I have always had this idea for a screenplay (though I have no idea how to write one) about an average guy who gets a chance to be the NHL commissioner for a month after always hounding the guy about the bad choices he has made in the last year because he thinks they should be more popular. It would lead to a variety of marketing experiment and fun moments for a fan to encounter along the way. The process got me to thinking the other day about Syracuse. I hear many of us, and I have done it as well, second guessing decisions Dr. Daryl Gross often so why not ponder what we would do in his shoes and you could be the Athletic Director for a month?
I know the idea sound radical and in the idea for the screenplay, the character learns that it's not as easy as he thinks. So jumping all over Dr. Gross's every move saying I would do the exact opposite, probably would not be the best move. I have a lot of respect for that position because it's not just about the football or basketball or even the lacrosse but all athletic activities that fall under the Syracuse banner.
My first order of business would be an exploratory commission to research what resources are available to establish a baseball and hockey program. As I noted before, I know the hurdles and maybe it's because I love the sports so much but I would have to know that I exhausted all means before declaring it a dead issue. Reaching out to potential sponsors, alumni, and respected authorities of the particular sports to ask what all would be needed to facilitate a top notch program. I would also attempt to find sports to counter the Title IX limitations and what they would take to get started. My hope is that there is enough information to help at least get one of the programs started and then decide which one was the most viable option for the university if I could not do both.
Next, I would attempt to speak with media and coaches about getting some publicity and air time for the other sports as well. Maybe a deal with Time Warner or something to establish an all Orange sports channel so people could see there is more to SU then just three sports. Maybe get CitrusTV shows on there as well to help gain exposure for the potential they have in the Newhouse School in the hopes of getting it to attract more people too. I would also see about using corporate sponsors to help pay for http://www.suathletics.com/index.aspx to allow people who are out of state but want to follow the action to be able to do so, free of charge but maybe with commercials to help cover the cost. I do not personally have a membership because money has been tight over the last couple years so I can't watch and I know others who would do the same for free. I know it's not too awfully expensive but it's more then I can afford right now. The more publicity this school can get, the better we can become. I mean damn, we have one of the greatest players to ever play lacrosse coaching the women's team and why is it that we see so little about it?
Next, I would paint everything orange and live the experience. That's right, every building on campus and even the Dome would be orange. Maybe hook up a corporate sponsor (that's right, I am not ashamed to be a sponsor whore if it benefits program) like Powerade to make it the official drink to help cover the costs or even place banners on the building stating, "Orange Powerade, Paint Your Place Orange Too". I would make Orange-Outs a more regular event sponsored by the university with obvious exceptions to business attire. I would make that campus so orange friendly that people would know why we are called the Orange.
And last but not least, that's right, I would Restore 44. I have done posts on this issue previously and why I think it's actually the tradition of wearing it that honors those who wore it before you that is more powerful then hanging a banner. 44 is Syracuse and I want it out there so that every time someone wearing that number reaches a milestone or accomplishes something, we can be reminded of the power of that number, not have to look up at the sky to remember, or if your watching on television, maybe getting a quick peek on a camera shot to kill some down time in action. Watch the movie "The Express" and you will see why I feel it should remain a tradition as they show Mr. Brown passing it down to Mr. Davis who later passes it on to Mr. Little and that is what we should be honoring, their memories as well as the tradition. I understand how teams love to fly banners and jerseys to symbolize their accomplishments and how big of an honor it is but that is not Syracuse with 44 nor should it be. Restore 44 and end the controversy once and for all.
So those are a few of the things I would do if I could be the Syracuse AD for a month. I am sure I could think of more but for now, those are some things I would enjoy trying to make happen. So what would you do if you could be the Syracuse AD?