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Email: Important Message from Director of Athletics Mark Harlan


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Dear Bulls Family:

Over the past few months and increasingly this past week, there has been much discussion both locally and nationally regarding possible conference expansion and other potential realignments and, if so, which schools might be under consideration. Conference leaders continue to evaluate their next moves based on their independent research and needs, and any decision will ultimately be up to the presidents of these institutions. 

My purpose today is to share some thoughts on 
our institution.  

Since my arrival more than two years ago, questions about conference realignment have been raised by those who love USF deeply.  I have not wavered in my response to them: USF Athletics will continue to make sure that every day, all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff are working tirelessly to achieve excellence in all of our 19 programs. I am grateful for the continued support of our fans as we work together in this regard. 

In the past school year, Bulls teams have won multiple American Athletic Conference Championships, participated in multiple NCAA postseasons and, in 2015-2016, for the first time in school history, secured the highest ranking in the American in the Learfield Cup standings, which recognizes outstanding overall achievement in a department.  Meanwhile, we have also celebrated academic wins, with our student athletes sustaining an overall average 3.0 GPA for multiple semesters while our graduation rate continues to steadily climb – now at 82 percent. Moreover, this year USF student-athletes and coaches participated in a record number of community service activities throughout the Tampa Bay region. 

Detailing these successes is important in the context of the national dialogue of conference expansion.  We’ve worked toward our achievements in an increasingly competitive American Athletic Conference, which has proven its competitive position against our peer conferences. Like many of our peers, we are also an aspirational institution and closely monitor any opportunities that would benefit USF Athletics in the long term.  Rest assured, we have been proactive in exploring any and all opportunities that would support this program’s singular focus on sustained excellence. 

Excellence is and always will be our No. 1 priority. We must win on the field and on the courts of all of our sports; we must attract higher attendance at our games; we must increase donor engagement; we must continue to enhance the fan experience; we must position our facilities for success; we must continue to rally community support for all our program. These responsibilities start with USF leadership and staff, but they are made possible by our spirited students, coaches, and Bulls fans. We cannot achieve excellence without you. Your role in our success is critical and deeply appreciated.

While we always carefully monitor any potential changes to the collegiate athletics landscape, our commitment is to excellence – in competition, in the classroom and in our community. Thank you for your enthusiasm for our program and your support of our incredible student athletes. We are counting on your interest and involvement in all of our athletics activities to ensure we are best positioned for success now and for years to come.

GO BULLS!


MHarlan

Director of Athletics
University of South Florida

 

 

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Basically says-okay guys, we're going to do what we can, but you gotta hold up your end to and buy tickets and donate. 

And he's right. If we don't support our school, our university, our team, no one is going to do it for us. 

Period. 

There's plenty for them to sell, especially with the success of the olympic sports and the football resurgence, but there is still a long way to go. At least we can say we have quality Olympic facilities, now our football facilities have to match up. Need to get the OCS and IPF projects rolling. 

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We must win on the field and on the courts of all of our sports; we must attract higher attendance at our games; we must increase donor engagement; we must continue to enhance the fan experience; we must position our facilities for success; we must continue to rally community support for all our program. 

So the things we need to improve in to make his job easier (or even possible)

  • Winning
  • Attendance
  • Bigger donors
  • Traditions (fan experience)
  • Better fascilities (OCS obviously :stirpot:)
  • Community support

In other words, he will do what he can but we might not be there yet.

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We have something most other schools do not. A plethora of corporations surrounding the University. We may not have a T. Boone Pickens, but we have billions being generated here in the bay area. It would be nice if they jumped on the bus.

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44 minutes ago, Ned A Starr said:

Why should "outsiders" jump on the bus when alums don't.

Seriously, just stick to WBB. You don't have a clue about much else when it comes to USF. There are plenty of "outsiders" on this board that have jumped on the bus ... One of the biggest contributors to USF is an "outsider".

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3 hours ago, mark_my_words said:

So the things we need to improve in to make his job easier (or even possible)

  • Winning
  • Attendance
  • Bigger donors
  • Traditions (fan experience)
  • Better fascilities (OCS obviously :stirpot:)
  • Community support

In other words, he will do what he can but we might not be there yet.

Winning fixes all of the bullet points which leads to a better conference. TCU and, to a lesser degree, Baylor are perfect blueprints for USF to follow in football.

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1 hour ago, dausfbulls11 said:

Kinda reads like our AD doesnt think we are big time enough either.....i understand we need more butts in the seats and your job is to promote that but would like to see more promotion of what we do offer, more selling our virtues and promise to the talking heads

All the wonderful selling points and what USF has to offer mean absolutely nothing if you don't sell tickets and raise money.  So, NO at the rate we sell tickets & the amount of money we raise we absolutely are NOT big time enough.    Truth hurts but that is 100% the reality.   

We all need to be rooting for the Big 12 to vote NOT to expand this year and table it for a yr or 2, we will be much better off then......

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1 hour ago, USFBULL_08 said:

Winning fixes all of the bullet points which leads to a better conference. TCU and, to a lesser degree, Baylor are perfect blueprints for USF to follow in football.

Minus the whole raping and assaulting women thing, at least as Baylor goes

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