We got to speak with new Syracuse Orange athletic director Mark Coyle yesterday and he shared some insight on what he'll be like an AD, where his focus will be and how often we can expect to see him at SU sporting events (Answer: always).
But the new guy also did the rounds with some other folks as well. Let's see what insights he offered up as well...
SI's Pete Thamel probably had the most jabby interview of the day with Coyle, starting with the line, "Syracuse football has been essentially broken for a decade." Well then... Coyle talked about how he's going to sit down with Coach Shafer to see what little changes can be implemented to make things more successful. He also reiterated that "more conversations and more announcements" about Jim Boeheim and the succession plan that may or may not include Mike Hopkins were forthcoming.
ESPN's Andrea Adelson stuck to football talk. Coyle makes a great point about how it doesn't really matter to talk about playoffs and even ACC titles because all that matters is winning football games, something Syracuse hasn't always done thanks in part to tough scheduling. Coyle's clearly going to try and change that, at least at first.
...as I told you when I was at Boise, and I'll say the same thing now that I'm the athletic director at Syracuse, if you want to be a part of those conversations, you have to win your football games. A year ago, all the national writers called and I was asked, 'How is the playoff going to impact Boise?' And I told everyone, 'You had to win your games and if you win your games, you have a chance to do something special. Syracuse is no different.
Later on he talks about the importance of SOS when bowl games and playoff committees come calling, but the sense I got at least is that he understands that's not really a priority in the here and now for SU. Maybe 3-4 years down the road, however.
What about No. 44? We've been waiting for the arrival of a new AD to settle this issue once and for all. Is it coming back? Is it staying retired? Coyle told the D.O. he's turning to a familiar face to help him decide.
The first thing I will do is sit down with Floyd Little. I have a chance to have lunch with him later in the week. I look forward to hearing his perspective and getting an understanding from him. Obviously that number means so much to this institution and so much to the individuals who wore that number, and again I want to sit down with Floyd and have a conversation with him. And then we’ll go from there.
Well, we know how Floyd feels about it...
The other big issue? The future of the Carrier Dome. Like most things, Coyle's still catching up and he tells Chris Carlson that he wants it to be a special place not just for fans but also for potential recruits.
To my knowledge nothing has been decided yet. You'll have to ask (Senior Vice President for Public Affairs) Kevin Quinn. As I talked about earlier, the Carrier Dome is a special place with special meaning. People know the Carrier Dome. Our goal is to get 18-year-old kids to say yes to Syracuse. We want it to be a place kids want to play.