I know SDSU will never match Ohio State or Michigan’s athletic stadiums or their state-of-the-art athletic venues in my lifetime, and I am okay with that. The Jackrabbit athletes, along with fans, are far from spoiled, but that makes SDSU sports more interesting to watch. Rather than relying on venues and technology for their advantages, Jackrabbits’ players rely on pride in themselves, their school, hard work, strength and a healthy dose of confidence. I see future buildings and ideas that could bring ever more pride and give self-confidence to SDSU’s student athletes. With that spirit, I present to you my hopes for future projects on campus.
A. Both the Jackrabbit Softball Stadium and the Erv Huether Field (baseball field) should have Astroturf infields. The one aspect of athletics that can’t be controlled by man is the weather, but the places that the players play on can be improved by installing efficient athletic venues. Imagine an infield with synthetic grass, which could increase the chances of a game being played dramatically. The softball team played their first and last game on the same day, and the baseball team did not fare much better. SDSU owes these teams infields suitable to be played on in less than perfect weather.
B. The visiting football stands need to be replaced. The yellow stands are old, they’re ugly and just bad. Snapshots of other Missouri Valley Football Conference stadiums put the stands to shame.
C. SDSU athletics need to go “green.” I know that being more environmentally friendly means more resources go to regulations and means more headaches going into a project, but it’s the responsible thing to do. The staff that runs the Jackrabbits’ operations should increase awareness of Mother Earth in the upcoming years and pass that caring to the student athletes.
D. There have been many great athletes and teams that have worn the blue and yellow over the years, but none are honored with a banner. Frost Arena in my opinion does not have an authentic home advantage for basketball and volleyball; banners could change that easily. It would be fairly inexpensive for the athletic department and would show off personality, along with athletic team achievements of the past. Frost could always use more blue and yellow.
E. Women’s soccer needs to be on campus. While Fishback is an adequate home for SDSU soccer, the stadium is in the middle of nowhere and has the worst weather in the town of Brookings. The team will be awfully competitive this fall, and you could get several more students to the game if the girls played on campus.
F. The track athletes deserve better. They run, jump, throw and compete at the D-I level, but have the facilities of a junior high school. Head coach Rod DeHaven deserves something to show off to recruits in order to compete.
G. Both the men’s and women’s tennis teams should compete on campus. The tennis program more than likely has been the least expensive sport for the university (at least in NCAA sponsored sports). Building three courts past the football stadium would be a cheap investment and would last for 20 years.
I. The Dykhouse Center will be a great addition to Jackrabbit athletics. The new Jackrabbit locker room and support building can make all the SDSU alums proud. A couple of dreams for me would be to see a Jackrabbit Hall of Fame within the Center. Also, wouldn’t it be neat if the Dykhouse Student-Athlete Center could connect the Coughlin-Alumni Stadium home stands to the visiting stands and complete the bowl? It would be a lot better than the empty wasteland that is there now.
J. The Jacks are in desperate need of a practice facility. This is the crown-jewel that the Jackrabbits need in order to keep up with the recruiting “arms race” around the region. I got a sneak peak of Iowa State’s, and what a great asset for that university. Every sport on campus would benefit due to the marketing aspect and the ability to compete no matter what the conditions were. Track would have a facility in order to train, a world-class facility at that, along with every other sport on campus. A practice facility would add so much to the campus that it would bump up the level of all sports, by proving to athletes SDSU is staying true to their promise on progressing to the future.