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Agenda for Tomorrow’s Board of Regents Meeting Released

Plans include a $175 million football facility, plus major upgrades for the tennis, golf, softball, and basketball programs.

Norman, OK – The University of Oklahoma Board of Regents is set to meet on Tuesday, March 7th, 2023 to discuss the university’s athletic budgets and plans for football operations expansion. This meeting comes amid ongoing discussions about the future of athletics at the university with the move to the Southeastern Conference, and the related importance of investing in top-tier facilities and programs.

The Board of Regents will be considering a proposal to expand football operations at the university, including a new $175 million football facility that would house training facilities, offices, and meeting rooms for the team. Per the release, OU desires to “develop new state-of-the-art facilities for functions consistent with those required to support Oklahoma Football training, practice, preparation, and
performance.” For now, the proposal does not include plans for upgrades to the existing stadium as part of the master plan announced almost a decade ago.

The university’s athletic department has been in discussions about the need for expanded facilities and upgrades for several years, discussions which have been expedited by the arrival of new head of football operations Thad Turnipseed amidst the move to the SEC. In recent years, Oklahoma has invested heavily in its athletic programs, including a $160 million renovation of the football stadium and the construction of a new softball stadium. These investments have helped to attract top-tier talent to the university and have led to increased success for the athletic department.

However, with the changing landscape of college athletics, the university must continue to invest in its programs to remain competitive. The proposed football operations expansion is just one part of a larger plan to ensure that the university’s athletic programs remain at the forefront of college sports. This plan includes additional renovations and expansions for the facilities of the golf and tennis programs, including a major overhaul and expansion of golf’s meeting facilities and training center and a 4500 sqft addition to the tennis center.

The agenda also includes a proposed renovation of the men’s and women’s basketball locker rooms at Lloyd Noble Center. The proposed $9.5 million upgrade comes at a precarious time for an Oklahoma basketball program that is at a crossroads. Oklahoma has recently re-engaged the city of Norman in discussions with the local government on a joint venture arena project on the north side of Norman, and while fans may disagree at this location choice, there’s almost a unanimous belief that the basketball arena situation needs to be addressed one way or the other. This proposed project seems to indicate any major changes for basketball are on hold.

The Board of Regents will also be discussing the university’s athletic budgets for the coming year. It is expected that the budget will include funding for the proposed football operations expansion as well as other facility upgrades and improvements. Also notable, the budget proposals include proposed raises for offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh, defensive tackles coach Todd Bates, defensive ends coach Miguel Chavis, safeties coach Brandon Hall, offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, cornerbacks coach Jay Valai, tight ends coach Joe John Finley, and running backs coach Demarco Murray.

Overall, the upcoming meeting of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents is an important event for the future of athletics at the university. The proposed football operations expansion and discussions of athletic budgets and future plans demonstrate the university’s commitment to maintaining a top-tier athletic program that will attract the best talent and ensure success on the field and in the classroom.

The full meeting agenda can be found here.

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