Friday, July 11, 2008

An informative article on USU AD Scott Barnes and his plans

Here's a look at the current state of Utah State athletics, with a little history and big plans for the future included. It's a good read even if you're not an Aggie fan as the article details what a number of WAC schools are facing.

Barnes angling for USU success
Aggies' new AD planning three-pronged program
Nick Newman
Deseret News
July 11, 2008

LOGAN — Scott Barnes recently spent a free Friday night to scout out a section of Blacksmith Fork after another long day in the Utah State athletic department.

The next day, USU's new athletic director spent hours working harder than ever — not encouraging the next donor to plunk down cash to advance another athletic project on campus, but rather in pursuit of a rare salmon fly.

After four hours of searching, Barnes finally found one. He grabbed the fly, tossed it in the river, then followed it for 100 feet before a trout came up and snagged it. Barnes figured he had the perfect opportunity for a catch, so he threw his own fly in and waited, knowing a bite was coming soon. Eventually, the fish came up and pulled on the line, but the new leader of Aggie Nation missed the catch.

"That was the only action I had all day," Barnes said.

In the past, with the exception of basketball, Utah State athletics has been much like Barnes' experience fishing — a huge investment of time and work, but very little action.

The glory years of the 1960s have long since faded, and Aggie fans have been subjected to countless years of football mired in mediocrity or worse. The Aggies were Division I vagabonds, becoming an Independent, making an ill-fated jump into the Sun Belt, and finally finding a safe haven in the Western Athletic Conference. Hoops success at the Spectrum made Logan winters bearable, but the program that alumni and boosters once cared most about — Aggie football — had been at the bottom of the competitive sports dumpster in three different leagues for too long...

Go here for the remainder.

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