To Recruit The Best, Build The Best: A Look At Luxury Residence Halls

May 24th, 2017 | by Rhett Moroses
To Recruit The Best, Build The Best: A Look At Luxury Residence Halls
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Residence Halls

The arms race for recruiting top talent has evolved from just athletic success on the playing field. Facilities have become a strong selling point for athletic programs, as universities are creating residence halls that are able to house full teams of student athletes.

According to a 2016 TheNews&Reporter article, here are just a few universities who have created residence halls that house full athletic programs.

  • University of Kentucky – Wildcat Coal Lodge (Men’s Basketball)
  • University of Kansas – Marie S. McCarthy Hall (Men’s Basketball)
  • Auburn University – South Donahue Residence Hall (Football)
  • North Carolina State University – Case Commons (Men’s and Women’s Basketball)

Some of these residence halls include indoor basketball courts, large televisions, luxury amenities, and 24-hour security. The purpose is to create an environment for students to thrive academically, spiritually, and socially.

NCAA policy states that student-athletes can make up only 49% of all residence hall occupants. That means that residence halls must house both student-athletes and students under the same roof, creating an all-inclusive culture between students and student-athletes.

For athletics, the purpose for these halls is to improve the student-athlete experience through them being closer to practice and game facilities, increase their performances during games, increase team chemistry and recruit top high school student-athletes across the country.

 

Residence hall living is ranked the sixth most important indicator in recruiting college football players, according to a 2014 Eleven Warriors article. For athletes, residence halls are highly appreciated when they are close to their sports facilities, isolate them from trouble, and keep them around their team and among the student population.

Jay Jacobs, Director of Athletics for Auburn University, believes that student athletes integrated campus life is one of the most important experiences during their time while attending college. South Donahue Hall, a residence hall at Auburn University, holds the entire football team as well as regular students.

“My personal experience as an Auburn student-athlete, as well as my observations of Auburn’s current student-athletes, leads me to believe that they benefit from living on campus and being integrated on a daily basis with their fellow students and other student-athletes,” said  Jacobs.

This is not just a growing trend in college athletics, but also a growing trend in higher education. Building more residence halls with luxury amenities attract more students and student-athletes.

The landscape has changed over the years. No longer are there dormitories with two beds, two desks, and two closets. Residence halls are now more advanced and modern as well as recreational facilities, sports arenas and stadiums, and weightlifting rooms, all designed to attract today’s student and student-athlete.

But in the age where compensating student-athletes is the biggest issue in college sports, the question must be asked is if this is a form of paying them. Every college tries to recruit top talent without violating NCAA policy. They may not be paying cash, but putting athletic teams in luxury apartments could be seen as added benefits.

Everyone knows that college athletics is a massive business. Universities are constantly competing against each other to have the best athletic programs on the playing field. And while compensating student-athletes is still under debate, they will do anything to attract the best of the best. If building luxury apartments and state-of-the-art facilities recruit the best, then so be it.

Rhett Moroses About Rhett Moroses
Rhett Moroses is a recent graduate from Endicott College with a Bachelor's Degree in Sports Management. He has held multiple internships in the sports industry including athletic administration in interscholastic sports, sponsorship and marketing in college athletics, and game day promotions and marketing in professional sports. Rhett aspires to have a successful career in the field of college athletic administration.

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