There are a lot of old sayings that make the point.
Smelly stuff flows downhill.
Cut off the head to defeat the enemy.
Wow. Those are pretty harsh as I’m thinking about Syracuse University bringing in the new athletic director chosen to direct a program pretty important to the community in which I live.
Mark Coyle is the man’s name. And I wrote a message to him in today’s edition of my Mark It Up community column for Syracuse Public Media site waer.org. You can read it by clicking the link below.
It doesn’t have to be that bad, of course.
In his 10 years heading the Syracuse sports segment of the university on the hill, Daryl Gross made some moves that were wise. He left the basketball successes and tested rivalries of the Big East Conference behind to join the Atlantic Coast Conference instead.
He knew that would be better for football, and in the large picture, much better for the university’s pocket-book. And indeed, with two seasons in now with the ACC, the revenue check yearly from the decidedly more southern league is said to be some three times larger than those that were written by the Big East. Which is around in name only, for the private school basketball bunch while the football players from the old gang were left to rattle the smaller conference for new teams for a league called the AAC.
But Gross left after the NCAA put his Orange on probation for academic fraud in basketball, a hit to legendary coach Jim Boeheim’s career win list with 100 docked and reputation of unquantified amount locally and nationally. Afterward, Boeheim announced he’ll retire after three more seasons coaching.
Football was named in that report, too, and is on probation, and third-year coach Scott Shafer does not have that national championship of Boeheim’s and full houses in the Carrier Dome when Duke comes a calling and …
Well, the football team was 3-9 last season after Shafer did lead the Orange to a bowl victory his first season. There were many empty seats in the Carrier Dome even that year.
It will be interesting to see how Coyle, in from Boise State, proceeds. The community watches closely.
How much does your community care about its sports teams? When’s the last time a big hire was made in an important organization in your community, and how did it turn out? Do you prefer football or basketball or another college sport, and why?