this slob. I'm coming for you, Pig.

It's a generous donation that should be used for facilities. It's a long-standing issue that needs to be addressed.


Ca u please find some money to hire a real gator coach... Facilities dont mean crap if we still have the same Urban crap as a coach.. FIRE URBAN MEYER... i will donate ten thousand dollars to start a fund for a real coach...NOT CRAZY, CHEATING URBAN MEYER!

Does this come with an upgrade of Andrieu Swasey, too? You know, the guy who is supposed to turn blue chippers into top players. Ha! Dead weight!

Ok, now no one can say we don't have the boosters or the money to go after big time coaches. Not that I'm looking for one.

In Randy We Trust!

Well, a small percentage...

GO CANES!!!

When this is all said and done. We'll probably have the best facilities in the nation. It will be state of the art with HD everything. Maybe even through in some 3D. lol

It's going to be top of the line, and I can't wait to check it out in 2 years.

Oh, and how this is going to add to our recruiting tactics.

Play on a pro field and work out and study in the best facilities.

We're working on the foundation of another dynasty. We're getting there people. Just be patient.

GO CANES!!!

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