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Bearcats Basketball Locker Room Project Won't Keep Them At Fifth Third Arena

Just before the start of the weekend the University of Cincinnati announced a massive overhaul of the Bearcats basketball locker room. It's a project that is long overdue, but it won't necessarily keep the Bearcats at Fifth Third.

Rob Leifheit-USA TODAY Sports

Think of it in these terms. Did the Shaekley Athletic Center keep the football team on campus rather than playing downtown? No, but the Nippert Renovation will. Exact same principle here, this is being done because the Bearcats were falling hopelessly behind in the facilities arms race. The locker rooms are a small part of that true, but that is where the players spend the majority of their time. You want them to feel comfortable, to feel at home. There was nothing physically wrong with the current locker rooms. But just like the building they are housed in they felt dated.

The renovation will bring the basketball locker room up to date, but it doesn't mean they are staying there. The big appeal of the new space for Mick Cronin is the new location.

"This is where we live every day. This is our house. With our practice facility, now our locker room overlooks our weight room," he continued. You'll leave the new facility and you'll go up to the gym or you'll go down to our weight room or our practice facility, so it's in-between both of our facilities. It's going to really help us in a lot of ways, but obviously recruiting is a big thing. We have a wonderful campus and we've done a great job with Varsity Village, but our basketball facilities need work."

This will be the first major improvement to the players locker rooms and amenities since Fifth Third Arena opened 25 years ago. This needed to be done, but it's not something that will keep the Bearcats on campus if they can get more favorable terms somewhere else. Now If the rumored renovation of Fifth Third comes through, that will keep them on campus.