The Gophers are adding a $1.5 million injury "recovery suite" to the Athletes Village — entirely donation-funded — at a time of serious cost-cutting at the University of Minnesota.
The Board of Regents approved designs for the project Tuesday, stressing that plans were in the works before the COVID-19 pandemic. Two weeks ago, the University said the athletic department stood to lose between $10 million and $75 million during the pandemic, depending upon when athletic events resume.
The 1,400-square foot recovery suite will be built on the second floor of the Larson Football Performance Center. It will include a sauna room, float tanks and sleep pods.
With the campus shut down but construction allowed, this approval means the project should be completed by August.
Three seniors to return
Three seniors who were regulars on the Gophers softball team this season will return for the 2021 season, the team announced. Shortstop Carlie Brandt, who has played every position but catcher, will be back for a fifth season after the NCAA granted spring athletes an extra year of eligibility because their season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.
Also back will be third baseman Katelyn Kemmetmueller, who led the team with 48 assists, and center fielder Brooke Vander Heide who led the outfielder with 26 putouts. Pitcher Amber Fiser said earlier she would return, which means at least four of the six seniors on last year's team will be back.
• Thomas Longbella, a senior from Chippewa Falls, Wis., will play another season on the Gophers men's golf team.
• Rickard Gronborg, a former St. Cloud State hockey player from 1990-92 now coaching the ZSC Lions of Zurich, Switzerland, is one of five nominees for the European Coach of the Year.
• Matt Ellingson was named the Moorhead boys' basketball coach.
Staff and Wire Services