When Sacred Heart announced that Bobby Valentine would be their new Athletic Director, I began thinking of a way to experience firsthand the calamity and chaos that will undoubtedly unfold in Fairfield. I'm tempted to go to SHU for grad school. I want to be down there to see Bobby V AD.
What does an AD do? One thing they do that Bobby should thrive at is being ridiculously friendly. At Boston College, for instance, Gene DeFillippo always had a smile, and new AD Brad Bates shakes everybody's hand. They're like politicians. They want you to feel as though you have a personal connection with them and with their Department.
Bobby V can smile and work a room. So on the surface, he can do the most apparent thing ADs do.
ADs also delegate. That's probably the most important thing they do, assign responsibility Sacred Heart currently employs 8 Associate Athletic Directors. Not to mention the staff that run operations for each team, equipment managers, facility directors, marketers, coaches, schedulers, conference liaisons, and so on.
Delegating is not something Valentine does well. He has to be in charge of everything. He has to be responsible for everything. He's scared to let anyone else do their job.
Maybe Valentine will be a figurehead, and he won't have to do anything but be a friendly guy, give a few speeches, schmooze a few donors, and let his staff do the hard work and make all the decisions. For Sacred Heart's sake, I hope so. But for the sake of my own sadistic curiosity, I want him to have real power. I want to see him giving tips to a basketball coach in the middle of a game. I want to see him change the tennis team's diet. I want to see him change the hockey team's weight-training regimen.
I want to be close to his office, listen to him ramble on the phone, pretending to know everything there is to know about field hockey.
I want him to write columns in the school newspaper, laced with paranoia, in defense of his decisions.
I want him to use the media to call out one of the cross country runners for not working hard enough.
I want to buy the baseball coach a drink because that poor bastard now has the worst job in sports: trying to manage a baseball team with Bobby Valentine as your superior/overseer/overlord. How long until Bobby V is spotted in the stands of an SHU baseball game, wearing sunglasses and fake mustache of course, giving his own signals to the players?
So I will consider applying to Sacred Heart's grad school programs, just to be right on top of the bomb as it repeatedly explodes.