Ron Morris' Sunday sports column in The State took USC to task for its lack of a national search for its athletic director.
Morris also implied that Ray Tanner would be a puppet for President Harris Pastides and the Board of Trustees.
First of all, Ron operartes under the erroneously belief that Eric Hyman was the best athletic director USC has ever had. How many times has he written about what a man of vision Hyman is?
At best, Hyman is in the top three at USC. I certainly don't put him ahead of Paul Dietzel or Mike McGee and except for a steroids scandal not of his making Bob Marcum would be on the short list as well.
No knock on Hyman. He took the baton in a race that was already started and finished with skill and alacrity. He added his touch to plans that had been in place for years. And he did a good job of it.
But, to suggest, that Ray Tanner will be a puppet of the administration? That is ridiculous. Ask Eric Hyman how much of a puppet Ray Tanner is. Do I need to revisit the logo fiasco?
And if you don't think Eric Hyman -- or Mike McGee or Paul Dietzel for that matter -- weren't answerable to the Board of Trustees and the President you are living in a dream world.
Hell, they should be answerable to the Board of Trustees and the President. That's the way it works.
The athletic department is no different than the history department. Except, of course, more visible and more profitable. But both are a part of the University. They are not autonomous . . . and they shouldn't be.
Ray Tanner is a breath of fresh air. He is exactly what is needed at USC.
A national search? That would have been a sham. You've got the man you want. Why do a national search? For appearance sake?
I admire Ron Morris' willingness to put himself out there, Of course, that is what he is paid to do. As Voltaire said, I might not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.
Ron is a sports columnist who isn't afraid of bucking public opinion. The State College, Pa., market could have used a Ron Morris the past 15 years.
But, I can't help but think Ron at times writes for effect.
Ray Tanner is a superb hire by USC. President Pastides and the Board of Trustees are to be commended.