The Michigan State Board of Trustees provided some key updates on plans regarding renovations to the university’s football facilities and former Athletic Director Bill Beekman’s new role within the university.
In their first in-person meeting since early 2020, the board passed an authorization to plan for considerable expansions to the Skandalaris Football Center and the Duffy Daugherty Football Building for the first time since 2008. MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. said the board is eager about the prospects of these renovations as they look to further advance the football program and the quality of the student-athlete experience at MSU.
“We’re really excited about where our program is going under Coach Tucker and this is another step forward,” Stanley said.
New Athletic Director Alan Haller joined the meeting to provide further details about plans for the center going forward. He said expanded “mental health spaces,” athletic training facilities, nutrition and sports science areas, and weight rooms would be installed to focus on providing all student athletes with the opportunity to train, recover and engage in social activity in one building.
“It really increases the efficiency of our student athlete’s day,” Haller said on the proposed installations. “It allows our student athletes to decrease the amount of time they spend walking around campus.”
New locker rooms for female football employees and NFL alumni with supplemental rest and recovery areas and lounge rooms have also been proposed. Haller and Stanley both stressed that the new provisions would be available for all student athletes, not just football players.
When asked about potential funding, Haller said the project would be 100% donor funded. Stanley said the board does not have an estimated cost yet but will have one soon due to the motion to proceed with renovations passing.
Beekman was confirmed to be the new Executive Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. In February 2018, Beekman was appointed interim athletic director following Mark Hollis’ retirement before stepping into the role on a permanent basis in July of the same year.
He stepped down in August before being replaced by Haller.
Trustee Brianna Scott said the board is appreciative of how he rose to the occasion during a “scary” time for the university’s athletic department.
“(Beekman) did everything that you could to try and get things back to a normal level and to really listen to the things that needed to be changed,” Scott said. “We appreciate the leadership that you showed during that time period.”
In an emotional recognition, Trustee Kelly Tebay praised Beekman’s institutional knowledge and the kindness he showed trustees and fellow employees during the difficult time following the fallout of ex-MSU doctor Larry Nassar's abuse.
“It says something about your character and the kind of person you are,” Tebay said while fighting back tears.
The board will meet again on Oct. 29 at 8 a.m.
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