Apr 212005
 
Authors: Jon Pilsner

Joey Porter says without CSU, there'd be no Joey Porter.

So, the Pro-Bowl NFL linebacker and former CSU defensive end decided to give back to his alma mater.

The Pittsburgh Steelers player announced Tuesday he had made a $200,000 donation to the CSU athletic department, money earmarked to renovate the Rams locker room facility in Moby Arena. Upon completion, the locker room will be renamed the Joey Porter Locker Room.

Head coach Sonny Lubick brought the renovation need to Porter's attention. Lubick has campaigned for the renovation since coming to CSU 13 years ago; Porter said making the gift was something he felt was important.

"I was happy with the opportunity to do something like this for Colorado State," Porter said. "We felt like it was something we could get done, and it was something the team needed."

Lubick was humbled by Porter's decision to make the gift.

"I'd like to tell Joey how proud everybody here is," Lubick said. "I look at this offer for Joey (as) a tremendous offer for Colorado State and a chance for him to be a part of it forever."

Lubick said when he approached Porter with the idea, he was happy with how well he responded to it.

"When I talked to Joey about a month or two months ago, I was just so proud in the fact in how humble and how gracious he was," Lubick said.

Porter was pleased he could give something back to a program that helped him succeed in the past.

"I was so happy with the opportunity to do something like this for Colorado State. We felt like it was something we could get done, and it was something the team needed," Porter said. "I did it because I wanted to; it was something I felt like I had to do because I wanted to do it."

Athletic Director Mark Driscoll said the renovation will start as soon as possible, with the goal of completing the locker room by the time two-a-day practices start in August. Early plans including removing some walls, a shower facility, creating a lounge area with televisions and chairs, as well as air conditioning, which the locker room has never had.

"It'll be more than a locker room," Driscoll said. "It is their home, where they can hang out together. It's going to make them have a lot of fun."

The new locker room – which Porter and Lubick agreed was badly needed – will also help with recruiting. It was one of the reasons Porter made the donation.

"I didn't realize how much of this type of stuff plays into recruiting and I hope this helps," Porter said. "A lot of schools have good facilities and now Colorado State is pushing toward that."

The donation and upgrade follows a major donation by Pat Stryker and the Bohemian Foundation two years ago, which funded major renovations to Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium. Those improvements, which include north end zone seating and a new press box with suites, will be completed by the first football game this fall.

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