Wednesday, January 8, 2014

KU official: Proposed housing important for basketball recruiting


A proposed $17.5 million apartment complex, to be located on the west side of Naismith Drive, will house up to 32 Kansas University men’s and women’s basketball players as well as 34 other students, who will not be athletes and must have at least 30 credit hours, KU associate AD Jim Marchiony confirmed on Tuesday.

One estimate indicates the cost comes out to about $265,000 per apartment. Some apartment rooms will be two bedroom; others four bedroom. Lounges will be on each floor with meeting rooms as well as a courtyard.

“Our goal is to provide the best living environment in the country and the quality of the complex give us a chance to provide that,” Marchiony said. “That type of quality costs money and we have donors who recognize this and are willing to help.

“We are out to provide a high-quality living experience that is important for us to be able to continue recruiting the level of student athlete that has kept us among the elite programs in the nation,” Marchiony added.

Some schools, such as Kentucky, have upgraded living quarters for athletes. A dormitory for UK basketball players, which opened in 2012, cost $7 million to build and was privately funded.

“More than half of the apartments will house students of the general student body,” Marchiony said.

“We have very nice living arrangements at Jayhawker Towers for student athletes and the general student body,” he noted. “The Towers has had a waiting list for quite a while. We know there is demand for more high quality on-campus apartments. This will help with that demand.”

The project will be funded through a combination of private funds and bond proceeds, the bonds to be paid for by revenue generated by the apartments. The proposal will be considered by the full Kansas Board of Regents next week. One regent this week expressed concern about the cost of the project. The goal is for the project to begin construction in March 2015 and be completed in July 2016.


Priest Fontaine 8 years, 5 months ago

and let's finally get some more statues while we're at it:

  1. James Naismith (

  2. Wilt

  3. Danny

Michael Pannacciulli 8 years, 5 months ago

Needed. I am not a fan of statues to students. Seems odd to me. Although their mugs are all over the walls of the Booth and their jerseys are maybe I am just old school in my thinking.

Jonathan Allison 8 years, 5 months ago

"One estimate indicates the cost comes out to about $265,000 per apartment."

One estimate = ($17,500,000)/(32 student athletes + 34 general population students) = $265,000 per student housed.

But if the apartments will house two or four students per apartment then that per apartment value is somewhere between $530,000 and $1,060,000.

Gonna be some pretty sweet accomodations I presume.

Leo Hawkins 8 years, 5 months ago

These apartments will clearly be the swankiest living quarters in town (save for Bill Self's home).

Ron Franklin 8 years, 5 months ago

Shouldn't we also try doing this for the football program?

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 5 months ago

We could remodel the Towers again for football. Basketball is a world wide sport and Kansas should show the basketball world that Lawrence, KS is the epic center to the basketball universe.

Ron Franklin 8 years, 5 months ago

Did I miss an upgrade to the football team, then? I do realize the importance of KU basketball, especially to us die hard fans. But, as we saw with conference realignment, football programs dictate much more than basketball. Looking out long-term for the entire university, not just the basketball program.

Suzi Marshall 8 years, 5 months ago

It's about time. KY raised the ante and we need to respond with a double trump. That double trump can be:

      1) the new housing would be close to the new "rules of basketball" building 
      2) we could name the new living quarters after mythic basketball legends like,

           a) Wilt Chamberlain Towers - With a Big Dipper Roof Top Lounge
           b) each floor could be named after others like the coaches or other great players

   i) James Naismith Courty ard, Clyde Lovelette Cafe, Bill Self Study Center,

  ii) Ted Owens Floor, Larry Brown Floor, Danny Manning Rec Room for Games

  iii) Phog Allen Legacy Lobby...with photos of all the future greats from his coaching tree....  Dean Smith, Adolf Rupp, etc

Each of the suites should be named after the various concensus All Americans who have retired jerseys. A few desiginated rooms or areas should be nameed TBD1, TBD2 to let future players know with a strong contribution, they could have their names added.

If we decide to do this thing, we should do it right!

Beate Williams 8 years, 5 months ago

I like the ideas you have put forth. Btw, ESPN did a feature on the Kentucky housing and I thought what they had was something we could use at KU, if that, what KY has cost $7 million and this project will cost $17 million mas or menos, it will put the KY housing to shame. And, it will impress young recruits I guarantee you. Might even help keep a few OADs more than that one year.

Waylon Cook 8 years, 5 months ago

About time was first comment and was also mine! Let's do this!

Yolanda Gay 8 years, 5 months ago

Good deal! But, I too would like the football team to have better living too. Maybe it will help get better players to come to KU. God knows we need them.

Dan Spurgin 8 years, 5 months ago

Anybody see potential downsides?

Yes it could help lure young players to KU - but what are there consequences (negative? positive?) for the players, the program, and the university when we make these kind of choices?

Ron Franklin 8 years, 5 months ago

Ticket prices go up. Sales taxes go up for the area. Just the usual :)

Benz Junque 8 years, 5 months ago

Ticket prices are going up whether this happens or not!

Ron Prichard 8 years, 5 months ago

Why on earth would sales taxes go up? This is a project that the article says will be funded by private funds (donors) and bond proceeds. I would assume these would be revenue bonds and not general obligation bonds issued by the city. Either way it shouldn't cost tax payers a dime. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty confident that KU doesn't have the power to decide something that will impact taxpayers. KU can lobby the state and local governments to propose a special project that would be financed with increased sales taxes, but that would almost certainly have to be approved by voters, and that is not what is being proposed here.

So, unless I am completely mistaken, the only potential impacts to most people reading this would conceivably be through increased ticket prices and, even less probable, higher tuition costs or additional student fees. Although, if the article is correct, I think these two possibilities are remote.

Scott Bonnet 8 years, 5 months ago

This seems like a horribly misplaced priority.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 5 months ago

Only if you don't care about the future of the basketball team from a competitive standpoint. This is being built with private funds so it isn't taking money away from KU from an academic standpoint.

The bottom line is, we can't have it both ways. We can't maintain our attituede of, "kids should want to come here just because we are KU" and then scram when the players don't want to come to KU anymore. Either we want KU to be among the elite basketball programs in the country, and we do whatever it takes-including new living facilities-to make that a reality, or we accept our mediocrity and take pride in the fact that haven't sold out to win at all costs.

Me, personally? I want to win, and I'm all for this.

Dan Spurgin 8 years, 5 months ago

Smells like a pro athlete, looks like a pro athlete, lives in housing like a pro athlete --- eventually these pro athletes are going to asked to be paid like pro athletes (and rightly so).

Seems like another step towards the implosion of 'amateur' athletics. Using colleges as minor leagues --- how long is that sustainable?

Also anyone else like the fact that these kids can't receive the tiniest of handouts but the university can make it rain all they want in these kinds of 'benefits'.

Code_2008 8 years, 5 months ago

I didn't like it when Kentucky did it and I don't like it now. They may be athletes, but they are students first.

They don't need stuff like this to come to a great University.

Ron Prichard 8 years, 5 months ago

You may not like it, but it is a reality. Yes, KU is a great University to YOU and ME, but to recruits it is one of many great universities. If you want to keep up with the Jones' (Kentucky, Duke, UNC, Ariz, etc) then this is a necessity and not a folly.

Joe Ross 8 years, 5 months ago

Misplaced priority? The University is under NO financial obligation! Donors are footing the bill. If you get free stuff you take free stuff, especially if it helps you stay competitive. THAT is a priority squared rightly.

It's about time we ponied up for this. The Towers put Kansas at a disadvantage of accomodations. When you are vying for the best recruits, you need to give yourself all the advantages you can. Inasmuch as you can't control a recruit's final decision, control what variables you CAN. This is the only responsible way to look at it if you are truly interested in maintaining your prominence. Like it or not, Kansas basketball is a brand and like all others it needs to be marketed.

Joe Ross 8 years, 5 months ago

Oh yeah...I like the idea of statues for Naismith, Allen, Wilt and Danny outside of the new dorms. Awesome! Happy day...

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