In a move that probably doesn’t come as a tremendous surprise following the sanctions levied against Syracuse University by the NCAA, the Board of Trustees have decided to move on from Daryl Gross as the athletics director for the Orange.
The news broke this morning, and was a personnel move that a lot of people saw coming after the NCAA investigation. After all, when NCAA investigations lead to sanctions, athletics directors tend to find themselves on the street shortly thereafter. Just ask Gross’s former boss at USC, Mike Garret, or former Penn State athletics director, Timothy Curley.
Now, while Syracuse’s violations weren’t on the level of either of those programs, the whole mess was so high profile that a move like this seemed inevitable. This became especially true once it became known that Gross apparently had a personal hand in the Fab Melo fiasco, as the NCAA findings revealed.
Gross is out after a decade at the helm, and leaves with a mixed bag of accomplishments. Football has certainly suffered under his watch, with the hiring of Greg Robinson being a huge black mark on his resume. He’s also primarily responsible for the retiring of the number 44, which we’re obviously still very much against. That said, Olympic sports improved by leaps and bounds, and Gross helped oversee the fundraising efforts that led to the Carmelo K. Anthony Center and the new football indoor practice facility.
But the writing has seemingly been on the wall for awhile now, dating back to word leaking out that chancellor Kent Syverud was unhappy with the amount of spending being done by Gross and the athletics department.
Now the speculation will be about who might replace Gross, and the list of candidates should be a pretty impressive one, NCAA sanctions or no. The role of athletics director at Syracuse University is still a high profile gig, and the Board of Trustees should have a strong pool of candidates from which to choose.
According to the Post-Standard, Gross will maintain an unspecified position at the University.
ESPN Radio’s Chris McManus reports that Pete Sala will serve as the interim AD:
According to my sources, Pete Sala will serve as the interim AD. He currently runs the Carrier Dome.
— Chris McManus (@CuseChris) March 18, 2015