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Fans and donors making impact on Arizona State AD search



Michael Crow, president of Arizona State, which released a statement.
H/T @arizonastateuniversity

TEMPE, Ariz. — As the athletic year winds down, Arizona State is still searching for its next athletic director. Back in 2023, Ray Anderson resigned as ASU’s athletic director under heavy scrutiny for the NCAA’s investigation into the football program.

Since Anderson resigned, Jim Rund has taken over as the interim AD. Rund is currently the ASU Senior Vice President for Educational Outreach and Student Services. In 2013 Rund served as the interim AD following the departure of Steve Patterson for Texas. So this isn’t his first time in this role.

Rumblings over the last several weeks have indicated that Graham Rossini was pegged as the favorite to take over as the new Athletic Director. Rossini is an ASU alum and is currently the Executive Sr. Associate Athletic Director and Chief Business Officer. According to Chris Karpman of Sun Devil Source, President Michael Crow was prepared to present Rossini as his target to the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) as soon as tomorrow.

However, the backlash from fans and prominent boosters is affecting Rossini’s candidacy.

Arizona State President Michael Crow faces backlash

Rossini’s candidacy is in question following backlash from both fans and boosters according to Brett McMurphy of the Action Network.

Earlier this week the NCAA released its report of infractions and penalties against Arizona State football due to violations in the COVID-19 pandemic. Rossini was hired after these violations, but fans and boosters are against an internal hire, regardless of the candidate.

Rossini, just 44 years old, is rapidly rising in the athletics world and generally is highly thought of. The backlash from fans isn’t against the Arizona State alum, but rather the thought of hiring internally after the mismanagement in the athletic department under Anderson.

This situation is proof that fans matter, and public opinion can impact these instrumental decisions.

ABOR considering adding incentives for revenue sports

Many fans have been upset over the way President Crow has treated athletics, specifically major revenue sports like football, basketball, and baseball. While Crow has been instrumental in the academic revolution at Arizona State, transforming the university, he’s continuously brushed off athletics.

In response to this behavior, the ABOR is considering adding a new bonus structure in Crow’s next contract, according to Chris Karpman. This would incentivize greater success for revenue sports, which would undoubtedly please fans.


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