The planning and building of the Sherman E. Smith Training Center was announced to the Orange faithful in early January, 2007. As of the present, faith that the indoor practice facility will be built has began to wane. Oklahoma State football is the only Big12 program to not have the ability to get out of the weather. We have the good sense, and God knows Boone has the resources, but four years after announcing the SESTC, OSU doesn't have its IPF. The reasons for this, as everyone is well aware, is that the money in T. Boone's hedge fund that housed his $165mil
tax dodge donation went belly up, and the whole plan for the Holder's "Athletic Village" was put on indefinite hiatus. While this loss was embarrassing and unfortunate for all involved including the Cowboy fanbase, OSU was able to at least get "The Boone" built so Cowboy fans don't have to look at the tetanus incubation grounds that used to call itself "Lewis Field at Cowboy Stadium".
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But alas, Cowboy athletes (the only people that will ever enter this $20 million plus dollar building on anything resembling a regular basis) will one day soon have a place to practice on fake grass between four walls. The building's plans have been scaled down since the original conception as a 150,000sqft, biggest-in-the-Big12 monster, and now will most likely be eclipsed by the Bergstrom IPF at Iowa State (which has to be like the biggest waste of prime corn growing real estate in the all of the Midwest). OSU doesn't need the biggest and best IPF, they just need to have a IPF, and P.D.Q. The facilities in Stillville have improved by leaps and bounds in the last ten years to the point where the OU's and UT's of the world take notice, but when Baylor can look down on you vis-a-vis the "practicing warm and dry while it's snowing outside dept.", recruits take notice.
Dirt moving has begun north of the stadium, and we should see more progress as the summer unfolds. The things Yachoff would like to see out of the facility are as follows:
- The building be built before the end of next football season.
- The building be built in OSU's modified Georgian architectural style.
- The building be better than Baylor's facility, and get better bang for the buck than ISU's Bergstrom Thunderdome
Athletic Director Mike Holder has said that even though plans have been scaled back, the facility will hopefully serve its purpose better than originally intended, which Yachoff interprets to be standard C.Y.O.A. boilerplate dealing with the loss of all that money in 2008. Holder should be covering his own ass, since his legacy as A.D. is going to be wrapped up in this "Athletic Village" that has been no more than a pipe dream since the early 00's. So, expectorate or get off the proverbial pot, Mr. Holder. Until Cowboy fans see any progress on an IPF, the beautiful stadium and facilities that we have now are still incomplete.