There are increasing hints the Gophers won’t begin construction on their $150 million athletics facilities project until October. Football coach Jerry Kill long pushed to break ground in August, but he has been less adamant of late.
“You’re only going to build it once,” Kill said Friday. “You can’t go to the Board [of Regents] after they approve it and say we need to add this or that. There are some things we have to move around to work within our budget.”
In June, the Board of Regents delayed a vote on the project until September, but it sounds more and more like it will be October. An athletic department spokesman said the school plans to give an update next week.
The university has raised $70 million toward the project, but other large gifts are said to be close to finalized. Kill has insisted the holdup isn’t money but details of the design.
“We need to take care of our players,” Kill said. “So everything [in the facility] that’s for the players needs to be the best. When the players come on recruiting trips, it ain’t about the coaches. It’s about the players. So I don’t want anything cut out of there.”
The Gophers will hold Saturday’s scrimmage at Sea Foam Stadium at Concordia (St. Paul) because the Vikings have an NFL preseason game Saturday night at TCF Bank Stadium. The Gophers scrimmage starts at 10:10 a.m., and is free to the public.
“It’ll be fun,” quarterback Mitch Leidner said. “It’ll be like an away game, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Extra year for Bobek?
First-team center Brian Bobek is entering his senior season, but he applied for a medical hardship waiver for 2013, when he was out because of an infection of his heart.
Bobek also had to sit out the 2012 season after transferring from Ohio State. The Gophers anticipate getting good news soon, which would leave Bobek with two years of eligibility.
• Eden Prairie standout J.D. Spielman plans to announce his college decision Saturday, and much of the online speculation has him leaning toward Nebraska. Spielman’s other finalists are the Gophers, Iowa, Iowa State and Michigan.
• Gophers tight end Duke Anyanwu missed Friday’s practice. Kill gave no specifics but hinted that it was a similar situation to left tackle Ben Lauer’s earlier this week, when the team was awaiting magnetic resonance imaging exam results.
• With Lauer (left knee injury) expected to miss another week, Josh Campion moved back to first-team left tackle, with Connor Mayes as the first-team right guard.
• Other players held out of practice included wide receivers Isaiah Gentry and Drew Wolitarsky, tight ends Lincoln Plsek and Nick Hart, running back Jonathan Femi-Cole and defensive linemen Robert Ndondo-Lay and Alex Keith.