Coburn updates facilities, discusses NIL legislation

Florida State athletics director David Coburn addressed the school’s athletics board on Wednesday afternoon. Below are some highlights of his thoughts:

Football staff: Strength and conditioning staff is complete and is particularly impressive, Coburn said. “The strength and conditioning staff is absolutely making a difference, you can already see it,” Coburn said.

Football schedule: Coburn discussed some of FSU’s requests as the ACC built the 2020 football schedule. “We made some asks and we were pretty much granted our asks,” Coburn said. “We asked for fewer home games in September and we got fewer home games in September. We asked for fewer back-to-back home games and we got fewer back to back. I thought the ACC did a pretty nice job of accommodating.” Season tickets are doing “slightly better than they have been” and he’s encouraged by that, Coburn noted.

Football facility: Coburn has talked at length with coach Mike Norvell and chief of staff Bruce Warwick to “work through the spring, get familiar with the setup” and then discuss what the plan will be with a football facility. After the spring, they will meet again. “It all comes down to money,” Coburn said. Fundraising from the boosters has been “very successful,” Coburn noted.

Doak Campbell Stadium revenue: The boosters have engaged with Legends, a corporation that deals with stadiums. They will look at stadium seating and potential revenue streams, Coburn said. FSU is sending a survey to 500,000 people — which includes current and former ticket holders and Boosters, students, and alumni — to get feedback on their past game experience.

State legislation on name, image and likeness: The Florida Legislature has bills in the house and senate. The house bill has become an “athletes bill of rights” bill, that also includes provisions to require health insurance, disability insurance, continuation of aid, and authority to hire agents by players, Coburn said. The effective date would be July 1, 2020. The senate bill is focused on name, image and likeness but would be effective July 1, 2021. “We’ll see what moves ultimately in that process,” Coburn said. 

Federal legislation of name, image and likeness: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is drafting legislation. He is talking mostly to the conferences, Coburn said. Of note is a “federal pre-emption provision,” meaning that what Washington does would take precedent over any legislation on a state-by-state basis. The effective date would be July 2021. It would allow the NCAA a broad authority to draft policy rules.

Men’s basketball: The regular-season home finale between FSU and BC on March 7 will be the fifth sell out of the 2019-20 season. After the Louisville game, the final tickets for FSU-BC went fast, Coburn said. Some changes to basketball seating could come for 2020-21. “For a long time our emphasis with our fans was selling tickets,” Coburn said. “… Now we’re at the point where we care if they come. And we think we can sell them if they’re not (using the tickets).” 

Softball: The shade structure was complete ahead of the start of the season. In addition to keeping spectators shaded and featuring large cooling fans, the structure also funnels noise out onto the field, making it a difficult setting for the visiting teams. The field is a sell out most nights, Coburn said.

Baseball: All of the grandstand seats have sold out for the 2020 season, Coburn said.

Top Golf: More than 1,200 slots have been sold for the Top Golf event on April 23-26 at Doak Campbell Stadium, which will be held over a few days after spring football practice.

Admissions: Not an athletics note, but Coburn stated that FSU would admit 6,500 students in the fall – out of 62,000 applications. The average GPA of the applicants is 4.3. “This school is hot, not just athletics,” Coburn said. “People have noticed.”

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  1. Craig Gilman Reply

    So many great things going on at FSU. As an alumnus I’m very proud of the progress that’s been made in both athletics and academics. Now, just need to get the football program back on its feet and moving in the right direction. It’s going to require some patience but I think we’ve got the right folks in leadership roles to take us there.

  2. Jerry Kutz Reply

    You are right. There are a lot of pieces moving in the right direction. And I agree, FSU has the leadership in football to get that program turned eventually too. Norvell spoke to the athletic board before Coburn’s comments and brought the same energy to the board he’s brought to every other group. It’s clear he cherishes FSU’s history, respects who Coach Bowden is as much as what he accomplished, which is important in my eyes. It is also clear he has a plan and the intelligence, energy and mental maturity to see the plan through whether in good times or bad and that will be important as this Renaissance will require a strong and steady hand, until the corner is turned.

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