The Ponies fired AD Steve Orsini today, only a few weeks after he hired Larry Brown as its men's basketball coach.
Even though SMU has a new football stadium, a winning football team with a head coach who clearly knows what he is doing, it has not translated into the type of off-the-field success the school obviously wants after sinking so much money into the public relations tool that is college athletics.
According to this story in The SMU Daily Campus a few weeks ago, SMU's losses are staggering - around $113 million. That's a lot of green, even at SMU.
It is not uncommon for athletic departments to lose money; financial losses in the athletic department are justified as part of the public relations arm of a school. It's a risky formula, but it has worked for TCU.
TCU is enjoying a level of national notoriety in a way it never has before. The Frogs are seeing a tangible return on their investment. SMU has spent millions, but have the perception and popularity of the private school in Dallas changed much in the past decade? Maybe a little but certainly not enough to justify the expense.
Regardless of academic rankings, this power shift can't be easy to watch if you are an SMU alum or administrator.
Baylor may not be better than SMU, but the Bears are in the Big 12.
TCU is supposed to be the poor man's SMU, but the Frogs are in the Big 12. The Frogs just announced they slold out their 30,000 season ticket allotment.
How does this happen?
As many improvements as the Ponies made under Orsini, it hasn't been enough. Everything feels like it was just a moment too late, from the hiring of June Jones to moving into a Big East Conference that now looks nothing like it did one year ago.
So now SMU fires its AD, which itself feels too late.
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