Fan Interference today were on the road at USF for the stat of training camp for the football team. One of the guys who joined the show was athletic director Mark Harlan to talk about the university and college athletics as a whole.
Mark talked about what he has seen from the moment that he got to USF during the spring and was impressed by how much work the football team was putting in.
One of the things that Mark knew coming in was that Willie Taggart was the coach in place prior to his appointment as AD. Mark was familiar with Willie as they were both out west with Harlan at UCLA and Taggart coaching at Stanford. Harlan praised the Stanford model for making a great leap in their second year, and Harlan noted that he was looking forward to that leap at USF in Taggart’s second year.
One of the things that USF has to deal with is being a perceived as a smaller conference, and Mark said that he was impressed by Bill Hancock the head of the college football playoff and said that if the teams that are not in the “power 5” that if you win, that you can be in the 4 team playoff.
Mark also spoke about how he is welcoming a relationship with the other teams in Florida to continue their relationships and continue to play on a consistent basis. Harlan says that when they schedule these high profile opponents, it will be good for the university, but will be strategic.
Looking at this year’s team, Harlan echoed the expectations of Willie Taggart that it is not “bowl or bust” but it is that the team will want to set that goal, and work hard to achieve that.
One of the biggest fights that Harlan and the school will need to do is reengage with the fans in Tampa Bay. First off, the team will need to win, and another factor will be being proactive in the community. Another thing Harlan will want to do is bring the students back to the games, and it is important to get out there and sell some tickets.