Allow me to take you on a sensory trip through the brand new football locker room at the Lee Roy Selmon Athletic Center located on USF’s campus.
The sights: Entering into the locker room down the hall way, a new front door welcomes you with open arms, on your right you see the text ‘BULLS FOOTBALL’ letting you know which area of the LRSC you are in and an image of all-time USF great Quinton Flowers about to uncork one.
Inside, everything is crisp white, which is a far cry from the old dark mahogany wood that was used previously, and added attention to detail everywhere. Maps of Tampa can be found in the players lounge area, as well as the side wall, and even the player’s name plates feature the skyline of the city we all call home. A billiards table, a ping pong table, snacks and refreshments, as well as plenty of seating are available. Oh, and the players even have two PlayStation Fives and two Xbox Ones and two 55-inch LED TVs available for their leisure.
The most prominent feature, however, is a giant sign along the side wall with the phrase ‘BEST IS THE STANDARD’ in bold font, echoing a phrase that head coach Jeff Scott has said consistently throughout his first 18 months here at the University of South Florida.
The smells: Since the locker room was first opened up to the players mere hours before the media got a chance to look around, the fresh smell of a new building was still in the air. The leather on the seats was still fresh, and if the players do work extra hard during practice, the lockers have plenty of ventilation to keep the equipment smelling fresh.
The sounds: I’ll let the player’s excitement for the new locker room take this one, as Jeff Scott put it ‘We’re definitely modernizing our athletics facilities’ and the excitement was echoed through to the fan bases reactions on social media.
The feel: Physically, the chairs were very comfortable, with plush seating available for pick up games of Madden, or an impromptu meeting with a coach in the lounge area. More importantly, you can feel a new era of USF football dawning upon the progrum and a vision coming to life ever since Michael Kelly took over as Vice President of Athletics. Scott lamented on that during his press conference saying ‘It reminded me of what Michael Kelly said when he wanted to see our athletic department and team charging out of 2020 into what was in front of us. Seeing our players run through those doors, it was like seeing the Bulls charging into 2021.’
The taste: I believe it would be frowned upon to try to taste any of the furniture and I did not have time to grab a snack, I'm sure they would be delightful as well.
A few of the important tidbits from Jeff Scott’s press conference after the unveiling:
- More than 500 donors helped raise the funds for the $3.3 million price tag on the new locker room.
- The ground breaking on the indoor performance facility is expected to be in the Fall and open prior to the 2022 season. No set date on shovels in the ground.
- There has been a noticeable culture change since last season, with more player-led meetings & workouts occurring between the end of the season in 2020 up until weigh in day and the beginning of fall camp 2021.