On paper, it appears FAU got the man it wanted in new Athletic Director Pat Chun.
They wanted a fund-raising specialist, and got one. They wanted someone with big-time experience, and Chun has that.
Like the last three coaching hires, they got an up-and-comer, someone making the leap from assistant level to head man for the first time, hoping that FAU is a launching pad to something bigger and better.
All good. But...
Chun has never worked anyplace other than Ohio State, and has never lived anywhere other than Ohio. So he comes to South Florida where everything will be new.
Including going from a cash-flush situation to one that is chronically cash-starved.
The finances and spot on the pecking order could not be more different than Ohio State and FAU. Ohio State has a budget of $126 million. FAU squeaks by with $14 million.
I am from Ohio, and the Buckeyes rule that state. Go up there in the fall and you see Ohio State gear everywhere, from Toledo to Cincinnati and everything in between. You'd think it was a state law that every resident is required to wear scarlet and grey.So while Chun was able to raise millions, there should be an asterisk beside that.
Getting people to give to OSU is more a question of asking, where at FAU it is more like begging.
Getting people to give money to FAU has been a tough sell, as all the previous athletic directors know. Howard Schnellenberger did raise some money early on, but that was never sustained, and his new role as rainmaker has yet to produce much.
Chun will need all his charm and energy to get people to write checks, and we'll find out soon enough if he has what it takes. I wish him well.
Life-as-student update: The good news is I am passing all my classes. I thought I was prepared for what I was getting into, but I will admit the settling in period took a bit longer than I expected. But I am now good with the 5 a.m. setting on the alarm clock, the always having a book with me so I can study at all times and creating a good system for keeping track of what is due when.
Summer is a nice time at FAU. There is plenty of parking spaces, there aren't any lines at the food court and rec center. The doldrums aren't so dreaded when you are a student.Later....