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Hundreds get thanks for WATTS

Published: Wed, August 8, 2012 @ 12:01 a.m.




A few years ago, Allison Ludwig left her home in Dayton to attend Youngstown State University and cited the people, the welcoming atmosphere and the facilities as the main draws.

She couldn’t have known it at the time, but one of YSU’s newest additions would reinforce her feeling that she made the right move at the right time: the Watson and Tressel Training Site.

“I love this facility,” Ludwig, a member of the university’s soccer team, said after Tuesday’s WATTS Donor Recognition celebration in the athletic facility on the north end of campus.

About 100 people attended the 45-minute ceremony to recognize and thank the nearly 350 families, organizations, individuals and others who donated more than $4 million to help build the $11 million indoor practice and athletic facility, which opened last fall.

The state-of-the-art center is named after Jim Tressel, former YSU and Ohio State University head football coach, who coached at YSU from 1986 to 2000 and guided that program to four national championships; his wife, Ellen, a YSU graduate; and Frank and Norma Watson, Tressel’s in-laws.

Offerings include a full-length football field, a 300-meter track, four batting cages, a high-jump pit, two long-jump pits, a training room and several locker rooms. The center is used mainly by the university’s baseball, football, softball, golf, soccer and men’s and women’s track teams.

Ludwig, a junior who’s majoring in middle-school education, said she feels the WATTS center has made her team better, largely by providing improved facilities for game preparations.

Calling the center “a difference maker,” Eric Wolford, YSU’s head football coach, predicted that it will change many people’s lives.

“When a recruit comes to our campus and walks in this facility, there’s a ‘wow’ factor, correct?” he said to applause. “I can assure you of this: The future at YSU looks bright.”

The climate-controlled WATTS center will be an excellent place for athletes to practice year-round and can be used for community events, said YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson, who noted that it also has hosted high-school track meets.

“This facility is in constant use,” she said.

Tressel said he’s grateful to those who made his dream a reality, adding that the facility will positively impact many people for years to come.

Making additional remarks during Tuesday’s gathering were Ron Strollo, YSU’s athletic director; Anthony M. Cafaro Sr., retired president of the Youngstown-based Cafaro Co., one of the country’s leading developers of shopping centers; and R. Scott Evans, vice president for University Advancement.


1Ypboy(64 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Nice picture of a national football cheat, a gangster and an enabler...along with their spouses. Younstown must be so proud.

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2Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Nice picture of a national football cheat, a gangster and an enabler...along with their spouses. Younstown must be so proud.

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3tadigiacomo(15 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Nice picture of a national football cheat, a gangster and an enabler...along with their spouses. Younstown must be so proud.

Give it a break. He paid the price for what he did, no one got hurt, and he's done a lot of good things for YSU, and I don't mean football titles. In the light of other revelations in college football, his breaking a rule is akin to a minor misdemeanor in everyday life. This has been beaten to death. Move on and just be happy that somebody has done something for the Youngstown area - or what's left of it. Youngstown has a storied history of shady people and shady dealings, many of which have been completely accepted by the population. I don't see how this is any different, other than the offenses are much less severe.

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4ysupenguins_com(108 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

yes tadigiacomo. These guys would rather sit there and complain, and ignore the obvious. If you want to accomplish something ...you need to be a player.

Instead, these type of posters would rather live in a nothing town, so they have reason to cry about it all day. The rest of us are happy to be dragged up out of it. Yet these same people would put put "Free Monus" signs in there yards if they were available. Such hypocrites.

Tressel is a great coach, the best coach at two different universities ...spanning a period of over 100-years. Yet instead of recognizing this, they would rather make comments.

The comment section of the Vindy is no place to be a silent martyr guys. I (or my parents) have been purchasing YSU tickets since 1974, my father taught (and was a dean) at YSU for almost 30-years. I am a proud graduate of YSU, and drive 3-hours every fall Saturday to watch my Guins play football. I am a member of the Gridiron Club, and the Diamond Club (baseball). I am a proud father of two ...both graduates of OSU (and they never missed a Buckeye game of the Tressel era). I have run a site & board for YSU fans since 1989 ...at my own expense.

Talk is cheaper than action, so at least get out and buy your season tickets. Then you have a right to talk. Check out that great facility ...you will be impressed. 24 more days.


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5Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

And the football GOD is still live and well in Ytown . Next it will be Penn state. All class acts for sure

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6LRG5150(17 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Please tell me how YSU, and Youngstown in general, would have been better off without a Jim Tressel?

Its good to know there are so many people are perfect around here that can look down on a good man who did a heckuva lot for this area.

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7prodgodq(172 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

The comments on this board are more entertaining than ever. The parade of bitter, angry,sad people here is hilarious. As if one city in Northeast Ohio is the only home to corruption.
It would be a good idea to actually get out of the womb and go live somewhere else.

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8republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Freeatlast is well known on these meassage boards as a loser who doesn't like anyone who succeeds. Ignore this sad loser and disregard his lonely, bitter comments.

Great job by YSU. Watts is fantastic.

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9uptowngirl(139 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

There are not many nice things about Y-town and the fact that the university and community leaders came together and built this great center with private donations is remarkable. The university I attended would have built the center then charged the students for building it and using it. The fact that the center is open to the public during the winter months for a small fee is a plus.

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10vinglass(295 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I heard Cafaro only makes his "donations" via cash in an envelope. Maybe he's standing in back so he can stuff envelopes down the back of their pants.
And yes, spending 4 million to fix up an old mansion for Anderson is a disgrace.

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11walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I finally got inside the building and it is quite nice. This is something in which the whole community can take pride, no matter whom donated large sums of money for it. YSU is far better off because of Tressel's years there and the money the Cafaro's have donated in the past. Do you think the Cafaro's stuffed the money into these politicians pockets without permission or knowledge? It takes two to tango and, in case you haven't noticed, money has always been the mother's milk of politics.

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12endthismess(463 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Would all you whiney negative calicified old Youngstown coots stop your pitiful complaining.

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