Tampa Bay Times staff writer Claire McNeill, covering today's USF Board of Trustees meeting, had this dispatch from the proceedings:
USF's proposed $40 million football center advanced another degree Tuesday morning as Bulls coach Charlie Strong made a pitch to university trustees, who agreed the school should start seeking designers for the indoor practice facility.
Strong has been recruiting for the last three weeks, he said, visiting "probably over 120 high schools," from Atlanta to Pensacola to Miami.
"It's all about facilities," he said, encouraging the USF leaders in the room to keep strengthening USF's brand.
Plus, he said, there's just the matter of trying to schedule practices and classes around Florida's unpredictable rain showers.
"Any time we're practicing for a critical game and a thunderstorm pops up, you have to get off that field," he said.
The 160,000-square-foot facility would pop up to the north of USF’s Lee Roy Selmon Athletics center. Strong said he’ll do whatever he has to do to get it built. USF officials said the project will be “donor-driven.”
Trustees agreed to move on to the next step, sending out a request for qualifications for designers. Later Tuesday, a USF finance committee will dig into some of the numbers.
Strong stressed that he's not a territorial coach, and that all sports will be able to use the facility.
"I want to make sure we're all in this together for every sport to have the chance to be successful," he said.
He also joked that some recruits still need a little help in knowing exactly who the Bulls are.
"'Weren't y'all the team that went undefeated?'" some would ask him.
"No," he said he replied, "we weren't that team."