Mark Richt shares details on indoor football facility, satellite camps

BONITA SPRINGS — That Mark Richt … always thinking about his quarterbacks.

When asked whether the roof of Miami’s soon-to-be announced future indoor practice facility would be high enough to accommodate lofty punts, Richt said such a feature was unnecessary.

“Just long as you can launch a bomb and it doesn’t hit the rafters, I’ll be happy,” he said.

Taking a moment to chat Saturday at a UM speaking tour event at Bonita National Golf and Country Club, Richt confirmed that Miami will soon announce plans to build a facility on campus.

Mark Richt (second from left) and UM broadcaster Don Bailey Jr. (second from right) pose with supporters at Bonita National.

Mark Richt (second from left) and UM broadcaster Don Bailey Jr. (second from right) pose with supporters at Bonita National.

Richt said it will be a full-field with “enough space to have a legitimate competitive practice inside,” Richt said. “With our football offices, and our entire football footprint will be a part of it,” including an upgraded weight room.

The building, which UM Athletics Director Blake James has said will cost upwards of $20 million, is the department’s top priority. James and Richt have touted it as a necessary amenity for UM, which regularly loses practice time to Miami’s rainy weather. The Hurricanes are one of a handful of major college programs nationally that lack shelter from the elements. Every ACC team has one already or has plans to build one.

While UM hasn’t publicly announced a timetable for construction, current players and recruits have seen renderings of the potential facility, according to a report from the Miami Herald.

“I’m very confident it’s going to happen,” Richt said. “In some ways it’s been approved, with maybe a few more hoops to jump through. I’m not sure how it all works, because every university’s different. But it’s rolling down the track really fast. I think it’s going to happen pretty quick.”

UM will be able to kick off in the space, but Richt said punting inside can be more trouble than it’s worth. “If you hit a light up there and it breaks, you’re done for the rest of the day,” he said.

Elsewhere, Richt said he has had “productive discussions” with his staff about possibly attending satellite camps, but haven’t established a plan. “We’re looking at everything,” he said.

A major issue, Richt said, is UM’s summer camp schedule – which was set long before the NCAA overturned its ban on satellite camps.

“We’re considering a 15-day window in June,” he said. “I’m not going to go back and erase what we’ve already promoted. That’s not right for anybody who signed up for the camp. Also I’m not going to send the whole staff to a satellite camps, if we decide to do it.”

Richt doesn’t believe satellite camps are beneficial, helping programs recruit at times when they shouldn’t be, and doesn’t think the process will run smoothly nationwide this year. “I think it’ll be a mess,” he said. “I think it’ll be adjusted sooner than later.”

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