Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Memo to Daryl

To: The Athletic Director
Fr: The Fan (Speaking for himself and presumably others everywhere)
Re: Recent media comments

As a proud alumnus of Syracuse University, I ask you in the most simple way I know, to simply SHUT UP.

As an alum and a fan of the football program, I am already disheartened enough by the state of the program. We are at a level that we never before sunk to. But under your watch, we have continued to sink deeper and deeper into the abyss. Frankly, it's embarrassing.

But what is worse? I'll tell you what's worse. The emails I get from friends and family members pointing out that you can't keep your mouth shut. The phone calls I receive mocking me because I went to a school with the #3 field hockey program (#2 in the latest rankings) in the country. As if those 8 field hockey wins this fall are supposed to make me forget, we've only won 8 games on the gridiron in the nearly four years that you've been Athletic Director.

As a student I went to Coyne Field, I watched the field hockey team. I've supported the non-revenue programs. I know the volleyball team plays in the Women's Building. I cared about those teams and those sports. I went to their games. But the fact remained that I was usually in the minority.

In fact, I heard our new field hockey coach on the football broadcast on Saturday. There she was asking for a big crowd at Coyne Field on Sunday when they hosted New Hampshire. They wanted to set an attendance record. Wanted to get 450 people there to set an attendance record. Are you serious? 450 and I'm supposed to be excited. Unfortunately, only 207 showed up. Now truly, that's a shame. And I'm glad to see the field hockey team having success.

But the numbers prove that people don't care about the field hockey program. At least, not to the levels that they care about the football or basketball programs. So don't compare the two. If possible, it makes you look like more of a fool than you are.

There it was yesterday on the front of the, a link to a story, where you were taking credit for last year's lacrosse championship, but throwing your handpicked savior of the football program under the bus. Get serious. I mean really do you think you saved the lacrosse program.

And once again, I recall another lacrosse championship we won. I watched it with a good friend and classmate. It was about the third or fourth lacrosse championship we had won since we enrolled at the school in the fall of 1991. His reaction was simply, "I'd trade all those lacrosse championships for one football or basketball title."

Again, I'm glad the soccer team is prospering. I'm glad the Orangewomen made the tourney last year. All of that is good. But it needs to be the icing on the cake. If you don't feed the "800-pound gorilla" (your words) nobody cares. And then when you go spouting your mouth off, calling reporters to plead your case, you not only make a fool of yourself, but you make one of our University.

I don't believe that our football program can return to its recent heights with you in charge of the athletic department. Nothing in your past history indicates to me you are capable of this. But I realize that your time as the AD isn't likely to end soon, as the University has somehow seen fit to sign you to a contract extension. So I'll endure the time that you spend here. I'll continue to live in this land, where I have no hope for a fall football season, for a bowl game, where all my optimism is torn away.

All that I ask is that during that time you keep your mouth shut, and stop embarrassing our University.

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