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Kansas’ facilities just got a bit more deluxe

Feb 25, 2014, 4:23 PM EDT

Bill Self AP

It is not like Kansas is lacking in recruiting advantages. The team just won their tenth consecutive Big 12 regular season title, and Allen Fieldhouse is regularly cited as one of the best fan experiences in Division I — countless recruits visiting The Phog have been swayed to become a Jayhawk based on the overall vibe and decibel levels during home games. Now Bill Self and his staff will have another recruiting perk to lord over the rest of the Big 12 and other DI teams: announced during the first half of the Oklahoma win, Kansas will begin building apartments for the men’s and women’s basketball teams (as well as non-student athletes).

The ‘Fieldhouse Apartments’ project will cost an estimated $17 million, and the first phase, which will include 33 apartments and a commons area, will begin shortly. Because the university was denied additional bonds for the Kansas legislature to finance the construction, KU has begun to raise the funds for phase one — roughly $7 million — from private donations.

Oklahoma State upgraded their lockers rooms a few years ago, a move that included copious flatscreen televisions and plush chairs, and while some may see Kansas’ move as simply another step in facilities’ arms race, this sort of investment is necessary. How many articles have been written about DePaul and their lack of a proper on-campus arena? When Steve Lavin arrived at St. John’s, one of his first moves was to petition the use of the New York Knicks’ locker rooms when the Red Storm played at Madison Square Garden. These touches matter — to recruits, to current players, to alumni (who can point to these renovations as proof their alma mater “is the best”) — and the KU apartments, which will be located near the Phog, will likely be a reference point when another blue-chip recruit visits Lawrence.