Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Freeman: 'need to do a lot with a little ...' and other observations

I finally had a chance to meet Lafayette’s new director of athletics, Sherryta Freeman, at the Maroon & White football game last month. We had about 12 minutes together during halftime of the game. I’d have liked more time, but she was having a busy day.

When The Morning Call agreed to use our interview as its Newsmaker Q&A feature in Sunday’s paper, I knew there was no way everything we talked about would be covered because of space constraints. So, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to share some of my thoughts on what was in print and to add to that to give Leopards’ sports fans – a passionate bunch – more to think about.

I was really interested in getting a handle on the results of the long-awaited study of the entire athletics program, which started in the fall of 2016 and had an original target date of April of 2017. That date came and went, and before anything was made public, the athletic director under whose watch it all began, Bruce McCutcheon, announced his retirement.

I was told that none of the candidates for McCutcheon’s successor was given access to the study’s findings at that point, so it wasn’t surprising when things kind of went into hibernation, giving the new department leader time to digest it.

Freeman told me she’s aiming for “the end of the summer” as the time when a new “strategic plan” will begin implementation over a period of five years. “The (old) study just gives us information; it doesn’t give us direction,” she told me. “It doesn’t tell us what we need to do. That’s what my job is,” she said.