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An Open Letter To Syracuse Athletics From The Local Podiums Union

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The following open letter was sent to TNIAAM with instructions to post as an open letter to SU Athletics, SU Head Coaches and other concerned parties.


Dear Syracuse Athletics,

Enough is enough.

Greg Robinson, a man so gentle that his sweet touch following 40-point losses was a caring caress that could soothe a podium's soul, once said that the time for talking is over and the time for doing is now.

Syracuse's current crop of head coaches have done plenty of talking and plenty of doing and we're just about fed up with both of it.

We thought we had an understanding. Following the tragic and unfortunate events of December 15, 2008, a night that lives on in the memories of us all, we were told that something like this would never happen again.

Jim Boeheim has rarely been a friend to the podium community, but since that fateful evening, we have worked together to harness a relationship of tolerance. It is the job of Syracuse's podiums to stand with, or more specifically in front of, coaches such as him to act as a buffer between him and the media horde.

Not to overstate the importance of podiums, but the podium's motto is In Absentia Luci, Tenebrae Vincunt.

"In the absence of light, darkness prevails."

We are that light.

That knowledge is what makes the events of Monday afternoon so heart-wrenching and difficult to process.

How anyone could make light of this situation is beyond our capacity. What if it were a podium in Gaza?

Dr. Daryl Gross, you have allowed a culture of intolerance to fester within Syracuse Athletics. A culture of violence directed squarely at the squares below the fists of your head coaches. And they use those fists to take their emotional tolls out on our members.

This shall not pass.

Moving forward, we have a list of demands. If they are not met, you will no longer have access to the world-class podiums that we provide.

1. Scott Shafer should be reprimanded immediately. With all of his talk of "hard-nosed" and "lock the doors" and constant foul language, he was a ticking time bomb that finally exploded. He needs podium-safety counseling and he needs to understand that podiums do this work not for a paycheck but for love of the press conference.

2. Jim Boeheim needs to retire. Or at least be asked if he is going to retire. It has been too long since it was last asked.

3. Better health care options for podiums. Injuries are likely in our line of work. Scuffs and cracks are common. Microphone batteries die. Today's podium life expectancy is less than podiums built 50 years ago.

4. More diversity in podium hiring. SU hires plenty of oak podiums but what about hickory? Mahogany? Hard Maple? This isn't 1965 anymore, let's have podiums that represent the modern American podium experience?

Every member of the Podium Local 4444 has signed this letter. Or at least, would have if they had opposable thumbs. Or hands. But they all agree in spirit, inasmuch as a podium can think or express thought.

You have 48 hours to respond in full.

Podiums today. Podiums tomorrow. Podiums forever.