LANCASTER, Pa. -- Stuffing oversized equipment into undersized lockers has been an annual harbinger of football season at Franklin & Marshall for nearly half a century. The August rite looked significantly when the 2009 Diplomats' football team reported for duty on Friday. Thanks to the generosity of the Football Alumni Association, the squad's space enjoyed a major renovation over the past summer.
Gone are the undersized lockers that have been in continual use since Mayser Center opened its doors in 1961. In their stead are 87 NFL-style lockers. The boom box with the aluminum foil antenna has been replaced by a state-of-the-art sound system. The improved locker room will also serve as a meeting space for the football team. The whole squad can view the 67-inch LCD monitors mounted on the wall, while smaller units can make use of the 37-inch LCD monitors at either end.
"The project was first class the whole way," said F&M's Head Coach, John Troxell. "Our alumni have given us a much needed space for instruction and a locker room that the entire program can be proud of."
The project cost nearly $400,000 dollars from start to finish and was completed entirely with donated funds. The men's lacrosse team will also make use of the space.
The new locker room was well received by the team, which will suit up in the room for its first practice on Sunday morning. Jarrell Diggs, a sophomore wide receiver from Baltimore, was on campus throughout the summer and kept his teammates up to date on the progress.
"Everybody was asking about it all summer and I told them to wait," said Diggs. "Now that they have seen the finished product, they knew it was worth the wait. It is a million times nicer than the old one."
The Diplomats open their season at Washington & Lee on September 5. Kickoff in Lexington, Va. is slated for 1:00 p.m.