U. of Indianapolis, Bartolomeo, 'bubbling' with pride

2012-02-02T23:45:00Z 2012-02-07T16:45:12Z U. of Indianapolis, Bartolomeo, 'bubbling' with prideBy Al Hamnik, (219) 933-4154
February 02, 2012 11:45 pm  • 

INDIANAPOLIS | Bob Bartolomeo couldn't get better publicity for his football program or his school if he rented a blimp to fly over Lucas Oil Stadium before Sunday's Super Bowl.

Not to worry. He's got the ARC.

The University of Indianapolis' new 90,200-square foot Athletics & Recreation Center, featuring a 68,000 square-foot air-supported dome, is the practice site of the NFC Central champion Giants as they prepare for the New England Patriots.

Bartolomeo, a 1973 Andrean graduate, is the Greyhounds' second-year coach.

"It's been a great blessing for us and it's an awesome facility for our size school," he said. "It's huge, is what it is. We got some new offices, a new locker room, training room and weight room attached to the bubble.

"The only thing the NFL did when it made arrangements was make the dome bigger, which is a great addition for us. It's a full-length field and there's about 20 yards around the outside of it."

University of Indianapolis President Beverly J. Pitts used her longtime NFL Players' Association contacts to help make the ARC a designated practice site for the 2012 Super Bowl.

The Giants practice there Wednesday through Friday, with a possible walk-through Saturday. All workouts are closed to media and the public.

Coach Tom Coughlin and the entire Giants traveling party came away very impressed.

"This is an outstanding facility, absolutely outstanding," Coughlin said. "What I like about it is that the college teams here have been working out all fall, so the FieldTurf has been broken in well. It’s settled in, and it’s in great shape.


"It’s going to be great for our players to be able to work out in here all week."


Just what Bartolomeo hoped to hear.


"Any time you get positive publicity like this, it's a feather in our cap," he said. "We're kind of a hidden secret here on the South Side, so the more people we can get on campus to see the way we've grown the last five to 10 years, it's gonna help us in the future."

The Division II school has nearly 5,000 students and is 10 minutes from downtown Indianapolis.

"It's such a worldwide event now," Bartolomeo said of the Super Bowl. "I kid the kids on our team that I've seen every one, so I'm that old."

Bartolomeo is busy with high school commitments and other campus responsibilities, so he can't observe Giants' practices at the $6 million facility, much as he'd love to.

"I don't think they need my help," he said, jokingly. "They've gotten a long way without me, so why screw it up?"

A shroud of secrecy enveloped both camps this week, which is typical for Super Bowls, and also includes a no-fly zone for small aircraft.

"The NFL comes in and kind of takes over your whole deal," Bartolomeo said. "They've boarded up the windows. They have their own security team in place.

"It's pretty hectic to the point where all of our mail that's been coming into the university the last couple of months has been going through a special screening process."

Like checking into the airport.

"Worse," Bartolomeo said.

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