Oregon Marcus Mariota

During his time with the Oregon Ducks, Marcus Mariota became the face of the team. Now, his name will be associated with one of the most innovative athletic complexes in the country.

On Thursday, Oregon unveiled the Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Center. The building, which was funded by Phil Knight, is more than 30,000 square feet and is designed to assist athletes with wellness and safety.

“The goal of this project was to create one space where we could utilize the most state-of-the-art technology to improve student-athlete wellness and emphasize our commitment to the health and safety of our student-athletes,” said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens in a statement. “Thanks to the incredible generosity of Phil and Penny Knight, we now have a world-class facility that is going to take the student-athlete experience at the University of Oregon to a level not previously seen anywhere on the collegiate level.”

The Ducks released some photos and video of the new building via Twitter, and it is something to see.

The building features a number of innovations designed to help athletes. This includes cameras to track athletes’ movements, an area devoted to physiology and a multipurpose recovery space.

“We focused on creating a space that would allow us to objectively measure a student-athlete’s development and readiness,” said UO director of athletic medicine Dr. Greg Skaggs, who was a part of two fact-finding trips to research the MMSPC construction, including one that took him to NASA as well as Australia. “This data will give us the best opportunity to individualize training to maximize performance and prevent injury.

“Unlike other university performance centers, this facility is designed to make real-time interventions into a student-athlete’s training program and well-being,” said Skaggs.

Aside from helping athletes stay healthy, the new center features more than 2.5 miles of shelving, which features all Nike equipment. The designers said they wanted to have a Niketown feel inside the building.

Oregon joins a number of college football teams that have developed state-of-the-art training facilities. This list includes Clemson, who recently opened a new $55 million facility.

If teams can get the funding, these sort of facilities are a no-brainer. They are good for the current athletes and are a nice recruiting tool to have. Though these are pretty outlandish, it’s hard not to support more help for college athletes.

[College Football Talk/University of Oregon]

About Ryan Williamson

Ryan is a recent graduate of the University of Missouri and has recently returned to his Minnesota roots. He previously has worked for the Columbia Missourian, KFAN radio in Minneapolis and BringMeTheNews.com. Feel free to email me at rwilliamson29 AT Gmail dot com.