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Evansville Courier & Press (Indiana)
BLOOMINGTON — The idea behind former IU football player Terry Tallen's seven-figure gift, which will be used to renovate the program's locker room facilities at Memorial Stadium, started in a conversation with an old teammate.
A captain on Lee Corso's 1979 Holiday Bowl team, Tallen had been heavily involved in fundraising and giving to his alma mater before. In 2008, he established a scholarship in his name, given annually to one of the program's team captains, and he co-chaired a fund to raise money for that scholarship as well.
So it wasn't surprising that Tallen and I Association board chairman Mark Deal were brainstorming similar ideas in that conversation.
"We were talking a few months ago about, what can we do to help the program? What can we do to help the school?" Tallen said. "(Deal) said, 'Well, Terry, by the way, we just happen to have this opportunity with our football complex.' It was like, 'Oh my god, tell me about it.'"
What started then was formally announced Friday — a $2 million gift to establish the Terry Tallen Indiana Football Complex.
Across 25,000 square feet, Tallen's gift will help renew Indiana's locker room facilities.
Additions or renovations will include: IU's player locker room, coaches' locker room, team lounge, recruiting area, equipment room and training room, according to a press release formalizing the details of Friday's announcement.
IU coach Tom Allen, one of several dignitaries on hand for Friday's ceremony, thanked Tallen for his gift, saying, "You can't put a price tag on what it means for recruiting."
The gift itself will likely help bolster the football program's profile with recruits. It will also put one of the final touches on a decade's worth of renovation and capital improvement that's seen IU enclose both ends of Memorial Stadium, open a state-of-the-art weight room there and significantly expand academic, training, medical and nutritional facilities for athletes across all 24 of its varsity sports.
"It's heartwarming," Tallen said of the sweeping facilities upgrades IU has implemented in recent seasons. "It's extraordinary, and it provides all of us with just great joy and enthusiasm for the upcoming season. These are building blocks."
Renovations funded by Tallen's latest gift are expected to be completed in time for the 2019 football season, according to IU Athletics Director Fred Glass.
"It was just an honor and it was something I deeply wanted to do," Tallen said. "I'm deeply honored. It's a thrill."
Follow IndyStar reporter Zach Osterman on Twitter: @ZachOsterman.
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