Arizona Sports 620 reacts to Lisa Love's firing
I'm not surprised at all by the change being made. ASU has grown to be one of the largest public universities in the country and yet the athletic program has been left behind. It is going to take a strong leader and visionary to build it back up and beyond the heights reached in the past. To me, that's a daunting yet achievable task and a great opportunity for success.
In her seven years as the Athletic Director, Love clearly failed to bring ASU the athletic success it has so desperately wanted or the funds it so desperately needed. When your best sports program is arguably the women's softball team, you have issues.
What's that old line about those who make it look easy, do it best? Well, if you think back to the ASU Football coaching search, Lisa Love did anything but make it look easy. In fact, it was excruciating. What's worse, her counterpart at UA (an ASU alumnus) pulled off the same process with aplomb. The compare/contrast was telling and damning. As we reported via our sources a few months ago, ASU would have a new AD by the end of the fiscal year. Turns out, it was sooner than later.
I'm completely surprised at the timing but not at the decision. I was under the impression that Lisa Love would work through the rest of the academic year and then she would "move on" or "retire" under the pretense that it was her decision publicly. The truth privately being she understood that she wouldn't be fired if it went down this way.
My impression of Lisa Love is that she's smart and devoted. I think she is one of the best assistant athletic directors in the country. Her ability to support and grow Olympic sports is first-rate. There's just one thing that the NCAA will never admit: 98% of America do not care about Olympic sports. The jump between "assistant" athletic director and the #1 job is an enormous leap and she wasn't able to handle that leap.
She's an engaging person in a one-on-one setting and I'm glad I got the chance to get to know her. However, her passion is very internal. Externally in a group setting, she doesn't bring much to an event and is a weak motivational speaker. When that's the case, your football and men's basketball teams must win. At ASU, that didn't happen.
When you hire active, engaging, media-savvy people, you get much more understanding and a longer leash. At ASU, the three-some of Dennis Erickson, Lisa Love and Herb Sendek are a nightmare for promotions and marketing. Those three people only allow you to market winning. Since they didn't, two of the three are gone.
As a UA fan, many would think I wanted Lisa Love to stick around because of her struggles, but that's not at all the case. The Pac-12 should want all teams are successful, and the "rivalry" between ASU and UA would be infinitely better if both schools' athletic programs were among the nation's best. I want the 'Cats to be better than the Sun Devils, but not because the Sun Devils are lousy. This was absolutely the right move.
Clearly if you're looking for a surprise, the firing of Lisa Love hardly qualifies. This move has been a fait accompli since the June Jones debacle; it was simply a question of when. Perhaps Dr. Michael Crow will argue that progress was made in regards to academics and fringe sports. In the only metrics that matter, football, football and a smidge of men's basketball, the tenure of Love was a colossal failure. Will Steve Patterson be able to do what she was not? That is impossible to predict at this point, but safe to say most ASU fans simply don't care. The Love era is over and that's all that matters.
- Steve Patterson, ASU athletic director - Tuesday May 14Patterson talks to the guys about the Territorial Cup & scheduling with Notre Dame Football
- Steve Patterson, ASU athletic director - Tuesday May 7Patterson talks to Doug & Wolf about the state of Sun Devil Athletics
- Steve Patterson, ASU Athletic Director - Thursday May 2Doug and Wolf talk to Patterson about the latest news coming out of the Pac-12 meetings.
- Brandon Magee , Former ASU Linebacker - Wednesday May 1Doug & Wolf ask Brandon Magee about signing with the Cowboys after going undrafted.
- Steve Patterson, ASU Athletic Director - Tuesday April 23Patterson talks to Doug and Wolf about ASU football games potentially being played at Chase field du