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BOT notes: Alford updates on football upgrades, need for NIL amendment

The Florida State Board of Trustees met on Tuesday afternoon in Tallahassee. Below are a few updates:

Football locker room, ops building updates

The Florida State football team will have renovated locker rooms that will be completed during the mid-March spring break. It will feature updated technology and better utilize the space within the locker room and walkways.

FSU athletics director Michael Alford said $53 million has been pledged toward the new football operations building, which will be constructed on a portion of the current practice field as well as a narrow parking lot. Alford said there are also $50 million in asks out to donors.

Competitive imbalance with NIL bill

One of the biggest concerns with name, image and likeness legislation is the lack of uniform, federal legislation. Florida’s law, which went in effect in July 2021, is widely viewed as a good one but also needs modifications. Alford said administrators have been able to educate athletes on how to market themselves, and the school has established two classes that teach NIL to student-athletes. But coaches and school officials are not able to facilitate deals.

“It’s a great bill,” Alford said. “But we can’t compete with what our competitors in other states can do at this moment.”

Alford, BOT chairman Peter Collins as well as offensive lineman Dillan Gibbons have been active in lobbying on behalf of an amended NIL law in the Florida Legislature this session.

Basketball upgrades ‘recruiting path’

Alford discussed the need for an updated “recruiting path” for the basketball program. One of the areas in need of improvement at the Basketball Training Center is the timeline on the third-floor walkway that connects the men’s and women’s coaches offices. There are also glass cases that feature jerseys, trophies and memorabilia. 

FSU graduation rates

The student-athlete fall GPA is 3.114 and 85 percent of student-athletes graduate — which is higher than the student body. FSU president Dr. Richard McCullough said earlier in the meeting that the four-year graduation rate for students across campus is 74 percent.

Provost Jim Clark said more than 70,000 freshman applications have been received so far ahead of a March 1 deadline. That’s a 142 percent increase since 2016. Clark was Dean of the College of Social Work and was promoted to FSU’s provost on Jan. 3.