Has James Bond come to save the day?

Oh wait — it’s just Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed, dressed up like a secret agent on the front cover of The Hoya, making a conspicuous phone call and pretending to save Georgetown basketball from the brink of conference collapse.

His secret weapon? Email propaganda, followed by a bold appearance on the front cover of the student newspaper.

We’re not fooled, Mr. Reed. Just a few days ago we found out that Syracuse and Pitt were leaving the Big East, and a sense of worry permeated the Hilltop. Now you’ve taken this opportunity to make your sales pitch about a new Intercollegiate Athletic Center in an attempt to mollify those who are worried about the direction in which our conference is heading.

In fact, the email was quite hilarious. The static transition from Big East roundtables to the IAC was evident to the casual reader. Is this supposed to be some prophetic revelation that restores confidence in our program’s future? At this moment of conference realignment, what we want to know is what the athletic department is doing to restore the health and reputation of our conference, which teams we are recruiting to the Big East, what we’re doing to prevent UConn from abandoning ship next and what other conferences we are considering joining. Save your talk of grand sport facility plans for later. You’re not a car salesman.

Even worse, the IAC is not a new idea. Talk about a new sports facility has been going on for the past decade. According to the blog hoyasaxa.com, the exact description of the facility, which includes “coaches’ offices, locker rooms, meeting spaces, press boxes, viewing suites, training and weight room areas,” was copied from a press release from 2000. Back then, it was called the “Multi-Sport Facility.” The new athletic director, who was just hired in April, has merely changed the project’s name. It’s not his idea, and it’s nothing new.

Most of us realize that news of this “new” project is just a distraction. However, the proposition does have some value, even if it takes 10 years for us to break ground. Georgetown desperately needs to improve its facilities. MultiSport Facility, McDonough Gymnasium and Kehoe Field are still far below the standard for Division I sports. For a school whose basketball reputation is on par with UConn, Syracuse and Pitt, our training facilities remind me more of a lousy D-III program than a national power. Do we want to live up to our mantra of “Hoya Saxa”? Because right now our athletic facilities certainly don’t rock.

But is the IAC even the best way to spend our alumni’s money? Consider this — from the gist of Reed’s public relations savvy email, the IAC would serve only the student-athletes on campus, who make up 10 percent of the Georgetown student body. What about the 90 percent of us who don’t participate in varsity sports? Although it may sound selfish, wouldn’t it be better to invest in a new complex that benefits all of the students on campus?

One idea has been on my mind since I made my first trek to the Verizon Center last year. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have our very own basketball arena right on the Hilltop? Before you call me crazy, think about the possibilities. Let’s knock down McDonough and the adjacent tennis courts. Then – and here’s the hardest part – let’s buy a part of Foundry Branch Valley Park, which borders the west side of our campus. Although it would take some heavy bargaining and maneuvering through bureaucracy, this move could give Georgetown enough space to build a brand-new field house that could host basketball home games, as well as hold new offices and practice areas.

Of course, there are some problems with this idea. Parking could become an issue for fans who are not Georgetown students, as it’s much easier to take the metro to the Verizon Center than to our campus. This is also a massive undertaking, which would require millions of dollars and years of planning and construction.

But hey, it’s just an idea. And since it takes decades to plan a new IAC or “Multi-Sport Facility” or whatever you want to call it, I don’t think any idea is too far-fetched.

Just remember — as exciting as these new plans may sound, don’t let emails distract you from the problems that threaten Georgetown basketball.

Nick Fedyk is a sophomore in the School of Foreign Service. Double Nicktwist appears every Tuesday.

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