Look, I'm not going to try and convince the average Syracuse Orange fan that the #1 concern of a new Athletic Director should be the Olympic Sports. I get that most people are concerned about football, basketball, and lacrosse. That's completely understandable. But for those of us who do care, what are some things we should be looking at happening in the Olympic Sports?
After the Fall 2014 season, Syracuse stands 11th in the country in the Learfield Sports Director's Cup Standings, after finishing the 2013-14 year with a 53rd place finish. The Learfield Cup awards points to schools in a maximum of 20 sports (10 men and 10 women) and this is how Syracuse has finished since 2008-09:
During Gross' Syracuse tenure, field hockey (2) and women's lacrosse (5) have reached the Final Four in their sport seven times. Softball achieved three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances and won back-to-back Big East titles in 2011 and 12. Men's Soccer just finished a season that saw them reach the #1 ranking, and ended with the team's 2nd visit to the Sweet 16 in the last three years. Cross Country has had the program's best NCAA performances since the 1950s. Both rowing programs have sent recent team members on to successful National Team careers, and have been ranked nationally.
So what happens next? Well I think the move to the ACC and additional revenue makes it reasonable to expect that these programs can sustain their competitive level. Most of the other ACC schools make it a priority to have a well-rounded athletic department, which is demonstrated by the conference having 11 schools in the top 60 of the current Director's Cup standings.
At this time, it doesn't really make sense for Syracuse to look at adding sports (especially baseball). My belief is that the next AD should continue to support the Olympic sports, as being able to compete with the rest of the ACC is important to keep a healthy athletics program. I'm not suggesting that funds from the revenue sports are diverted, but there should be enough to go around?
What do you think? Is it important to Syracuse fans that Olympic sports are successful?