First and foremost, Livengood is an administrator. He's responsible for the hiring of coaches and other personnel within the UA Athletic Department. He's also responsible for the student-athletes and accountable for their actions on and off the field. Whether it's fair or not, Livengood must oversee the conduct of his coaches and the athletes and be accountable to the NCAA to see to it all are following the rules of that governing organization.
Livengood is also responsible for the financial wellbeing of the athletic department. Under his leadership, the athletic department is expected to be self-sufficient and maintain a positive cash flow.
Let's look at his performance in all these areas.
Under Livengood, the UA Athletic Department has been virtually free from scandal with no NCAA violations resulting in sanctions since his hire. The athletic department has also maintained a positive balance sheet for more than 10 years, a statement not many of the nation's university athletic departments can make.
More than anything, Livengood is a great PR man and salesman. As such, he's the man most responsible for the improved facilities. He's raised the money for a state-of-the-art softball field and the Lynch Pavilion. He's found more money to improve facilities for football, baseball, soccer and most recently negotiated a relationship with Arizona National Golf Club that's given the UA Men's and Women's Golf team a home course with practice facilities and accommodations superior to any in the country.
To get all this done Livengood has been the ultimate politician, as well he should be. He's perpetually positive and greets many with, "How are you. Isn't it a great Wildcat Day?"
Like many of you, I'm a die-hard Wildcat fan and it's sad for me to watch our football program getting hammered week after week. It's also difficult to remain positive in the wake of a conference home field, losing streak that has gained national attention.
If you add up the pros and cons of Livengood's time on the job, it's hard to argue the overall success he's had. And that's not to say he hasn't had his failures. The checks and balances are there for all to see.
This is not a wholehearted endorsement of Livengood and the job he's done, but simply a plea to allow this difficult time to run its course. It would not serve the UA, its athletic department, the boosters or the fans any purpose for Livengood to fire Mackovic before the end of the season. Nor would it serve any practical purpose for UA president Peter Likens to dump Livengood. The scars of this football season may be long in healing, but the dismissal of either would cause irrefutable harm.
Everyone, fans and adminstrators alike, are going through hard times. In life, it's easy to smile and be positive when things are going well. But the mettle of a man is questioned most during the hard times and we're all being tested.
It's not easy to be a fan of UA Football right now, but it's a time to stand up and be counted as a true Wildcat fan. The coaches and administration may or may not be doing a good job. But let's give everyone the time necessary to get the job done.
In the meantime, the players need our support. It's not the time to be dumping on the team, it time to be a true Wildcat fan!!!
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