Our View: ASU: Playing the game to win long term
A recent letter from Appalachian State University Athletics Director Charlie Cobb to Mountaineers' fans was prompted by Conference USA's decision to not extend ASU an invitation to join the league on May 5 — but it rightly outlines the university's continued march toward conference realignment.
While “additional realignment is inevitable” and remains the goal following a board of trustees recommendation, it's vital to note that “conference realignment is not a sprint,” Cobb writes.
ASU athletics are today on sound footing. As Cobb points out, the Mountaineers' football program is second only to Boise State in wins during the past seven years. The program has enormous fan appeal and has generated generational rivalries that are of historic proportions.
In other words, there is no need to rush headlong into a conference environment for the sole sake of moving up. The prudent course is the one currently under way: ensuring the best fit for the university, its students and staff within myriad parameters, including geography, budget, revenue and academics.
Even fans and supporters who have caught the Football Bowl Subdivision fever agree: “We are going to look for a good fit and not just the first offer we get. Quality of competition and looking for financially and geographically beneficial competition is the key to long-term sustainability at the FBS level. … Make the right decision instead of the first available,” writes one supporter following the Watauga Democrat's online posting of a story detailing Cobb's letter (“Cobb writes letter to ASU fans,” May 8).
We agree that that right decision will be the one that leads to “long-term sustainability.”
Calling the right play now is critical to the success of both ASU athletics and the university itself.