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The Everything School: A jack of all trades but master of none


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#1 Lawrence of Florida

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 12:04 PM

So, I read that Arizona AD Greg Byrne is apparently headed to Alabama to become their new AD. Some may recall that Byrne was one of our top choices to replace Foley, but turned us down (along with the Stanford guy and UNC guy). Yet, here he is...on his way from Tuscon to Tuscaloosa. 

 

I thought we were the Holy Grail of athletic departments? 

 

We are the "Everything School," remember? All those All Sports trophies?

 

Oh, none of that means jack sh*t? Yeah, that's what I thought. 

 

Here's the thing, folks: winning the All Sports trophy means N-O-T-H-I-N-G! I don't think you even technically need to win a championship in any given sport to still finish atop the ranking. A bunch of top 5 finishes across the board will probably do it. 

 

The problem is, no one cares or remembers if swimming, tennis, gymnastics, etc., finish #3. Believe me, it's hard enough to find people who would even care if all of them won the national title every year. It just doesn't matter. So, why was our AD's contract structured to incentivize such nonsense? Whoever negotiated those terms should be summarily executed and have his/her lifeless body tossed into Lake Alice for the alligators to snack upon. 

 

We can win the All Sports trophy for the next 100 years in a row and it will still mean less for our brand than what Alabama has accomplished in football alone since 2008. Oh, and despite their clear priority in football, they still somehow managed to win national titles in gymnastics, softball, and golf. A similar argument can be made with respect to FSU....we act like our athletic department is so superior, but, in addition to going 6-1 against us in football since 2010, they've also managed to turn the tables in men's basketball (3 in a row against us), volleyball (knocked us out of the NCAAT), soccer, and golf. So, again I ask, what's the point??? It's obvious that a program can make football king and still have success in the non-revenue sports. The success may not be as consistent or widespread at the non-revenue level, but it's still very much possible. 

 

By the way, I was flicking through the channels last night and happened upon the Sony Open PGA tournament out in Oahu at Waialae. This young kid was dominating it with a 7 shot lead and apparently had shot a 59 on Thursday. He had also won the previous week's Tournament of Champions over at Kapalua on Maui. Guess where he played college golf? Alabama. UF isn't even visible on the PGA Tour anymore and we're the "Sunshine State," one of the golf capitals of the world, home to 5 PGA Tour events each year, and lots of golf academies like the Saddlebrook program, etc. If there is one non-revenue sport that we should dominate without even supporting it, you'd think it would be golf. Yet, we're nowhere to be found. 

 

Point being, these schools that don't even care about their non-revenue sports are still capable of making bigger impacts on our consciousness within the given sport than we are with our widespread support. 

 

Byrne chose Bama because their brand is hotter thanks to what their board of trustees and president has enabled Nick Saban to build. A dominant football program will elevate an AD's profile higher than winning the All Sports trophy. It also makes it much, much easier to fundraise.

 

Perhaps the idea of having creepy Jeremy Foley still lingering around the program and haunting the AD office at UF also deterred him. Thanks, Jeremy, for handicapping our search by seeking to have your cake and eat it, too. Our idiotic board and president should have said, "Either you're in or you're out. Can't have it both ways." One wonders if Stricklin was chosen because he was the only one who would acquiesce to working under Foley's influence? 

 

Bottom line: Byrne's decision clearly demonstrates that the value of being the "Everything School" is a lot less than we convinced ourselves. It's a myth that exists mostly in our own minds. Instead of attempting to be a "jack of all trades," why don't we start focusing on "mastering" the one that matters: football. We can still have pockets of success in these other worthless sports, which is really all we have anyway despite "spreading the wealth." 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#2 GatorShea

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 12:37 PM

Maybe they guy fits in better with people in Bama than Florida.  Who cares?!



#3 oxs uncle

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 01:37 PM

LOF,

 

UF  should make better use of our mascot. We should have live gators at the games.

We should make use of our superlative engineering department and design a giant tank under the center of the field and fill it with clear water, bright lights, and starving  gators. 

 

 The portion of the field over the glass tank would be lifted by hydraulic columns to a certain height and then canta-leevered outward like an old Delorean door. With the gators now in full view. The gators are carefully fed with a chicken or tofu pasted mold of our rival's mascot, but in the case S.C ,actual, live chickens. The rowdy reptiles and the fans, in a scene reminicent of Lord of Flies would go wild with frenzy. Optionally, for further effects red dye could be shot out from the sides into the tanks.

 

The recruiting prospects would love it. ESPN, the NCAA and SEC of course would would be outraged. At first we would give the them all the finger. We could negotiate with them to have a slightly less violent ritual, e.g. eliminate the live chickens and the red dye.

 

At the close of the ceremony the cantalevers would retract  and the columns would take those portions of the turf down to seal tightly with the rest of Spurrier-Florida Field.

 

The gators would be treated extremely well; no wiring of their jaws. They would be well fed, and all safety precautions would be taken.

 

We missed a chance to install a transparent gator tank in the O-Dome. I'm also not sure if it will convert into an Ice Rink, yes for skaters, LOF, but also, for the the future Men's College Hockey Team.  Think big, LOF. Build them and they will come. 



#4 oxs uncle

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 01:37 PM

LOF,

 

UF  should make better use of our mascot. We should have live gators at the games.

We should make use of our superlative engineering department and design a giant tank under the center of the field and fill it with clear water, bright lights, and starving  gators. 

 

 The portion of the field over the glass tank would be lifted by hydraulic columns to a certain height and then canta-leevered outward like an old Delorean door. With the gators now in full view. The gators are carefully fed with a chicken or tofu pasted mold of our rival's mascot, but in the case S.C ,actual, live chickens. The rowdy reptiles and the fans, in a scene reminicent of Lord of Flies would go wild with frenzy. Optionally, for further effects red dye could be shot out from the sides into the tanks.

 

The recruiting prospects would love it. ESPN, the NCAA and SEC of course would would be outraged. At first we would give the them all the finger. We could negotiate with them to have a slightly less violent ritual, e.g. eliminate the live chickens and the red dye.

 

At the close of the ceremony the cantalevers would retract  and the columns would take those portions of the turf down to seal tightly with the rest of Spurrier-Florida Field.

 

The gators would be treated extremely well; no wiring of their jaws. They would be well fed, and all safety precautions would be taken.

 

We missed a chance to install a transparent gator tank in the O-Dome. I'm also not sure if it will convert into an Ice Rink, yes for skaters, LOF, but also, for the the future Men's College Hockey Team.  Think big, LOF. Build them and they will come. 



#5 orange54

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Posted 16 January 2017 - 03:15 PM

Uncle, his uncle, and brother who are the same people are just filled with amazing ideas.  Maybe he can go to the White House with those great thoughts.!!!!  You would have made it great with Ringling Bros....too bad they just went out of business!!



#6 mtn2top

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 12:28 AM

That's such an extreme negative position to build about UF from a turn down of a job candidate for AD.  Who cares if Byrne is going to Alabama?  The bigger question is when Nick Saban is leaving.

 

Tell all of our student athletes that those wins and trophies don't mean anything. 

 

There's much, much more to UF than just football and sports.  We may be an "everything" school from your perspective but we are not the "anything" to win institution you seem to desire so badly for a couple of marquee sports.



#7 Lawrence of Florida

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 03:24 AM

That's such an extreme negative position to build about UF from a turn down of a job candidate for AD.  Who cares if Byrne is going to Alabama?  The bigger question is when Nick Saban is leaving.

 

Tell all of our student athletes that those wins and trophies don't mean anything. 

 

There's much, much more to UF than just football and sports.  We may be an "everything" school from your perspective but we are not the "anything" to win institution you seem to desire so badly for a couple of marquee sports.

 

No, I think that's where you have it wrong. Gator Boosters, Inc, is driven by one main sport: football. Its funding would be exponentially less and, in fact, may not even exist without that one sport. Football moves the needle and makes everything else possible. I would rarely get back to Gainesville if it weren't for football, quite honestly. Judging by attendance figures at some of these other events, I'd have to say I'm not alone. 

 

The point of my post is to illustrate that attempting to be the "jack of all trades" has paid off very little for us. We convinced ourselves that it was some grand achievement, but it's not. For all we know, FSU may win the basketball title in April and then win the football title next January - matching one of our most prized feats within the athletic department. Not saying it's likely, but it could happen and that's my point - they could end up with the same result without ever compromising their football program. Just an example.

 

If the structure that Foley implemented was so valuable, then why weren't all those AD's sprinting onboard when we reached out to them? We're the second best athletic program in the land, remember? The best public one. Only Stanford tops us because they pile on even more meaningless sports like rowing, croquet, etc. Yet, we hired our 4th or 5th choice. Instead, one of our top choices just went to a football-centric program that most Foley disciples consider to be myopic, backward, and entirely outclassed by ours. But Byrne is no fool - he understands that the bigger the football behemoth can become, the more scraps will be available for the peon sports like volleyball, softball, etc. His decision is a repudiation of "Foley theory." 



#8 oxs uncle

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 09:58 AM

I hate to agree with LOF when he is right 1% of the time. FSU is in a unique position to go back to back in Basketball and Football (Didn't we go back to back to back?)

Even in defeat, FSU looks really good. However, I think Hamilton's basketball IQ will catch up with the team.

 

Now, In football, Fisher won the Natty in 2013 and I don't feel he  senses that urgency

He may have a 2009 type year that the Gators had. Or, the Tide whups him in the first game and FSU plays catch up the rest of the season. Also, too few elite coaches Saban (Sweeney?) Harbaugh is going to have to make his move or Ann Arbor will get restless. He was handed an elite roster.

 

LOF and Dooley generate so many false narratives and hyperbole, because of their untoward cynical thoughts, yet there can be some grains of truth in what that they say that is obscured by their chronic horse sh**t. For example there is now a consensus that Mack needs recruiting help. Since I don't know jack about recruiting, I have to follow the lead of Gator 2222 and Mtn2top on this subject.     



#9 oxs uncle

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 09:58 AM

I hate to agree with LOF when he is right 1% of the time. FSU is in a unique position to go back to back in Basketball and Football (Didn't we go back to back to back?)

Even in defeat, FSU looks really good. However, I think Hamilton's basketball IQ will catch up with the team.

 

Now, In football, Fisher won the Natty in 2013 and I don't feel he  senses that urgency

He may have a 2009 type year that the Gators had. Or, the Tide whups him in the first game and FSU plays catch up the rest of the season. Also, too few elite coaches Saban (Sweeney?) Harbaugh is going to have to make his move or Ann Arbor will get restless. He was handed an elite roster.

 

LOF and Dooley generate so many false narratives and hyperbole, because of their untoward cynical thoughts, yet there can be some grains of truth in what that they say that is obscured by their chronic horse sh**t. For example there is now a consensus that Mack needs recruiting help. Since I don't know jack about recruiting, I have to follow the lead of Gator 2222 and Mtn2top on this subject.     



#10 vulcan_alex

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Posted 17 January 2017 - 10:41 AM

The author has his ideas and I have different ones.  Now if we could be great in football while keeping our ethics I of course would be very happy.  Now if say we got better at football and lousy at every other sport that is a deal that I would not accept, perhaps if NC was always happening it might be attractive.  Others are welcome to different views, and as always if you are not a Gator well you know the rest.


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#11 mtn2top

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 12:15 AM

I disagree totally LOF.  That's the thinking that was prevalent at UF when Charley Pell was hired and Doug Dickey pushed out.  It led to great football and a level of shame that no Gator would want to ever see return. 

 

In a practical sense, it's completely unrealistic to think you can undo Title 9 and take away all the other sports that UF is a participant.  Why would anyone want to do that?

 

From my perspective we are putting a tremendous emphasis on football because it is the bell cow of college sports.  There's limits to the number of coaches, practice hours, etc. that creates a ceiling of what can be done at UF to make football better.  We've been very competitive in the modern era, much more than all but a few other schools.  I believe we are on the right track with Coach Mac and will return to competing at the highest levels.

 

It hasn't been pretty but we won the SEC East the last two years.  That's good progress on a return to the top of the mountain from my perspective considering the offensive mess from the Muschamp era. 

 

That's where we differ.  You are always critical of UF and rarely supportive in your posts.  You are always looking for some quick-fix, miracle solution or mega personality to come in with all the answers.  When you look at the success of teams like Alabama and FSU, it's based on decades of continuity and hard work by a team of people.  It's continuity, not change that most often results in championships.


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#12 gator_tom

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 09:47 AM

 

That's where we differ.  You are always critical of UF and rarely supportive in your posts.  You are always looking for some quick-fix, miracle solution or mega personality to come in with all the answers.  When you look at the success of teams like Alabama and FSU, it's based on decades of continuity and hard work by a team of people.  It's continuity, not change that most often results in championships.

 

 

Thats gold Jerry - Gold!

 

I agree completely. 


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#13 mkfgator

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 10:59 AM

So the Litmus test of whether we have an all everything school is whether some AD from Arizona comes to us rather than Alabama?  Are you kidding? Forget the  Sears Cup or  the SEC all sports trophy we have dominated . Forget 3 national championships in football --including two in the last 10 years or the two NC's in  basketball,the number 1 rankings in baseball and top 10 finishes. Forget the girls  sports , most of which are top 10  in everything it seems. The real test is whether we get some guy to come here rather than Bama. Maybe the dude had shoes to fill here that were too big for his little feet. Maybe  there is nothing for an AD to do here but go into a coma. Maybe Bama needs him more than we do. Maybe Bama would like to win  20 SEC all sports trophies in a row or finish in the top 5 every year in national sports. Maybe Bama would like to be like us and thinks this AD is the answer. 


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#14 Gator2222

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Posted 18 January 2017 - 11:58 PM

 

Here's the thing, folks: winning the All Sports trophy means N-O-T-H-I-N-G! I don't think you even technically need to win a championship in any given sport to still finish atop the ranking. A bunch of top 5 finishes across the board will probably do it. 

 

he problem is, no one cares or remembers if swimming, tennis, gymnastics, etc., finish #3. Believe me, it's hard enough to find people who would even care if all of them won the national title every year. It just doesn't matter. So, why was our AD's contract structured to incentivize such nonsense? Whoever negotiated those terms should be summarily executed and have his/her lifeless body tossed into Lake Alice for the alligators to snack upon. 

 

We can win the All Sports trophy for the next 100 years in a row and it will still mean less for our brand than what Alabama has accomplished in football alone since 2008. Oh, and despite their clear priority in football, they still somehow managed to win national titles in gymnastics, softball, and golf. A similar argument can be made with respect to FSU....we act like our athletic department is so superior, but, in addition to going 6-1 against us in football since 2010, they've also managed to turn the tables in men's basketball (3 in a row against us), volleyball (knocked us out of the NCAAT), soccer, and golf. So, again I ask, what's the point??? It's obvious that a program can make football king and still have success in the non-revenue sports. The success may not be as consistent or widespread at the non-revenue level, but it's still very much possible. 

 

Point being, these schools that don't even care about their non-revenue sports are still capable of making bigger impacts on our consciousness within the given sport than we are with our widespread support. 

 

Byrne chose Bama because their brand is hotter thanks to what their board of trustees and president has enabled Nick Saban to build. A dominant football program will elevate an AD's profile higher than winning the All Sports trophy. It also makes it much, much easier to fundraise.

 

Bottom line: Byrne's decision clearly demonstrates that the value of being the "Everything School" is a lot less than we convinced ourselves. It's a myth that exists mostly in our own minds. Instead of attempting to be a "jack of all trades," why don't we start focusing on "mastering" the one that matters: football. We can still have pockets of success in these other worthless sports, which is really all we have anyway despite "spreading the wealth." 

 

I think you are making a fair amount of assumptions. 

It appears as though you are basing your opinion on perceptions.

 

You write "So, why was our AD's contract structured to incentivize such nonsense? Whoever negotiated those terms should be summarily executed and have his/her lifeless body tossed into Lake Alice for the alligators to snack upon. " 

 

This statement, like many of your ideas, is more than just a little extreme.  It also doesn't appear to be based in reality.  Many sources and databases have reported on Foley's salary.  The only incentive I can find is a solitary $50,000 bonus if the Gators finish in the top 10 of the Directors Cup.  That is a very small percentage of Foley's $1.2 million dollar salary.  I would hardly call that a contract structured to incentivize nonsense.

 

http://www.nytimes.c...orts/03cup.html

 

Your post and subsequent reply in this same thread claim that Florida is holding back the football program by diverting money to other "meaningless" sports.  You use Alabama as an example of a program that does not waste money on frivolous sports.  Once again, I think this is more perception than reality.

 

Alabama and Florida have a very similar revenue stream.  The two schools are separated by a mere $1.8 million.  The most recent reports are from 2014-2015.  Alabama ranked #5 in the nation with $148,911,674 in revenue.  Florida was #6 with revenue of $147,105,242.  The Alabama and Florida brands appear to have a very similar value despite Alabama's recent dominance on the gridiron.

 

http://sports.usatod.../ncaa/finances/

 

Alabama reported total expenses of all men's sports, except football and basketball combined of $7,783,334.  Alabama's women's sports expenses were $14,970,881.  The total amount that Alabama spent on all sports (men's and women's) other than football and basketball was $22,754,215.  That is 15% of Alabama's total athletic department revenue.

 

Florida reported total expenses of all men's sports, except football and basketball combined of $8,392,694.  Florida's women's sports expenses were $15,881,048.  The total amount that Florida spent on all sports (men's and women's) other than football and basketball was $24,273,742.  That is 16.5% of Florida's total athletic department revenue.

 

Florida spent a grand total of $1,519,527 more on all sports other than football and basketball than Alabama did in the same time period.  The Gators devoted 1.5% more of their total revenue to "meaningless" sports than Alabama did in the same time period.

 

The facts don't align with your perceptions.

 

https://ope.ed.gov/a...titution/search


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#15 ccnabors

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Posted 19 January 2017 - 09:34 AM

It does seem like we waste time on sports like softball and basketball more than other schools though. Not insulting those sports or anything but football is the cash cow in this part of the country. Football makes more money than any of the other sports combined. Put money and effort into the football program, succeed on the field and then take care of the other sports. Priority one shouldve been a stand alone facility and the IPF, upgrading the swamp, dorms for football players and a locker room upgrade. Not the ODome and the softball and baseball teams. Again no offense to those teams but they will never generate the popularity and revenue that football does. We are a football school. Plain and simple. It does seem as though Saban gets whatever he wants. Need more jets for recruiters? Done. Need more staff? Done. Locker room upgrade? Done. Facility upgrade? Done. They have a staff just for film. We cant even hire enough coaches right now. We drag our feet on everything and it hurts the program. I dont know if its boosters or the AD or whomever but it is a problem right now and I think even Mac gets fed up with it sometimes just listen to his press conference after the SEC championship game and you'll see.


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#16 Gator2222

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 06:09 PM

It does seem like we waste time on sports like softball and basketball more than other schools though. Not insulting those sports or anything but football is the cash cow in this part of the country. Football makes more money than any of the other sports combined. Put money and effort into the football program, succeed on the field and then take care of the other sports. Priority one shouldve been a stand alone facility and the IPF, upgrading the swamp, dorms for football players and a locker room upgrade. Not the ODome and the softball and baseball teams. Again no offense to those teams but they will never generate the popularity and revenue that football does. We are a football school. Plain and simple. It does seem as though Saban gets whatever he wants. Need more jets for recruiters? Done. Need more staff? Done. Locker room upgrade? Done. Facility upgrade? Done. They have a staff just for film. We cant even hire enough coaches right now. We drag our feet on everything and it hurts the program. I dont know if its boosters or the AD or whomever but it is a problem right now and I think even Mac gets fed up with it sometimes just listen to his press conference after the SEC championship game and you'll see.

 

I will totally agree with that.  I think we do need to spend more on football, especially support staff.

 

Florida and Alabama have very similar revenues.  They also spend similar amounts on non-revenue sports.  Florida has less debt than Alabama and therefore less annual debt service.

 

All of the numbers show that Florida is not diverting a significantly larger amount of revenue to non-revenue sports than our rivals.  However, we still spend far less on football than Alabama.  It's not even close.

 

Total Expenses By Team

Alabama Football $51,044,292

Florida Football $37,473,203

 

That is a $13.5 million dollar difference per year.  That's the difference in having an army of analysts, a helicopter and a waterfall in the weight room.



#17 mtn2top

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Posted 20 January 2017 - 11:16 PM

I read yesterday where Greg Byrne said he was never offered the Florida job. 

 

You can't turn down a job you were never offered.


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#18 Lawrence of Florida

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 08:56 PM

After beating Louisville today, the Seminoles are now 18-2 in basketball. They just went 5-1 against 6 straight ranked teams and will almost certainly be a mainstay in the top 10 the rest of the season. 

 

So, again, I would like to ask: what is the point of our investment structure? For all the success we experienced under Donovan, we can't even assemble a better roster than FSU in basketball. They've beaten us 3 years in a row and are poised to make a much stronger tournament run this year. 

 

I'm so glad we're the "Everything School" and have a broader-minded approach to athletics than those savages in Tallahassee. They're 6-1 against us in football since 2010, not only beat us but eliminated us from the NCAA tournament in volleyball, are much better in women's basketball, have been more successful than us lately in soccer and golf, and have been fairly equal to us in track. What a bunch of neanderthals. Thank god we spread the wealth so that we can beat them in tennis, swimming, gymnastics, and softball. Totally worth the nose dive we've done in football recruiting due to lack of investment to basically split with programs like them across the board. Makes a ton of sense. 

 

I don't know about you guys, but when a Nole starts ragging on me about our losing streak to them in football, I just smile because, in the back of mind, I'm thinking of how we roasted them in swimming. They talk about these guys Dalvin Cook and Jameis Winston....I've got two words for them: Khader Baqlah. Get out of his way in the 400 free. The Noles and Tide don't get it. They've never had the experience of tailgating with ten's of fans outside a true sports cathedral such as Linder tennis complex before a top 5 showdown vs powerhouse Stanford that's going to be featured primetime on ESPN 8. If that doesn't get you going, what does? 

 

It's great to be a Florida Gator, man. Surrounded by greatness. I'll be riveted to see if our basketball team can avoid a 4 game losing streak @LSU and @Oklahoma this week as football continues to battle for recruits down the stretch with several holes yet to fill on the staff. If these other programs want to waste money on buying out coaches before NSD, let them - splitting with FSU across the board doesn't fund itself. Priorities, folks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#19 mtn2top

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 09:03 PM

Putting so much weight on major sports victories is a formula for discontent and unhappiness for the alumnus of any educational institution. Only one school can win the national championship every year. 



#20 vulcan_alex

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Posted 21 January 2017 - 10:16 PM

I being an actual graduate of UF with an entire family of graduates see all of my fellow Gators perhaps somewhat differently.   That female pitcher on an NC softball team is just as important to me as say Tim Tebow at least as a fellow Gator.  Now I don't expect others to agree or even understand.

 

The all sports title means every Gator sport is important and we want success for all those who choose to be Gators.

 

Now if we need more resources for football success we will find a way to get them.  Some things can't be just purchased with money or others also have money.

 

We have issues far deeper than money, relationships with HS coaches, sons of former Gator greats, sons of NFL players, relationships that mean they want to be Gators.  FSU has such and many want to be Noles.  Close that gap and things will be looking up.  How to do so is not so easy.


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