Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Has Anyone Seen My Glasses?

by Richard Sweet

Lost my glasses yesterday... I try not to admit it but I’m getting to the point I need to wear my glasses all the time... just got them a couple of years ago... yep, I’m getting old... but not as old as this building I’m working in. Right now, a few of us in the Athletic Department (including Steve Orsini) office in Moody. Moody is a wonderful old building but it is ready for a face lift (has been for years). I have a small office in the ticket area that reminds me of the 1950s... school room windows... some sort of steam heater that heats when it’s hot outside and doesn’t heat when it’s cold outside. Makes for a rather difficult working environment... but hey, I’m okay with that right now because I know that in a few weeks we’ll begin our move to the Loyd Center at Ford Stadium and the change will be night and day.

Our changing work environment is very much symbolic of the changes that are happening all around athletics at SMU. It’s a work in progress and the changes don’t happen immediately. There is a light at the end of this tunnel... I know you think it’s the train... but this time it’s not. There is a feeling of change but this change takes a lot of work. Steve has assembled a group of people that are working late hours to change processes, budgets, goals, the culture... this group will ultimately will reshape our future. It’s an interesting mix of individuals with diverse professional backgrounds working with a few people that have been around for a while and know SMU and its history well. With this group, we will be “top 25” in everything we do.

Continue to watch as new buildings like the Crum Center emerge, a renovation of Moody begins, and all Mustang teams battle for championships. Again, it’s a work in progress but it is happening. The future looks bright.

Now I need to find those glasses so I can see what I just wrote... hope I didn’t misspell anything... would make me look too much like our compliance guy...


Blogger smualumni said...

I have very high hopes what you have said about our athletic program; however, the only way your going to achieve great success will be from:
1) Bringing back the Mens Track and Field Team... this was one of the worst decisions I think our school has ever made. In 2004, at the NCAA Championships just before our program was dropped...we finished fourth in the country! This my friends does not send a good message to our alumnus, students, and fans. An improvement could also include the construction of the "should-have-been" stadium which should have been built when Ford Stadium was built. This would be a huge step towards not only our overall rankings as an athletic program but as a future national championship school.
2) We are currently building a new practice facility for the basketball team which I must say is getting much better! However, we are turning a blind eye to the team that we dumped our old basketball court to; the swim team. Over the long history of mustangs swimming and diving we have been one of the... if not the top athletic program at SMU. Moreover, the amount of Olympians and medals that have been won from our past alumni surpasses all other sports at SMU (while Track and Field comes in 2nd). Both the men's and women's swim team were top twenty teams this year... How good could we be if we actually had a facility that was built for the intention of swimming? Furthermore, we are what... one of three schools in Division 1 who does not have an indoor 50 meter pool... just imagine if we got a new pool!
3) Our beloved Soccer team that competes in the final four, yet they receive no more press than the football team's Red and Blue scrimmage! crazy huh? However, I must say the progress on the soccer team's field is definitely a step in the right direction... but think about this... Just imagine the possibilities for hosting major soccer events if we somehow combine a soccer/track and field stadium? Think of the possibilities of having the NCAA Championship matches here in Dallas, Texas, at SMU...

I have faith in the new athletic department and I think they have already made a tremendous step in the right direction this year. I hope they continue to make the right choices in where some of our money goes to continue the great tradition and legacy of our non-revenue sports... Track and Field, Swimming, and Soccer are not just SMU's only (or formerly) nationally ranked sports but the athletes that participate in them clearly define what an SMU athlete should be

10:46 PM  

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