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What will an indoor practice facility mean for Miami?

Miami fans reached for the sky in celebration when Mark Richt was hired. Both Richt and his new boss hope a few of the more well-heeled Hurricanes reach for their wallets.

For the last few years, the top priority on the list of UM athletics director Blake James has been the financing and construction of an indoor practice facility, an amenity found at nearly every other major college football program.

The Hurricanes are the only ACC team — and one of a handful of Power 5 conference programs nationally — without a place to practice indoors or a plan to build one. If they played in a climate where it didn’t rain constantly during spring and summer practices, that might be OK. But not in one of the wettest climates in the country.

Of course, appearances matter as well, especially to recruits who tour palatial facilities elsewhere. Miami, a private university among the 10 smallest Power 5 schools by undergraduate enrollment numbers, has tried in recent seasons to get on the same level as its conference compatriots and rival teams in the Southeastern part of the country. It has built new football buildings, installed lights and brand-new practice fields. It has made cosmetic upgrades all around.

An indoor practice facility, something Richt long demanded and finally received during the final year of his Georgia tenure, would be strong evidence that ‘The U’ has caught up.

How close is Miami to building an indoor facility? To find out for free, sign up for basic access to ACCSports.com.