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UW athletic director defends Board of Regents’ request to state for nearly $300M practice facility – Wisconsin Public Radio

The head of athletics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this week defended a proposed $300 million practice facility and backed two West Coast teams joining the Big Ten Conference.

UW athletic director Chris McIntosh made the comments Monday during an interview with Shereen Siewert on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show.”

On Aug. 18, the UW System Board of Regents approved submitting the practice facility proposal to state lawmakers as part of next year’s state budget deliberations. McIntosh said current facilities are decaying and in poor quality compared to peer institutions.

Additionally, the Big Ten Conference on June 30 approved a plan to add the University of Southern California and the University of California, Los Angeles in 2024. McIntosh said despite new challenges such as travel, the move would be good for the university and the conference.

Read more from McIntosh’s appearance on “The Morning Show,” edited for clarity and brevity:

Shereen Siewert: USC and UCLA are joining the Big Ten in 2024. What does that mean for UW-Madison? 

Chris McIntosh: It’s a good position for UW-Madison and certainly the Big Ten. It’s indicative of a changing landscape across college athletics. It would have been impossible a short time ago to envision an opportunity like the one that we were presented with — two great schools academically and athletically (with) a lot of history and tradition. 

But it marks a turning of the times for college athletics, and it’s a great opportunity for our conference and in turn for UW-Madison. It’s a great opportunity for our student athletes. They’re excited about it. (They are) two great schools to compete against. But the ripple effects of that decision across college athletics are yet to be felt in its entirety. 

SS: The move adds two West Coast schools to a conference that is otherwise based out of the Midwest and the Northeast. Does geography matter for conferences anymore? 

CM: It used to be very important. That’s where conferences were largely born out of. I’d go back to this idea that the landscape of college athletics is just being redefined right now. And so, the Big Ten as a coast-to-coast conference positions it in a strong way for sure. 

It does come with challenges — obviously geographically, logistically (and) operationally. There are challenges, and we’re working through those now at the conference level in terms of trying to schedule and coordinate in a more intelligent way. But as a regional conference, those days are passed now and we’re seeing a lot of dominoes falling. 

SS: The Big Ten this month signed a new seven-year contract with TV networks Fox, CBS and NBC, essentially cutting out ABC and ESPN, which previously aired games. Is this a good decision, and what will it mean for your programs? 

CM: It will bring with it the opportunity to showcase additional sports — Olympic sports — in a way that we haven’t been able to. Technology through media has advanced. 

In a more general sense, we’re really excited about our new media partners. It will obviously provide a spotlight for our student athletes to showcase their abilities both within competition and outside of (it). It goes without saying it will provide resources that we can then in turn use to support our mission, support our student athletes and also build some significant capital projects around campus. So, not to mention support an academic award …….

Source: https://www.wpr.org/uw-athletic-director-defends-board-regents-request-state-nearly-300m-practice-facility

The head of athletics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this week defended a proposed $300 million practice facility and backed two West Coast teams joining the Big Ten Conference.

UW athletic director Chris McIntosh made the comments Monday during an interview with Shereen Siewert on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show.”

On Aug. 18, the UW System Board of Regents approved submitting the practice facility proposal to state lawmakers as part of next year’s state budget deliberations. McIntosh said current facilities are decaying and in poor quality compared to peer institutions.

Additionally, the Big Ten Conference on June 30 approved a plan to add the …….

The head of athletics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison this week defended a proposed $300 million practice facility and backed two West Coast teams joining the Big Ten Conference.

UW athletic director Chris McIntosh made the comments Monday during an interview with Shereen Siewert on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Morning Show.”

On Aug. 18, the UW System Board of Regents approved submitting the practice facility proposal to state lawmakers as part of next year’s state budget deliberations. McIntosh said current facilities are decaying and in poor quality compared to peer institutions.

Additionally, the Big Ten Conference on June 30 approved a plan to add the …….

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