As an SDSU alumnus, I get mass-produced e-mails every now and then from the university’s president, Stephen Weber.

He had this to say today about the future of the school’s football program:

SDSU Community:

Our expectation for Aztec athletics is a simple one: that it reflect the excellence of San Diego State University. In many ways we have made significant progress toward that goal under Athletic Director Jeff Schemmel; Aztec football, however, has been a troubling exception.

SDSU ranks second in the country in undergraduate applications (behind UCLA). We rank first in the country in research among universities with 14 or fewer doctoral programs (we now have 16). SDSU’s six-year graduation rate n the standard measure used by universities n increased 23 percentage points in the past seven years. The SAT scores of incoming full-time freshmen are up 60 points. Conversely, our football program has compiled a losing record of 2-10; that is unacceptable.

Many good and important accomplishments took place under Coach Long. He greatly improved the academic performance of our athletes. His teams were almost uniformly good citizens on and off the field. Both are necessary in a successful coach; neither is sufficient.

Football is a competition; success is ultimately measured by winning. Nor, I would note, is this competition unique to athletics. Students compete to gain admission to San Diego State. Our faculty compete successfully every day as they seek grants and contracts in national competition with other great universities; they compete successfully as they submit their research to highly competitive national journals. We can expect no less of our athletic programs.

With my complete support, AD Schemmel has commenced a search for a new head football coach. I want to express my appreciation to those donors who stepped forward to ensure that we can make this coaching change without using student fees or state funds.

What will we expect of our next coach? That he will run a clean program, that his teams will represent San Diego State well on and off the playing field, that he will attend to the academic success of our student athletes n and that our team be competitive.

In the past decade, San Diego State has emerged as one of the nation’s top urban research universities n with dozens of nationally-ranked academic programs. We can and will re-establish a winning tradition for our football program with the goal of winning championships and attending bowl games.

During the course of this long season, I have heard from many of you who n while not happy with our team’s win-loss record n have remained loyal supporters of Aztec athletics. Thank you for your interest in, and support for, Aztec athletics.


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