The Independence Day week is the heart of the dog days of summer, so what better time to introduce a new little feature we’ll be running named the “Summer Data Dump”, or “SDD” for short.
Over the last few years SFN’s individual authors have all started dozens and dozens of entries/articles that were never finished and therefore were never ultimately posted on the blog. However, we still have HUNDREDS of these partial posts saved in our ‘drafts’.
I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite parts of the blog is our ability to go back through the archives and surf through different topics and entries that are fascinating to review through the prism of current times. With that said, over the next few weeks we’re going to randomly through out some of the old drafts that are still sitting in our pipeline. Some entries may actually be completed and never posted; some may trigger us to complete them today; most/many will be totally incomplete and in draft form…but the topic could still be of some interest and may spark some interesting interaction from the community.
Since ‘SDD’ sounds a lot like an unwelcome ‘STD’…why not start with something from a school that I categorize in my group of unwelcoming – Syracuse University.
I’ve never liked Syracuse. In anything. Lots of reasons for it; none that are necessarily relevant at the moment.
Back in February of 2005, I archived the following quote Syracuse’s new Athletics Director Daryl Goss (biography) after the unceremonious firing of Paul Pasqualoni after 14 years at Syracuse.
“As I talked about in the press conference when I came in, the expectations at Syracuse are really high. Obviously, there has been some success here and as of late, it has not been on a consistent basis. In looking at the past few seasons, there are some inconsistencies there, but at the same time there were some opportunities to do some great things that didn’t materialize, and that is unfortunate. That is part of coaching. Sometimes it is just bad luck. Sometimes you just know you need to make a change. He has had a long tenure here, and has done some wonderful things. I just think that it is time to go in a different direction.”
At the time I archived the quote I was conflicted as to which direction to head with an entry. Do we discuss expectations? appreciation for previous work? need for consistent performance and not over-valuing a few subjectively selective seasons or characteristics?
Part of me respected Goss’ desire to drive change. But, the part of me that disrespects Syracuse was telling me that success is not easy there and that they may have an over-inflated view of their ability to compete trying to attract top athletes to a campus that is covered in snow most of the year while playing in an old broken-down stadium in a diluted Big East.
Pasqualoni was an assistant at Syracuse from 1987 until 1991, when he was promoted to head coach after the position was vacated by Dick MacPherson, who left for the NFL to coach the New England Patriots. The Orange (then known as the Orangemen) enjoyed a number of successful years with Pasqualoni at the helm. The team won the Fiesta Bowl over Colorado in 1992 and defeated Clemson 41-0 in Gator Bowl in 1995, Donovan McNabb’s freshman year. The team had a 6-3 record in bowl games under Pasqualoni. Pasqualoni’s 14-year record with Syracuse was 107-59-1. His only losing season was in 2002 with a 4-8 record. Most seasons of his tenure saw Syracuse competing in the Top 25 in the country.
At the conclusion of the 2004 season the team lost the Champs Sports Bowl 51-14. New athletic director Daryl Gross fired Pasqualoni on December 29, 2004, despite the fact that Syracuse’s president, Nancy Cantor, publicly stated that Pasqualoni would be on the sidelines the next season. He was replaced by Greg Robinson, who had been serving as the defensive coordinator at the University of Texas. During the 2005 season, the first season in 14 years without Pasqualoni leading the team, the Orange football team posted a record of 1-10, the worst record in the 117-year history of Syracuse University football. In early 2009 Pasqualoni’s name came up as a possible replacement if Herman Edwards were fired as head coach of the Kansas City Chiefs.
On the football field, things obviously haven’t worked out will for ‘the Cuse” and the opening couldn’t have been better timed for Rutgers and Greg Schiano. Goss has a lot of
Off the football field, Goss appears to be doing a little better and has been very busy. In just four years has ‘hired nationally-recognized head coaches in football, women’s basketball, softball, women’s tennis, field hockey, women’s lacrosse, women’s soccer, women’s ice hockey and cross country and track & field, adding them to a fraternity that already includes national championship winners Jim Boeheim (men’s basketball) and John Desko (men’s lacrosse).’
In perusing his biography, I liked the following introductory paragraph:
His vision to ensure that Syracuse, year in and year out, is recognized as one of the great athletic institutions in the country, is what drives Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. His mission for Syracuse Athletics is to compete and perform at the highest level in everything – on the playing field, in the classroom, in the community and in athletics facilities. The principles in which he believes include winning championships, graduating all of the student-athletes, maintaining compliance to all NCAA rules and being fiscally sound. A veteran athletics administrator, Gross understands the proud name and great athletics tradition of Syracuse University.