If there’s an argument to be made against the space-age facilities that college football programs spend tens of millions of dollars to construct, it’s this: they’re essentially velvet prisons, keeping players cuffed to the football program all day and thereby further removing them from the “real” college experience.
The people in that camp will hate LSU’s new locker room, but the LSU’s actual players won’t care. Clearly.
On Sunday night, the Bayou Bengals debuted a brand new locker room with nap pods built into each locker.
“We walked in, and you know how you walk in on those charter flights we take?” defensive lineman Breiden Fehoko told LSU’s team site. “That’s literally the first thing that came to mind. You’re in first class. You walk in here, you don’t even think it’s a locker room. You just feel comfortable. This is a game-changer.”
The lockers were meticulously designed with functionality in mind:
The individual locker itself is two parts. The upper portion includes digitally locked storage, charging ports for personal electronics and helmets, and custom, magnetic name plates for each player. The lower portion is loaded with features: a seat that folds out into that bed for napping or laying out with a NormaTec recovery boot; an iPad dock for watching film or consuming non-football content; more charging ports; and a custom-fit cup-holder for hydration.
Each portion connects to its own ventilation – the upper ventilates through the roof, while the lower ventilates through the floor, keeping both spaces clean and sanitary. (A mudroom with shoulder pad racks and shoe dryers separates the locker room from the practice field, offering an additional layer of sanitary protection. It also uses its own ventilation and air conditioning.)
If functionality and comfort is the top goal, keeping players in house is also definitely part of it, though.
“There’s no point in going home,” safety JaCoby Stevens said. “Why would I need to leave? I got everything I need right here.”