“He said this week he has not been contacted by Syracuse or its search firm about the AD position. He also said he has no interest in the job, citing his commitment to Northern Illinois and relatively recent arrival in DeKalb, Ill.”
He knows upstate New York, he’s learned under one of the best football turnarounds in the nation (Wisconsin), and he played at a big time school (Alabama). Sounds pretty perfect. But has the hype gone a little overboard on Frazier?
First, he’s been the AD at NIU for only two years, and while the football program has had major success since then, Frazier hasn’t made any hires. Rod Carey was introduced as the successor to Dave Doeren seven months before Frazier was made AD. Also, Heisman candidate Jordan Lynch arrived on campus in ’09, which made everyone in that athletic department (coaches included) look smarter for four years.
Also, while football is a major priority to revive at Syracuse, there’s far more to handle. How will the new AD steer the ship through basketball sanctions? The eventual replacement to Jim Boeheim? The imminent upgrades to the Carrier Dome? Everyone knows NIU’s football program, but do we care about the rest of the athletic department?
The NIU men went 14-16 last year, getting blown out by Akron in the MAC first round. Sounds bad. But then again, 29 wins in the last two years is actually the best run by the Huskie men’s team in more than a decade. The women went 12-17.
Other notable projects during Frazier’s two years at NIU? He has “overseen the transition of the NIU Convocation Center to the control of Intercollegiate Athletics and is the leading force behind a new facilities master plan and strategic plan for Huskie Athletics.”
That sounds good in a press release, but do we have any idea what that means? Sounds like he’s put together a Power Point, and a board room has sipped coffee and nodded their heads.
He also “upgraded in premium service in the Nelson Club for basketball” – which means big donors got better booze and a steak sandwich was added to the suite menu. “And Frazier also initiated plans for the official pregame tailgate area for NIU football” – so he’s looking at roping off a specific area for the coolers of Bud Light.
Look, Frazier seems like a great guy and could end up being an awesome AD. I’d have no problem if SU hired him, and he was thrilled to take the job. My only point is that we get these ideas in our head based on a few bullet points. Then the guy says he’s not interested, and everyone gets deflated and acts like no one wants the SU job. “Even the Northern Illinois guy turned us down?!” I’m just saying it’s not that simple. Syracuse has some weaknesses, and it’s not the perfect job. But not hiring Frazier shouldn’t be viewed as a huge defeat for Orange fans.