John Wildhack recently made an appearance on the radio in Syracuse and answered a couple of pressing questions that are every Syracuse fans minds. The first topic that he addressed is the renovations to the Carrier Dome and, despite the fact that he is realtively new to this Athletic Director gig, he sounded like a polished professional. He essentially dodged any and all real information and said things like “I am going to be boring” and it is a “complex thing”.
It has been over a year since the announcement that the Dome and surrounding area was going to be renovated in a several hundred million dollar process but we really haven’t gotten any other information. The Director of the Carrier Dome, Pete Sala, has taken charge on the project and, he too, has not provided any real information. There is still no timeline and no clear plan, as the leaked renderings were deemed to be fake.
One thing Wildhack did stress, however, is that these renovations will have to take place at a time that will allow the Dome to continue to host football and basketball as he said that both programs need to be completely “preserved”. He also said that they hope to have minimal impact on the men’s and women’s lacrosse season.
This could mean that the renovations, whenever they may happen, will occur during the late spring through the summer. The women’s lacrosse team has played games out at the SU Soccer Field this year and that is real possibility for the lacrosse teams to have uninterrupted seasons while the Dome then has a longer window to undergo renovations.
The other major topic that Wildhack discussed is the football schedule for next season and beyond. It has been well documented that Syracuse has a brutally difficult schedule in the upcoming season. This is partially due to the fact the, as Wildhack said, the Orange play in arguably the toughest division in college football with games against Florida State, Clemson and Louisville every year.
Throw a game against Miami and a trip to LSU this year and the Orange are in for a rough ride. Wildhack said that there is very little that the Orange can do with their schedule and that he had Babers are on the same page. Eight of their twelve games are predetermined by the ACC and some games, like the one against Notre Dame in 2018, were set by a prior Athletic Director. They have to try to find a balance between a competitive schedule and one that gives them a chance at a bowl game. I am not sure that the 2017 schedule does that at all.