When walking across campus around Spartan Stadium and the surrounding areas, keep a close eye out, as you may see some of your favorite Spartans making the commute to the locker room.
As construction begins for the new Tom Izzo Football building, new hopes and expectations come for the program, but so does a new hurdle of traveling back and forth between the football practice facility and the locker rooms within Spartan Stadium, which are currently the only ones available until the new locker rooms are complete.
The commute began after spring football and has become a bigger one as fall camp began. The route starts out the front of the Skandalaris Football Center and around to the opposite side of the Spartan Stadium, in the tunnel attached to the side of the Earvin and Cookie Johnson Pavilion on the north end of the stadium.
However, Michigan State has made adjustments to the hurdle, providing golf cart shuttles back to the locker rooms for coaches and players alike. In addition, players have been given new Huffy bikes to accommodate if they choose.
While the adjustment brings hassle, Michigan State Head Coach Mel Tucker and the rest of the coaching staff will not allow it to become an excuse.
“There’s no excuse,” Tucker said. “(There’s no) ‘Well coach I had to head to the stadium first and then I had to get dressed and taped' or “I had to go back over to Case Hall to eat and then I got over here and used the bathroom and there was a line because there’s construction and we only have two restrooms available right now. So there was a line and that’s why I was 30 seconds late.’ No. Get up earlier. Ten minutes early, you’ll never be late.”
Michigan State Offensive Line Coach Chris Kapilovic has embraced it fully at this time and said he could use the extra steps between the facility. While he will avoid using the bike to avoid “being the first coach in the country to go down in a bike accident,” he will still demand his players arrive and meet expectations.
“Before we started, I let them get it out of their systems because I told them once we reported, I never want to hear anything about anything other than what were going to do and control the controllable," Kapilovic said. “We’ve been good. There hasn’t been any issues.”
The players are adopting the same attitude, each choosing their own means of travel as some ride the bikes, some shuttle or hitch a ride on a golf cart or walk. Sixth-year tight-end Tyler Hunt hitches a ride with his car and carpools with others.
“It has its flaws, obviously,” Hunt said. “It takes more time to go from here to there, but it just means you’re going to have to get up earlier.”
How long until the locker rooms will be ready is a mystery, but until then, Tucker and his Spartans will hear no excuses.
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