Georgia Basketball: Must the Dawgs Compete in the Facility Arms Race? (Video)


Georgia basketball wants to join the elite. Must the Dawgs join the student housing arms race to soar into the national spotlight? 

More from Georgia Basketball

With back to back 20 win seasons and a second NCAA Tourney appearance likely, Georgia basketball fans are already asking, “How does Georgia become a national powerhouse?”

Like your momma said, “All it takes is money, honey.”

At Kansas, they are spending whatever it takes to stay one of the elite basketball programs in the country. Next year, Kansas will open a $17.5 million apartment complex to house 32 men and women basketball players.

The estimated cost per resident approaches $265,000. Compare that to a new Kansas residence hall opening this year with a per resident cost of $68,000.

The kicker is that NCAA rules prevent campus “dormitories” from housing exclusively athletes, so lucky members of the general student population will not only live among University of Kansas royalty, but they will live like royalty.

“We have one of the very elite basketball programs in the country, and we want to do everything we can to stay there,” KU associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said to Rustin Dodd of “Not only that, we need to, and housing is part of that.” And KU is willing and able.

To their credit, the Jayhawks will finance the apartments privately. Are there enough Georgia basketball fans willing to fund the program at such a level? Not likely.

The Kansas Board of Regents had no trouble approving the project, voting 8-1 to approve. After all, the Jayhawks are just trying to keep up. Check out what “keeping up” looks like with this video.

At the university of Kentucky, the call is “One and done? Come have a good one.”

In 2012, the University of Kentucky opened the Wildcat Coal Lodge at a cost of eight million dollars. The Lodge will house 32 students total – a quarter million per resident. The funding of the lodge was not without controversy, but not because of the cost. The “dormitory” was funded largely by a seven million dollar gift from the coal industry in Kentucky, hence the name Wildcat Coal Lodge.

Can Georgia basketball secure seven million dollars from the poultry industry for a Bulldog Rooster Lodge. Not likely.

More from Dawn of the Dawg

Jeff Eissneberg of Yahoo’s The Dagger: College Basketball Blog noted the luxurious features of the Lodge when it opened in 2012.

Flat screens scattered about the lodge display players’ schedules for practices, classes and weight lifting and conditioning. And in the lounge, no crowded couches around the giant flat screen TV, just recliners.

Among the items in the  lounge is a blue felt pool table. The blue felt matches the Kentucky basketball murals and championship banners hanging from the walls. The first thing any future recruit sees upon entering the lodge is a display case that holds Kentucky’s eight national championship trophies. And, if they miss that the halls are lined with former pictures of players, especially those drafted by the NBA.

Residents have a private room and share a bathroom with one adjoining room. Fixtures are designed for basketball players. For example, sinks are higher – explaining Kentucky’s success signing seven-foot players.

Like all college boys, basketball players have pretty much three things on their mind – food, cars and girls. UK has the food covered. A private chef prepares meals and snacks to order to the residents.

Because NCAA rules require “dormitories” housing athletes to be populated at least 50% by non-athletes, some lucky students will live well, eat well, and, with easy access to Wildcat signatures, be very popular with the Big Blue Nation.

Take a tour with the King of the Big Blue Nation.

Next: Satellite Football Camps Invade Southern Football Turf