Syracuse Football: John Wildhack dodges questions on financial spending

Syracuse Orange, John Wildhack (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images)
Syracuse Orange, John Wildhack (Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images) /

Syracuse football Athletic Director John Wildhack dodged questions on some key financial details. Here is what it all means.

This offseason the Syracuse football team was involved in a ton of controversy. Shortly after the season, the Orange announced the hiring of Zach Arnett as the team’s new defensive coordinator.

11 days later Arnett wiggled out of his deal to take the same position at Mississippi State. Although before that happened there was a mini bidding war behind the scenes.

Syracuse attempted to keep Zach with the team and reportedly matched his contract offer of $900K per season. Despite that reported move by the Orange, Arnett still left the team high-and-dry.

Earlier this week Syracuse Athletic Director John Wildhack met with local media and commented on some of the pertinent details. Here are all the details via Chris Carlson of

Wildhack on matching the $900K reportedly:

"“We want to be competitive when we can be. We need to be smart with how we spend our money. We don’t have unlimited resources. Frankly, we don’t have the resources that some peer conferences – SEC and Big Ten – do. That’s basically driven by their media deals. We have to be selective and strategic in where we spend.”"

Wildhack on if 900K was really a place they were willing to go:

"“We stretched. There’s no question. But we do have to be strategic. We don’t have unlimited resources. We don’t have the resources of some of our competitors. At the same time, I want to support our coaches when we can and when we think it’s strategically-important.”"

Wildhack on if Syracuse football fans should take that as a positive sign:

"“Our fans want to win and we want to win. There’s nobody at any program here that doesn’t want to have great success, as we should. We have very high expectations for ourselves. At the same time, we don’t have the dollars that some schools do so we have to be a little smarter in how we do things.”"

In all of John’s answers, there was one common theme: “we don’t have the same dollars as some schools.”

Wildhack talked a big game in the immediate aftermath of the Arnett controversy saying Syracuse was willing to spend. Then when the dust settled, the Orange hired Tony White, John was asked for clarification and all he provided was excuses.

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Ultimately nothing has changed on the hill, Syracuse still isn’t willing to spend on its coaches and its assistants. Hopefully, that doesn’t affect the future of the football program under Dino Babers.