COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - For months now, South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp called the Cyndi and Kenneth Long Family Football Operations Center “a game changer.”
Since opening the doors to the new facility, that sentiment has been echoed by recruits and school officials alike.
“In the recruiting process, you always know as a school or a program the positives and negatives you have,” Muschamp said. “The negatives we had were a fractured facility. That’s no longer an issue… That’s not an issue anymore. That’s one less obstacle and it was a big obstacle for us to overcome. That’s part of the recruiting process and that’s what other recruiters at other schools take shots at and they can’t take that shot anymore.”
The new football operations center, according to Tanner, has Muschamp’s fingerprints all over it. From the phrases you’ll find along the walls to the symbolic designs of the players’ lockers to the flow of the building itself, the new facility will be an asset for developing current players and bringing in some of the nation’s best recruits.
“Sometimes, when you open up a building like this, you’re going to have cynics. You’re going to have people ask is it really necessary,” South Carolina athletics director Ray Tanner said. “Here’s what’s important: when a young man or a young woman visits your campus as a student-athlete, you can’t hide commitment. It’s either there or it isn’t. You can speak about it, but you can’t hide it. You’ve got to show it. I think that’s one thing now, when Coach Muschamp brings prospects into this space, you don’t have to talk about commitment. You see it and that’s very important and I think that goes a long way with how it affects the future of your program.”
The football operations center is 110,000 square feet and includes a 20,000 square foot weight room, a 4,000 square foot cardio mezzanine, a players’ lounge with games and a recording studio, a barber shop in the locker room, and a training room filled with several amenities to enhance the student-athletes’ recovery process.
Here’s a look at some of the highlights of the media tour of the football operations center.