Tunnel vision for Orange head coach Print
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Tuesday, 23 September 2008 13:11
NCAAF Headline News

 SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) -In the wake of a weekend roasting of the Syracuse football program by ESPN, coach Greg Robinson remained his stoic self.
``I've said it from Day One. We need to go out and win a football game that's meaningful to everybody else,'' Robinson said Tuesday. ``The rest of that stuff is your world. My world is to coach.''
A portion of the report on ESPN's ``College GameDay'' cited the decline in the football program since Daryl Gross succeeded Jake Crouthamel as athletic director in December 2004. Two weeks after assuming the position, Gross' first move was to fire former coach Paul Pasqualoni and hire Robinson, who had never been a head coach in his three decades in the profession.
n three-plus years, Robinson's record is 8-31 overall and 2-19 in Big East play entering Saturday's conference opener at home against Pittsburgh.
Stung by the criticism that has steadily mounted with the team's losses, according to ESPN, Gross made an unsolicited call to the network on Monday to defend himself. Gross cited the university's success in non-revenue sports, ranging from the 2008 NCAA men's lacrosse championship to an Orange field hockey program currently ranked third in the nation.
ESPN quoted Gross as saying the football team had yet to show the ``obvious progress'' necessary for the 56-year-old Robinson to keep his job beyond this season. ``It isn't working out,'' Gross said. ``It's very disappointing ... He has some work to do out in front of him.
``We've been very fair to Coach Robinson,'' Gross said. ``Everyone wanted the guy's head last year. I said I didn't want Syracuse to become one of those three-years-and-out schools. I said, 'Let's calm down and (if needed) we'll get the first pick of the draft (of coaching candidates) next year.' That's where we are.''
Gross was not available for comment Tuesday but sent an e-mail in late afternoon.
s, are working very hard to have a winning program. I want more than anyone for this program to succeed and we are doing everything we can to get this program on track.''
Robinson, who has one year left on a contract that reportedly pays him just over $1 million annually, said he was not upset at Gross' comments.
``That's Daryl's business,'' Robinson said. ``I'm not the athletic director. Anything he feels is necessary to this program is his choice. He's my boss. He can say what he wants. Quite frankly, there hasn't been the progress there needs to be.''
The Orange (1-3) are coming off their first victory in 11 months, a 30-21 win over winless Northeastern. But the Huskies are a member of the Championship Subdivision (formerly I-AA), and that's not meaningful enough around here.
Nevertheless, Robinson said his players were not being affected by the off-field distractions.
``I give our football team a lot of credit,'' Robinson said. ``They're tough-minded. I'm not here to worry about that. I can't control that. It's not so much controlling my fate. I want to win for our team.''
has to say, we really don't pay attention to it. The most important thing to him is that he knows that we care.''
 

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