“It took too long.”
That was ASU’s response when asked for an explanation about why the school pulled the offer for current SMU head coach June Jones to take over the Sun Devil football program just hours after initially made it. It took too long? Hmph. It took too long.
Before we get into that, I’d like to address something first. ASU fans that are polluting the interwebs with delusions of grandeur about Chris Peterson: put down the pipe and snap back to reality immediately! Who else is on your Christmas wish list? Bill Belichick and Vince Lombardi? Yeesh. We discussed this before, ASU: you’re the freakin’ Sizzler, not Chez Louis.
So back to the subject at hand: did it really take too long? Of course not. When it was announced, the immediate reaction from ASU faithful was not positive. Lisa Love, knowing that her job hangs by a thread, caught wind that ASU fans and boosters weren’t happy with her decision. Instead of acting quietly and decisively like Greg Byrne did in his coaching search, which looks more and more ingenious by the day, Love treated the fan base like a giant focus group. When they returned unfavorable results, she pulled the plug.
But the two things I really want to know are: who are these boosters that have such sway over her decisions and why would she trust a notoriously fickle fan base to help steer the ship, much less swab the deck? Let’s ponder these mysteries.
It’s well known that ASU grads supply 97% of the service industry in the southwestern United States. Bussers, servers, bartenders, bell hops, customer service agents, food delivery drivers, strippers, etc. That list covers the majority of the ASU alumni base. Don’t laugh, though. There is power in numbers. If each of those people give even a small percentage of their nightly tips back to ASU, it adds up fast. But individually, none of them would have enough of a voice to cause the about-face we saw yesterday. That’s because the crème de la crème of ASU grads go into the porn industry so it’s safe to assume that they make enough bank to call the shots at their alma mater. I have to say that is simultaneously both depressing and unsurprising if I’m being honest.
How about the fans? I can’t think of a worse fan base in all of sports, from amateur to the professional ranks. Collectively they’re as fairweather, apathetic, oblivious and unknowledgeable as they come. To quote the legendary Philadelphia Eagles and Arizona Cardinals coach Buddy Ryan, “if you listen to the fans, you’ll be sitting up there with them.” It’s already too late, but Lisa Love really should’ve taken heed to those words.
I’ll be surprised if Lisa Love is still an Arizona State employee by Christmas day, but the silver lining for the Sun Devils is that that might not be such a bad thing. Today, the school announced that they’ve agreed to extend the contract of men’s basketball coach Herb Sendek by two years. I guess that’s a reward for accumulating a 3-5 record against the 112th toughest strength of schedule thus far. I’m sure that will send a great message to whatever hotshot football coach that ASU has its sights set on now. Good luck with that.