Last week Mike Tirico said on ESPN radio that he wants Syracuse’s next athletic director to make the Orange football program the best in the northeast. That certainly tops the wish list of every Syracuse fan, but in the short term that’s a long shot.
Whoever replaces Daryl Gross should initially try to fix Syracuse’s attendance problem.
Fans only really come out in large numbers to watch men’s basketball. The next athletic director should start a campaign to get more fans to head over to the Dome for football, women’s basketball and lacrosse.
The football program was tenth in the ACC in attendance last season, women’s basketball has the worst attendance record out of any school in the power five and SU students have never gotten behind the lacrosse team despite its dominance. This needs to change.
There is a legitimate argument to be made for why the football attendance is not where it should be. The team isn’t very good and let’s face it: the Carrier Dome is not that great of a football venue. Maybe the new AD pushes for a new football stadium.
It’s a mockery that more fans do not show up for SU women’s hoops. Under coach Quentin Hillsman, the team is now almost always in the top 25 and puts out a solid product. Syracuse Athletics should be embarrassed that they cannot market well enough to bring in more fans. To put SU’s woes in perspective, Nebraska, the team the Orange beat in the first round of the NCAA tournament 72-69, averages over 6,000 fans per game and that team is by no means a powerhouse.
Finally, Syracuse men’s lacrosse is the best team in the nation, but gets very little student support. The team brought in Syracuse’s highest attendance total of the season yesterday when 11,408 fans came to the Dome to watch the Orange smack the Duke Blue Devils 19-7. That is a strong number, but there still should be more student support for the nation’s best team.
SU Athletics needs to change the culture at Syracuse University; hopefully it starts with the new AD.
Posted: Connor Morrissette