College football is blessed with some of the most spirited fans of any sport. All sports teams have fans and those who rival each other but when it comes to College Football it’s a way of life. You embrace the institution where your team lives. Everything about it impacts and affects your thinking about your team. It’s impossible to separate from the sport of your favorite team and the ongoings within the walls of the administration. It’s national for some and it’s global for others. Schools have fans in all shapes and sizes. You see them walking the airports and the malls wearing their colors whether theya attended that school or not. They are passionate about the belief and devotion they have built up over the years and decades for some.
Football is a way of life for those who care deeply. Those who follow the very steps that their heroes walked or are walking. They tell stories. They hurt when their school is in the media for the wrong reasons and rejoice when they are hoisting a championship trophy. Quite the circle of fan life that’s for sure.
The institution is walking that fine line from raising funds and keeping their investors happy on multiple fronts. When one element goes off the tracks on or off the field they deal with it. Their very career can go one way or another on issues that are not always sport related. They come in all sizes and shapes. Balancing this way of life is what separates the dynasty builders from the trophy hunter. One Hit Wonder is not the goal of an administration. They seek department leaders that can sustain the test of time and drive vision and develop future leaders. Leadership defines this way of life for all who follow whether a student or student-athlete. It doesn’t matter. Finding the right leaders is no easy task but making the wrong decision and hoping it will fix itself is the very definition of poor leadership.
USC President Folt took immediate action on an area in the USC Athletic department that clearly was challenged and mis-managed by someone who was given a role with no resume supporting it. None. She fixed this in her first few months as the new USC President. Takes leadership to do that. To hope is not to lead. Taking action takes that inner gut supported by the facts. Without both you will struggle and eventually repeat the mistakes that brought you here.
As USC continues it’s search for a new athletic director this next move is going to be the biggest indicator on how serious this Way of Life really is to USC’s Administrators. To repeat the past is to guarantee the insanity that has permeated the walls of Heritage Hall post Pete Carroll. President Folt needs to get this right and needs to let this new AD sweep the halls and choose a team that is aligned and proven in their area of expertise across all sports USC chooses to support.