TitleStudent-Athlete Services Enhancements Request Date2012-11-29
RequestorPeter Fields Phone406-994-4221
Campuses Bozeman Billings Havre Great Falls FSTS Extension MAES
Cross Depts  
Proposed Dates Start: 1/1/13 End: 6/30/13
MSU Athletics requests one-time only funding to upgrade and enhance the academic learning center, training center and the strength and conditioning facility equipment for student-athletes. Current resources are inadequate and outdated. This proposal would bring equipment to industry standards and improve the student-athlete experience.

The academic center wishes to upgrade the computer lab and study facilities to better assist student-athletes with academic needs. The training center needs new medical treatment resources. The strength and conditioning facility is requesting equipment to bring the program up to training standards.
This proposal addresses the strategic objectives of Learning, Engagement and Access for Montana State student-athletes. MSU Athletics takes great pride in its responsibility to represent the MSU Campus and Bozeman communities with the highest form of citizenship and pride. Athletics is one of the most visible extensions of MSU to outside constituents and represents MSU at events across the nation and in televised programs broadcast across the country. It is the role of the Athletic department to display the highest degree of class and sportsmanship possible to fully embody the MSU culture.

The funding for academic center equipment directly corresponds to Athletics’ ability to support MSU’s “Learning” objective. The current resources are outdated and insufficient to support the 375 student-athletes that utilize the services of the academic center. With a 2011-2012 cumulative GPA of 3.17 and a graduation rate of 77%, student-athletes are personifying MSU’s proud academic culture extremely well. However, with updated computers, printers, mobile work stations and facility upgrades the success rates for student-athletes can maintain those levels of success and potentially climb even higher.

The additional funding for the training center and strength and conditioning program correlates directly to the “Engagement” objective. Student-athletes train extremely hard to represent Montana State in competitions on campus and across the nation. Their performances bring great pride to the community and the University. By upgrading strength equipment and training center resources, student-athletes will be able to become more successful in their competitions and that encourages community engagement. Bobcat game days are now events not to be missed due to the hard work and dedication of the student-athletes.

In addition, the objective of “Access” is also met because potentially hazardous equipment will be replaced, as many pieces are near the end of their useful life in the strength facility. The student-athletes should not be exposed to subpar or insufficient training equipment. The upgrade in training center resources will allow student-athletes to recover from injuries at a much higher rate as well.
Funding Type: One-Time Only Funding Base (3-yr Recurring) Funding
  FY13 FY14 FY15 Base ($) OTO Startup ($)   FTE;
Materials & Supplies 417665             
Contracted Services              
Other Operations              
TOTAL 417665     
Please comment, if necessary, regarding cost and requirements.

Breakdown of specific funding requirements for Academic Center enhancements:

  • Storage units to house textbook library and create space for 10 more computer workstations: $10,000
  • Replacement of countertop surfaces in computer lab: $10,000
  • Addition of computer ports and outlets in the Academic Center: $1,500
  • Chairs for computer stations and study groups: $1,000
  • Calculators for student-athlete use in Academic Center: $1,000
  • 2 Mobil computer carts and built storage space to house them in the Tutoring lab located in a re-purposed locker room outside the Academic Center: $3,000
  • 3 High-volume printers: $5,000
  • 30 Computers to replace outdated machines(half are 5+yrs old, half 3+ yrs old): $36,000
  • 5 Laptop computers for student-athlete checkout for mobile use (current laptops are 5+ yrs old): $5,500
  • 5 Netbooks for student-athlete checkout for mobile use (current netbooks are 4 yrs old): $5,000
  • Match carpet in front and back areas of Academic Center: $5,000

Total Academic Center Enhancement: $83,000


Breakdown of specific funding requirements for Training Center enhancements:


  • Carpet replacement for assistants’ offices and entry way due to heavy traffic:   $5,000
  • Wall edging in wet area repair due to water damage:   $5,000
  • 5- Spinning bikes for rehabilitation:  $5,000
  • 3- Treadmills for rehabilitation (current machines are 10 yrs old):  $15,000
  • 2- Elliptical machines for rehabilitation (current machines are 10 yrs old):  $10, 000
  • 3-Game Ready Cold Units with extremity resources for injury treatment/recovery:  $15,000.
  • 2- Ice machines (current machine is 12 yrs old and breaking down):  $8,000.
  • Freezer for cold/ice treatment storage:  $500 
  • Combination Ultrasound/Electrical Stim. Unit for injury treatment/recovery:  $5,000


Total Training Center Enhancement: $68,500


Breakdown of specific funding requirements for Strength Training enhancements:

  • 12 - 9’ Custom Half Squat Racks (current racks are old and stabilized by glue) : $29,988
  • 20 – Custom Multi-Angle DB Benches: $21,980
  • 12 – 10’x8’ Olympic Platforms (current platforms are homemade) : $25,188
  • 2 – Small Horizontal Bumper Plate Racks : $520
  • 11 – Large Horizontal Bumper Plate Racks: $3,080
  • 2 – 4 station Modular Pulley Units (current pulley units are frayed/old): $15,998
  • 4 – Pro Plate Load 4-way neck machines:  $7,596
  • 2 – Pro Plate Load Jammer : $3,598
  • 2 – Oak Jammer Platform: $2,798
  • 5 – 2 tier 10 pair Dumbbell Racks (current ones are homemade) : $5,495
  • 6 – Custom Fixed Pad Glute Ham Bench : $10,194
  • 12 – Texas Power Bars - $2,700
  • 12 – Uesaka Men’s Training Bar 20Kg : $11,388
  • 24 – Uesaka 25 kg Training Bumper Plate : $7,176
  • 24 – Uesaka 20 kg Training Bumper Plate : $6,216
  • 24 – Uesaka 15 kg Training Bumper Plate : $5,856
  • 24 – Uesaka 10 kg Training Bumper Plate : $4,392
  • 24 – Uesaka 5 kg Disc : $1,656
  • 24 – Uesaka 2.5 kg Disc : $1,560
  • 24 – Uesaka 1.25kg Disc : $1,560
  • 12 - Lock Jaw Pro Collars : $540
  • 116 – Iron Grip 45 lb Urethane Olympic Plate : $14,616
  • 36 – Iron Grip 25 lb Urethane Olympic Plate : $2,520
  • 72 – Iron Grip 10 lb Urethane Olympic Plate : $2,016
  • 36 – Iron Grip 5 lb Urethane Olympic Plate : $504
  • 36 – Iron Grip 2.5 lb Urethane Olympic Plate : $252
  • 152 – Custom Logo for 45/25 lb plates : $9,120
  • 2 – Iron Grip 5-100 lb Urethane Dumbbell sets (current sets are very loose and dangerous): $19,276
  • 1 – Iron Grip 105-150 lb Urethane Dumbbell set (current sets are very loose and dangerous): $8,226
  • 50 – Custom logo for Iron Grip Dumbbells: $6,000
  • Freight & Installation of all requested equipment: $19,792

Total Strength Training Enhancement: $266,165

Describe the Proposal

MSU Athletics requests one-time only funding to upgrade and enhance the academic learning center, training center and strength and conditioning facility equipment for student-athletes.  Current equipment is inadequate for the number of student-athletes that need the resources.  In addition, some equipment in the training center and the strength program is quickly wearing to the point of being unusable.  This proposal would bring the equipment to current industry standards and improve the student-athlete experience.  The following breakdown will detail the current situation and needs of each area that would benefit from this proposal.  In addition, there is a brief summary of the financial situation of the Athletic department to indicate why these areas are falling behind in monetary resources.

Academic Center:  MSU Athletics is currently in the midst of unprecedented academic success.  Student-Athletes recorded a cumulative GPA of 3.17 compared to the overall University GPA of 2.96 in the 2011-2012 academic year.  That success marks 21 consecutive semesters of a cumulative GPA of over 3.0.  In addition, the graduation rate for Student-Athletes was at 77% compared to the University rate of 51%.  In 2011-2012, MSU Athletics ranked 1st in the Big Sky in Academic Progress Rate and had 46 student-athletes achieve all A’s for the spring semester.

The academic center is extremely critical to our student-athlete’s academic success.  Current work space and equipment is severely outdated and outgrown.  There are 375 student-athletes that have access to the academic center’s resources and space for only 18 computer stations to serve that population.  During peak traffic times, student-athletes are forced to study in random areas of the Field House with minimal attention and no resources.  Ideally, a renovation would include additional space to create more computer stations, group study rooms, tutoring rooms, storage space, and acceptable office space for its employees to conduct meetings with students.  Though expansion is not an option at this time, there are steps that can be taken to improve the current situation.

In order to add additional computer stations within the academic center, a space would need to be created/re-purposed to house the library of textbooks.  If the books were moved out of the academic center, there is enough room to add 10 additional workstations.  There are currently re-purposed locker rooms that could serve this need if funding is provided for at least the first three items listed in the breakdown plus the computers and chairs required for the new workstations.

An overall computer and technology overhaul is also necessary.  Computers are replaced as they fail or when there are left-over funds available from the Student-Athlete Assistance Fund at the Big Sky Conference.  This has caused the technology to be outdated and mismatched.

The overall feel and atmosphere of the academic center is not conducive to learning and studying.  The space and resources are inadequate.  In comparison to other academic centers in the Big Sky Conference, our student-athletes are at a disadvantage.  Coaches rarely use the academic center for their official visit plans as it is not appealing to recruits as it currently stands.  The student-athletes and the academic coordinators that assist them deserve a space and resources befitting such tremendous effort and results.

Training Center:  The training center and athletic training staff members are extremely vital to the health and well-being of MSU student-athletes.  This facility is responsible for monitoring student-athletes during training sessions and competitions and aides in injury diagnosis, treatment, prevention and rehabilitation.  Medical expenses and medical insurance rates are soaring and the training center is one of the best tools to combat those expenses.  By having professional treatment and equipment, Athletics can incur fewer medical expenses associated with outsourcing services to other entities and reduce the overall number of injuries with preventative measures.  In FY12 alone, Athletics was forced to spend $303,000 on medical services and supplies and $126,000 in medical insurance premiums.  Those numbers are only expected to rise in FY13.

The enhancements requested in this proposal will aide in Athletics’ efforts to prevent injuries and enable better treatment and rehabilitation efforts.  Student-athletes will be assured the proper medical attention with the correct resources to best aid in their injury recovery or prevention.  Current equipment is outdated and substandard and many items are well-past their useful life.  If new equipment was present, the training staff would be able to meet more needs and spend less time outsourcing treatments. 

In addition, the overall appeal of the training room would be improved.  As it stands, the training room looks outdated and worn down.  The replacement of carpet and the repairs of water damaged walls would greatly improve the atmosphere of the training room.  Student-athletes who require the facilities should have an inviting space to rehabilitate in.  The training room staff has done an amazing job in battling the upkeep problems and fixing machines that breakdown.  They are now at a point where maintaining is simply not enough.

Not only are these conditions and issues affecting student-athlete’s treatments, but recruiting and competitive advantages are evident.  Coaches cannot use the training center as a recruiting highlight.  Peer institutions have better training room facilities.  Top-level student-athletes take that into consideration from not only an aesthetic point of view, but also in considering what program would offer the better care for injuries.  If equipment is outdated or worn down compared to other institutions’ training centers, the recruit might be swayed.  The ability to aide in recovery and rehabilitation is also a competitive advantage for a program.  If student-athletes can get back to competition quicker due to the training center’s resources then a competitive edge is gained.

Student-athletes perform in their respective sports for the representation of Montana State.  They deserve to feel valued, safe and cared for.  By investing in the training center, MSU is investing in the health of its athletes.

Strength & Conditioning:  In the competition realm, MSU Athletics has reached new heights of success.  In 2011-2012, MSU won the prestigious Big Sky Conference President’s Cup for the 2nd time in school history.  MSU Athletics also achieved awards for Athletic Director of the Year, FCS Football Coach of the Year, FCS Assistant Coach of the Year, and saw 37 athletes honored for All-Conference recognition.  In the past 10 years, student-athletes have brought 74 individual conference championships and 13 team conference championships home including back-to-back-to-back football conference championships.  All of these successes are direct results of our student-athletes’ drive, work ethic and training.  That success is also in spite of the current equipment used for training.

Strength and conditioning programs are extremely critical to the health, safety and success of the student-athletes.  Proper training not only improves results in competition, but it also prevents injuries and quickens recovery.  As student-athletes train and perform to represent Montana State University, they deserve to be provided the absolute best resources available to them.  Current standards are not meeting that level.

The Strength and Conditioning program has the proper space for training our student-athletes, but not the proper equipment.  Current equipment is extremely outdated.  The strength coaches have done a tremendous job utilizing what they have and making repairs on their own to hold things together.  However, the equipment conditions have reached a point where action must be taken. 

All platforms used for the racks are home-made by the strength coaches.  These are not professionally built and wear out very quickly.  The racks are literally attached to the platforms by glue due to the bolts being stripped from old equipment.  The dumbbell racks are home-made as well and look it.  Storage racks and bins for medicine balls are home-made and the entire set-up feels mismatched.  The dumbbells currently utilized are loosening up and need to be checked and tightened daily by the strength staff to ensure they are safe; that shouldn’t happen.  The two pulley stations available for the 375 student-athletes have cables that are looking frayed and worn.

The picture described above is precisely why most coaches do not use the Strength Program on their official visit tours.  Most athletes that choose MSU come from a high school with superior strength equipment than MSU’s.  The atmosphere and feel of the equipment is subpar and not conducive to the image that MSU Athletics should be conveying.  It is a testament to the quality of strength coaches and the coaching staffs that they are able to recruit, train and coach the student-athletes to high levels of success in spite of the training equipment. 

The breakdown listed earlier for the enhancement of the strength and conditioning program is a complete overhaul that will put MSU Athletics on par with their peers.  The list of items was garnered from the company Power Lift that specializes in strength and conditioning equipment.  All of the equipment would be matching in design and color schemes to convey a unity and clean appearance.  In addition the current pricing includes custom logo placement on the equipment of the MSU trademarks to enhance the visual appeal.  All equipment would be new and meet all safety standards for the industry.  This funding would instantly transform the MSU Athletic strength and conditioning program into a prized highlight of the Athletic Department.  Performances, recruiting efforts and the health of the student-athletes would all see significant improvements.

Student-Athletes represent MSU with the highest class and have brought tremendous pride to this campus.  The entire campus community enjoys the thrill of victory and the campus unity provided from athletics.  This proposal gives the student-athletes the resources they deserve to take that pride to the next level.

Athletics’ Financial Background:   Despite all of the success being enjoyed in the classroom and in competition, the reality is that funding levels for Athletics are unsustainable for the operations of today.  Estimated levels of funding for optimum efficiency are short by approximately $1 million.  There are a multitude of factors that have contributed to this uphill path, most are market induced.  For example, salary markets for coaches have escalated very quickly with FY12 experiencing a jump of nearly $100k due to base pay increases to retain employees and earned incentive bonuses.  Medical services and insurance premiums have sky-rocketed from $26K in FY08 to a cost of $225K in FY12.  Scholarship expenditures increased $196K in FY12.  Travel expenditures continue to rise with the cost of fuel and the reality that Bozeman is a difficult city to travel from for competition and recruiting.

A budget oversight committee recently reviewed Athletics’ operations and performed a peer evaluation with nine other institutions.  The study revealed that Athletics is operating near maximum efficiency, but still falling behind.  It showcased that Athletics ranks near the top in revenue generation, yet has kept key expense categories such as coaching salaries, marketing, and team travel near the middle to bottom of the peer group.  Those expenses are now starting to catch-up to the successes being achieved.  Current budget levels are unrealistic to meet the needs of the teams and programs.  Critical budgetary items such as recruiting, team travel, equipment and facilities have been cut or reduced to levels that are insufficient.  This also leaves no funding to improve student-athlete services such as the academic center, training center or the strength & conditioning program.

In addition, it was revealed that general funding support for Athletics has actually decreased each of the past 5 years in relation to MSU’s total general fund.  In FY09, Athletics represented 4.54% of the total MSU general fund.  In FY13, that % has decreased to 3.91%.  Expenses have been rising as funding has been decreasing.

Describe the broader impacts and benefits of this proposal

Student-Athlete:  This proposal is an investment in MSU’s student-athletes.  It sends a clear message of what MSU thinks about student-athletes’ efforts and provides them with a heightened sense of belonging.  Enhancements to the academic center would greatly influence the appeal and effectiveness of our academic support system.  With the proper resources such as new computers, mobile tutoring stations, and additional spaces suitable for studying, the student-athletes can continue to be a great source of academic pride to Montana State University.  It would also reinforce the message that academics are the number one priority for our student-athletes by displaying an investment into their success.  The student-athletes have achieved great academic levels already and this proposal would help fund a strong foundation that assists with their endeavors.

Improvements and upgrades in the training center could have a profound effect on student-athlete health and safety.  By having equipment and machines that are up-to-date, the training center can better prevent or rehabilitate injuries.  Student-athletes’ recovery times would be sped up and medical expenses may decrease if the training staff had the ability and resources to perform some of the rehab and treatments in-house.  Upgrading the training center sends a clear message about student-athlete health and how much MSU values their dedication.

The enhancements to the strength and conditioning program would also directly affect the health of student-athletes tremendously.  Their training regimen would be given the proper resources to fully blossom their talents to a whole new level.  The aesthetic improvements of the program would motivate them to want to be there and work harder and give a sense of unity and prestige.  The level of safety would reach new heights and show that MSU cares about their well-being.  In addition, the improvements of the resources would enable the student-athletes’ health to be greatly improved.  This could lead to decreased injuries and improvements in recovery from injuries which would decrease costs associated with medical services.

Industry Trends:  The enhancements that this proposal would allow Athletics to make would bring MSU up to the standards of the industry.  The world of Athletics is a constant struggle to attract the most talented people to your institution.  Coaches, professional staff and future student-athletes all choose their destinations based upon what institution offers the greatest resources for success.  By upgrading the academic center, training center and strength & conditioning programs up to the level of peers, MSU would be more attractive to potential employees and recruits. This would also help in the retention of employees and student-athletes.  This is an investment in MSU Athletics’ success in the classroom, in competition and in the human capital market.

Implementation Plan

Implementation will be immediate. One-time purchases would be made as soon as possible.

Assessment Plan

MSU Athletics receives constant assessment from competitive and academic standpoints.  The public and community expect Athletics to be successful on and off the field of play and to represent MSU with the highest level of class.  The student-athletes are some of the most recognizable individuals from the University and their actions and performances are directly tied to public perception.  The performance of our student-athletes in the classroom and in competition has not disappointed as described earlier.

Due to these levels of success on and off the field, Athletics is viewed through a very critical lens.  In order to succeed at this rate and level, resources have to be assigned and monitored very carefully.  It is the responsibility of the athletic department leadership to ensure that the resources granted are applied appropriately.  These allocations are monitored very closely by department staff and University personnel.

If assessed objectives are not met in the timeframe outlined what is the plan to sunset this proposal?

Once funding is granted and equipment is in place, there is no plan to sunset.  These would be permanent additions.

Executive/VP: Peter Fields (