One of the first things any new hire in sports has to do before he or she wins over a team or lockerroom or even fans, is to win the press conference. They have to show respect, but establish that there are lofty but realistic goals. New Arizona State University vice President of Athletics (the AD) Steve Patterson certainly sounded like he was winning the press conference, but in doing so, put a hefty dose of pressure on himself and the coaches that are within his reach.
He did a wise thing by starting off with a Todd Graham quote -- "speaking victory."
But after that, he basically puts the coaches on notice.
Among the things he said,
"I don't accept that we can't compete. I'll never accept that."
"If you can't convince the best athletes to come here ... there's something wrong. We ought to be competitive."
"I think we have all the right resources to be a (top college program). I don't see why we can't do it.
While ASU president Michael Crow refuted the idea of some unlimited resources (he said the university has serious limitations), Patterson is essentially saying this: "Have you looked at Tempe? It's a great campus, it has great facilities, great weather and everything. You are doing something wrong as a coach is you can't convince them to come here."
Much like Crow has for the university on a larger scale, Patterson is thinking big and looking ahead. However. he is not the first to talk about the ASU program as something that should be bigger and better.
Since this is not the first time fans have heard this, they already will sit back in a "prove it" mode, wanting to see results on the field. If that doesn't happen right away, then the grumbling will start again.
Patterson is telling his coaches to do better. He is putting pressure on his higher-ups to get more resources. By doing all that, he is adding pressure to his own job.
Will it do the trick? Only time will tell.
Talk more of the new hire over at House of Sparky.