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FAU dome as a recruiting tool.

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FAU dome as a recruiting tool.

Now if they would just share the secret on the progress.…. ???



Coaches believe FAU on road to success
By Lisa Riddle
staff writer
July 1, 2005

BOCA RATON ? The Florida Atlantic University athletic department has secured two great salesmen to push its top programs. Nationally recognized sports personalities ? football coach Howard Schnellenberger and men's basketball coach Matt Doherty ? are helping FAU make significant strides in recruiting.

But there still is a long way to go before FAU can seriously compete with major Division I programs for the state's top high school prospects. The Owls believe they need a football-basketball dome, which they have proposed ? as well as more nationally televised games ? to attract the best of the best.

"Colleges can't pay players, but what they can do is provide them with great facilities and provide them with great exposure," ESPN basketball commentator Jay Bilas said.

Schnellenberger, entering his fifth year of coaching the Owls, understands the importance of scheduling top-notch matchups. He has four top-level teams scheduled this year. All have been ranked at least once in the AP's year-end Top-25 in the past 10 years. ESPN2 will televise a Thursday night game on Sept. 8 against Oklahoma State at Dolphins Stadium.

FAU benefits because some teams want to schedule the Owls as a less-challenging opponent to boost their record and bowl chances. Win or lose, FAU benefits from the exposure of playing better competition.

"We're going to be very good in five years. We're able to attract some of the best teams in the country to play us," Schnellenberger said.

The Owls' football program stepped up from Division I-AA to Division I-A last year in its first season in the Atlantic Sun Conference.

FAU has had football for only four years since Schnellenberger came on board to build a program from scratch. He acknowledged many teams schedule FAU with the idea of a solid win but said FAU also is a popular choice because South Florida is a place where coaches want to make their presence felt.

"They know it's good business (for recruiting) to come down here and play in front of local kids," Schnellenberger said.

Doherty recently completed hiring his basketball coaching staff and filling open scholarships. Next, he must look at chances to lure top teams on the Owls' schedule to get FAU's name out. Well-known opponents mean Doherty could attract larger crowds to FAU games.

As FAU's main campus at Boca Raton becomes less of a commuter college and expands its on-site dorms, the athletic programs will naturally draw more spectators.

"As we grow, in terms of becoming more of a residential campus, then students will have more pride in the university, and a big part of that emotional connection is athletics," Doherty said.

FAU's plans for a dome to house both a football field and basketball arena is planned for 2007 at the earliest, and it is subject to raising $100 million for construction. That proposal becoming a reality will be critical to the advancement of the teams, which presently have a less-than-perfect situation.

The men's basketball team plays at a gym on campus that is not much larger than a high school facility, and the football team plays off-campus at Lockhardt Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. The proposed dome would seat 40,000 for football and 8,000 for basketball.

"Players want to go to a place where programs are committed," Bilas said. "(Building top-rate facilities) is the best tangible way to show you're committed."

Athletics director Craig Angelos said the Owls would receive an immediate boost with the completion its multi-purpose dome.

"If we could just get a first-class facility, we'll have everything we need to be a first-rate operation," he said. "It's going to be a while before we could sign a kid who would normally go to Florida, Florida State or Miami. It won't be that long until we can sign a kid who would normally go out of state. I'm sure we can out-recruit a Louisville, West Virginia or Rutgers."

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FAU dome as a recruiting tool.

that's nice but it doesn't do anything. this article could have been written yesterday or two years ago.
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FAU dome as a recruiting tool.

At least it's slightly more positive than most of the articles written about us. And not one mention of us being $48 Billion dollars in debt! Can't complain about that.
Where is the article from? Local paper?
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FAU dome as a recruiting tool.

It was nice to have something positive for a change.
The paper is from the Treasure Coast and Palm Beaches.

http://www.tcpalm.com/
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FAU dome as a recruiting tool.

have there been anymore rumors to sponsors/donors?
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FAU dome as a recruiting tool.

Nothing new here Exit39. The rumors are probably all just rehashed by now anyway. Supposedly they have one chosen but the Dome event coordination between FAU and the sponsor are the sticking points.
That may sound petty but those can be some huge financial dollars.

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FAU dome as a recruiting tool.

>>The Owls' football program stepped up from Division I-AA to Division I-A last year in its first season in the Atlantic Sun Conference. <<

Since when does the A-Sun have football? Come on, reporters (and editors). Do your freaking homework.

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