This is the first in a series about 10 things the University Athletic Association needs to do to keep the Florida Gators at the top of the college sports mountain. Of the list of 10 suggestions some are legitimate, some are grandiose pats on the back. But all are possible.
10. FieldTurf for Soccer/Lacrosse field and practice facility.
The introduction of women's lacrosse presents a challenge to the UAA. Not only do you have to deal with educating a state on a brand new sport, but you have the added expense of a non-revenue sport. The easiest way to spend not as much money is by renovating Pressly Stadium by adding fieldturf and laying fieldturf at the soccer practice complex and UVS Field, which is traditionally a lacrosse field. It is a large expense in the short term, but you will have less long term headaches with field conditions and care expenses. Field conditions will be an even bigger issue if Florida adds Men's Soccer, our number three suggestion.
9. Monument Park/Hall of Fame
I have a thing for plaques. I used to read all the ones planted in front of buildings and dorms on campus. I loved how among a relatively young university, you had representation of history in these little places. I want to see something more. Sure there is a Florida Hall of Fame, and I'm sure Blue Key does something for their people. But those are hidden away. I want to see either a walking path or a park of plaques or statues representing Florida history.
Using North-South Drive or the patches of land at the corner of Museum and North-South and by the O'Connell Center, the University and the UAA should celebrate academics and athletics. You'd have marble stones dedicated to Dr. Robert Cade and Lawton Chiles next to Al Horford and Danny Wuerffel. How cool would that be?
I like the walking path along North-South with the academics section starting at Archer Rd. and the athletics section beginning at University Ave. They would meet at North-South and Museum by the Union where a new feature would be built. The idea for the new feature comes from user GainesvilleRamblings, who left this comment on a story from November.
I don't know if you've ever seen anything like that, but it is amazing. It will really get the fans riled up, I'll tell you what.
That's right folks, a live alligator mascot. It would be perfect; the spot is insulated within campus but still in the middle of things. Of course, you have to figure out a way to protect the alligator from things being thrown into his (or her) habitat. But we invented Gatorade so I think we can figure something out. And yes, I know there are alligators in Lake Alice but that's kind of far from the stadium.
So those are our first suggestions; fieldturf for lacrosse/soccer and a set of monuments dedicated to the University with an alligator habitat as the center piece.
If you have any suggestions or comments, you can leave them below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org