Daryl Gross Defends Himself

Feature photo credit: The Post-Standard.

Daryl Gross says there is money going in to the Syracuse football program. Speculation has been running wild since Doug Marrone’s decision to leave his “dream” job and head to Western New York and coach the Buffalo Bills. With all the fans in Syracuse completely sold on Marrone’s dream, the fact that he was a Syracuse guy, and that he had been trying to get the Syracuse job his entire career, there has been a lot of fans thinking Daryl Gross wouldn’t commit to the program or put any money in to it, and that is why our “Syracuse guy” left.

Gross responded today, and said that is absolutely not the case:

“It’s not a big secret,” he said. “We have a great chancellor (Nancy Cantor) and a great Board of Trustees, and all have supported me to make the football program the best we can make it. Doug will be the first to tell you future plans were there. Everything he needed to be successful was on the table. It was not about not having enough money. We’re headed to the ACC. There is money going into the program.”

Gross said there is no question in his mind the indoor facility will be built, bringing SU’s facilities up to par with those of its future brethren in the ACC.

“Not only is it on table, but we’re committed to it,” he said. “We’re committed because it helps 16 teams, not just the football team. It solves all the pushing and shoving in Manley (on the 80-yard indoor practice field there). We need that as one pillar and the Anthony Center on the other side with Manley in middle. Now you’re rocking and rolling. I am totally committed to that. It has a lot of momentum now.”

Gross also commented on Marrone’s hiring of Nate Hackett to Buffalo as the offensive coordinator, and how it will affect the Syracuse offense going forward:

“Here’s the beautiful thing about living in the United States,” Gross said. “It’s a chance to make your dream come true. Nathaniel and I had some great, great conversations and he got a beautiful offer and was genuinely thrilled about it. We both knew the only thing that could come close to what was on the table was to get an opportunity to have full control of an offense in NFL.

We have put our focus on the system we’re running and not so much guy. Running it,” he said. “We will not have a new guy with a new system. Scott is committed to the current system. It will continue to be fast, up-temp, spreading it out at times, going West Coast at times and running the ball when that is working . . . just what we’re doing. Whoever comes in is going to have that philosophy, because it’s a lot of fun for the players and the fans. That’s what Scott wants to do.”

So with Gross finally coming out and being open about the entire situation after remaining silent throughout the whole process, the question must be asked: Where was all of this when the coaching carousel bit Syracuse in the first place? As soon as Marrone started interviewing with NFL teams, our athletic director could have easily came out and made these statements about the plans to upgrade the facility and put that whole issue to rest.

Some will not come out and say they don’t believe him when he talks about these plans for a football practice facility, and to you I say nonsense. Daryl Gross is a business man. He knows how to make money for this athletic department, and he is also a very smart man. He knows that football is what makes athletic departments ridiculous amounts of cash, and he knows that a school has to be committed to said football program in order for that to happen. I would argue that there probably isn’t a single person in Syracuse who wants the football team to thrive more than the good doctor, if for nothing else the financial ramifications. But watching him on the sidelines throughout this past season there is no doubt in my mind he wants those players to succeed and to win.

In regards to the Marrone situation as a whole, the only thing I really fault him in is his lack of communication with the fans throughout the whole process. Since Doug Marrone wanted to leave, there wasn’t a thing Doctor Gross could have done about it. Sure, he could have tried to sign him to an extension midseason. But even if Marrone did sign the extension, you think that would hold him back from taking a job in the National Football League?

I think Gross got a raw deal in this whole situation. I think the belief that Marrone really wouldn’t leave Syracuse for another job and that this place was his dream made the fans think that it isn’t possible that Marrone just didn’t want to be here, and that put the blame squarely on the athletic director. Gross stood by Doug during some times when many fans were calling for his head, so I’m highly confident that if there were a way to get Marrone to stay at Syracuse, Daryl would have taken the steps to do so.

What do you think about Doctor Gross’ statements? Do you believe him with his talks of upgrading the football practice facilities?

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