BLOOMINGTON – Indiana Athletic Director Fred Glass had dessert on the mind when speaking to the media Wednesday afternoon, inside the new football-only facility he helped orchestrate for the Hoosiers.
The Terry Tallen Indiana Football Complex can be found deep inside Memorial Stadium and is chock full of delectable upgrades for the program.
Among the new treats found in the facility, which Glass said will end up costing around $8.5 million, is a renovated and expanded locker room, along with an updated recruiting lounge and relaxation area for players.
More practical services have also been improved, such as the equipment room, a coach's locker room, a hydrotherapy center and an expanded training room.
But the bells and whistles of the new project, which follows construction jobs completed on the north and south end zone complexes at Memorial Stadium, have Glass excited about the next step for the 58-year-old venue.
“In some ways I think the Terry Tallen Indiana Football Complex is the cherry on what was an already pretty good hot fudge sundae,” Glass said.
These improvements bring Indiana closer to the rest of the Big Ten in terms of the tools the Hoosiers can use when recruiting.
The phrase “Never Daunted,” part of the IU fight song, greets those upon entry into the Tallen complex, before luxurious options present themselves to the left and right.
To the left is the new locker room, with padded player lockers complete with storage space secured by a lock combination. A separate gap also snuggly fits each player's helmet, with the letters LEO (short for head coach Tom Allen's team motto of Love Each Other) appearing in the background.
Black leather couches with the Indiana trident logo stitched into them fill the lower level of the locker room, with a much larger trident visible as a ceiling accessory complete with a crimson tint.
To the right, players can choose between a PlayStation or an Xbox to use in their spare time, and other non-football items found in the complex include the setup for a barber's chair in the bathroom, blenders ready to produce nutrition-packed smoothies and an Indiana-branded pool table with crimson-colored chalk for the cue sticks.
A game of cornhole is even set up in the locker room.
It's all part of the importance Glass attributed to investing in the Hoosier football program, especially given Glass' opinion that, rightly or wrongly, the quality of a college football team disproportionately reflects on the quality of a university.
This renovation is certainly not the first for Indiana under Glass' leadership, and also likely won't be the last.
Since being appointed athletic director at the start of 2009, Indiana has opened a new baseball stadium, softball stadium and a new facility for the volleyball and wrestling programs, among others.
“I think it's really important that you never just check the box and say 'OK, the facilities are done,'” Glass said. “We've come a long, long way and I do believe the major pieces we've always wanted to do, we've gotten.”
But while the upgrades to the athletic venues make the Hoosiers more attractive to potential athletes, in particular football players with Allen's recent recruiting success, Glass is still patient in terms of the payoff in the standings.
“Success on the field or on the court or on the pitch tends to trail that a little bit,” Glass said. “It's not a magic wand.”