Lisa Love gone, time for Sparky to climb
A class of 100 students on ASU's campus heard the news of Lisa Love's firing and broke out into huge applause. As soon as the first tweet went out regarding Love's demise, I was retweeted with countless, "What took so long?" tweets.
Imagine getting one of those e-mails at work that announce: "Fred has decided to pursue other career opportunities." As Fred clears his desk and the e-mail circulates through the company, Fred hears spontaneous cheers erupt throughout the building.
It's really sad that we treat other human beings this way. In my business, you can't give your opinions for four hours a day without some people hating you. Since every radio host gets fired at some point, there will be some listeners excited when I get fired. I'm going to go home and look at my wife and daughters and say, "Daddy doesn't have a job," while others are applauding as if their lives improve the day I'm faced with terrible misery.
I'm not above the fray, however. If the Diamondbacks sent out a press release announcing they've decided to cut Eric Byrnes again -- even though he hasn't been on the roster in two years -- I would have an uncontrollable ground swell of positive emotion forcing my hands together for a round of applause.
The job of a college Athletic Director is one of the strangest in our country. You're in charge of a multi- million dollar business. You will be sued if you don't spend those millions on business ventures you know will fail financially (women's sports). If you win 18 national championships in swimming/diving/soccer/softball/water polo while losing on the football field and basketball court, you're not getting the job done.
College Athletic Directors understand there is cruel fate in the position. Reaching the heights of Athletic Director of a BCS school is a huge individual pay day. You accept a job where you are judged on wins and losses. If you win, you don't tell people to quit congratulating you. If you win, you don't tell the Board of Regents to stop sending you bonus money for the extra contract clauses you've earned. If you lose, people cheer when you get fired.
In a town where the entertainment dollar is stretched to capacity, the headliners of your athletics programs cannot be Dennis Erickson, Lisa Love and Herb Sendek. You must fight for the entertainment dollar. You must embrace the fans. You must be engaging. You can't speak in cliche. Every day must be about winning and invigorating the fan base. Those three people together lead to an apathetic fan base with no skin in the game.
Lisa Love's departure does not save ASU. ASU is not close to an athletic renaissance that was being held down by a fictional tyrant named Lisa the Terrible. ASU isn't even close to becoming a force in the Pac-12, let alone the nation. Firing Lisa Love is similar to getting out of the car at Camelback Mountain and thinking you're almost at the top. Sure, you're closer than you were yesterday when you packed your trail mix, but celebrating this milestone is worthless.
Steve Patterson looked at Texas athletics as the role model for ASU. It's not a pipe dream. ASU really could reach that level of success if the fans stop blaming the administration, the coaches stop blaming the fans and the administration stops blaming the coaches. Holding others accountable is meaningless without accepting your own responsibility.
ASU is embarking on about a 15-mile hike and they've only taken two steps down the path. This is good news, though, because the car was going in circles around the parking lot.
- 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