Indiana graduate and Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban donated $5 million to IU on Friday to build a "state-of-the-art" sports media and technology center in the west wing of the renovated Assembly Hall. It is Cuban's largest donation to his alma mater.
The center, which will be the first of its kind in the country, will be named after Cuban and will open in 2017.
The media center will include two graphic studios, virtual reality equipment, and 24-hour swipe cards allowing students to access the facility IU's schools of media and informatics will work with the athletics department to offer curriculum using the center and create content for the athletic department.
"We wanted to do something that gave IU a competitive advantage across all elements of sports, gave them an advantage in recruiting students into new technology phases," Cuban said. "You're going to be places you've never been before, without leaving your couch. Coaches are gonna create views for their players, and coaching tools they've never been able to use before.
"There will be new types of analytics. It'll apply to science, to surgery, to medicine. That's why we wanted to do it now, because it is so early."
Among the other things Cuban's donation will cover is the installation of 3D multi-cameras in Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium. The technology will allow for replays from every angle, and Indiana will be the only university with that capability. Indiana athletic director Fred Glass said those cameras should be installed in time for next basketball season.
"Whatever I give to IU, it will only be a fraction of what Indiana University gave to me," Cuban said at Friday's press conference.
Cuban will be in town all weekend for IU's first-ever hackathon, which will give teams of a students the opportunity to create a virtual reality experience. I have to admit, I'm not sure what that means. But five years from now, I'm sure I will. That's the greatness of Cuban. He's as innovative as they come, always thinking three and four steps ahead. He's great for IU.
"It's like the Internet or streaming – when we first started streaming, who'd have thought we could possibly do all the things we can do?" Cuban said. "But once you get going, you learn new things. That's what's going to happen here."