Washington State reveals new $61m recruiting tool

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Gravity treadmills and hypothermic chambers.

Large, comfortable auditorium rooms for film study.

Locker rooms which rival, if not surpass, the quality of many NFL locker rooms.

Take a step into the new Washington State Cougar Football Complex — if not physically, then at least virtually with the video above, which comes from the university's press site.

The approximately 75,000 square-foot building boasts a tunnel that leads into Martin Stadium as well as new coaches' offices, meetings rooms, a lounge area and a training table.

The construction began in November 2012, a little less than two years ago. This week it opened up for the first time to its players, who used camera phones to record the grand opening. Players lounged on chairs, beat-boxed next to a humongous shower room and walked in a daze through their new state-of-the-art weight room.

The players' reaction was exactly what the Washington State athletic department must have hoped for when it invested $61 million into the new athletic complex.

And, if things go to plan, the behemoth training center will inspire the same kind of awe from new recruits.

That is the key purpose behind this and other large-scale construction projects which have become almost mandatory in the arms race that is college football.

School pride, program tradition and professional aspirations have always been used as valuable recruitment pitches.

Add facilities to that list.

The building is located behind one of the stadium's end zones. The team will move in for good in mid-July, giving them enough time to ease into what they hope will be a better season than last year's 6-7 (4-5 PAC 12) outing.

The school is in part paying for the stadium with the revenues it will be receiving from the Pac-12 television contract, which pays Washington State $20.5 million annually on average for the next 12 years, according to

In last year's financial disclosures, the school reported $50 million in revenues, with almost $27 million coming directly from football. However, it also reported exactly the same number in expenses, meaning that they effectively drew even financially last year.

This stadium was a clear investment in the future though and, while it may have cut into this year's profits, it will likely play a huge role in boosting the school's future earning potential.

The school took its cue from six programs while trying to decide how to build out the stadium: Oklahoma State, Nebraska, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and LSU. 

You'll notice a trend there: Texas schools, in general, have a reputation for devoting heavy resources to football. Plus, each of those teams has had a high level of success in recent years.

Washington State might not be able to beat the best yet, but it's certainly trying to become one of the best. And maybe by providing this kind of facelift — albeit, a $61 million one — they can start looking like the type of team they want to become.

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