I got my first look inside of the newly renovated Duffy Daugherty football building on Thursday-- Wow! Is it ever impressive. The University found enough donors to put together the $15.5 million addition which is called the Skandalaris Football Center. Robert and Julie Skandarlis, Spartan alums from Bloomfield Hills, gave MSU $5 million for the project, the largest single athletic department contribution in school history. Numerous donors were found to complete all the projects indoors-- naming rights went to assistant coaches offices, to team meeting rooms, to players lounges to the Demmer Family hall of history itself. That is very impressive-- a beautifully designed area of MSU's football past and whoever designed it did a wonderful job. The marble floors glisten green and look more expensive than what I'm told they really are.
The Perles Plaza cost $1 million, which seems high to me and George and Sally donated half that total. It is a broad gathering area and nicely landscaped with flowers. I can see many gatherings to celebrate MSU football to be held there in future years, similar to what was staged Thursday for the formal unveiling. And it's amazing what universities do these days to lure recruits.
Fifty to sixty years ago, Biggie and Duffy won players to East Lansing by the force of their personalities. Granted they had an easier time landing the nation's best minority athletes because of the nation's social mores at the time. But in today's world, universities pour millions into facilities trying to wow future players. Michigan State has poured money into football for years and years. Whether the latest investment pays off in victories or not remains to be seen, but it is a clear sign of the commitment the school continues to give its major sport, but one that has been overshadowed by men's basketball the past dozen years or so.
Mark Dantonio's office is on the second floor overlooking campus through the tinted glass addition. It is nice, similar to Tom Izzo's across the street in the Breslin Center, excuse me the Berkowitz Center. A kitchen has been installed near the assistant coaches offices when food is needed and the board room rivals anything General Motors has. Fans simply need to see it all to believe it the structure is that exquisite.