We thank Robertson for giving us his insight with the following questions...
Fightin’ Gators: How has Stricklin been so successful raising the money they have for
Steve Robertson: “Scott does a good job of selling people on the importance of being invested in the athletic programs. He makes people feel a part of it, because they are. He is very genuine in that respect and he did a great job here of making everyone feel important and that there was some way they could be more involved.”
Fightin’ Gators: What are some of the things as an AD that make the coaches really like
Steve Robertson: “He works with them to get the things they need to compete and recruit. Scott is not one who oversteps or meddles in the day to day operations of the team. He expects to win and he expects thing to be done the right way, but he also understands that role between coach and team. He would never undercut a coach or in any way make that coach look less than in charge to his or her team.”
Fightin’ Gators: The Gators have had just one major NCAA violation in football in the 24
years Jeremy Foley has been on the watch, how has Stricklin dealt with
Steve Robertson: “Scott is no non-sense when it comes to compliance. All of the Mississippi State programs are in good compliance health. The one time there was an issue it involved a rogue booster. State moved quickly to investigate. The offending coach was fired, the booster disassociated and the football program went through the summary disposition process and received minor penalties. Scott is not looking to cut corners to recruit. Other people say it as part of a public address; Scott means it both publicly and privately.”
Fightin’ Gators: What are the fan's thoughts on how Stricklin and the administration
dealt with the Jeffrey Simmons issue and getting into school there?
Steve Robertson: “It was a mixed bag when it came to fan reaction. While opinions varied about the course of action, there was a tremendous amount of respect for the fact Scott faced the media and answered questions about it in Destin. He's a leader and he's not scared to be held accountable. What most people don't know is that Stricklin had staffers conduct a major investigation into Simmons and his background. I am told they spoke with over two dozen people before making any decisions. They did their due diligence.”
Fightin’ Gators: Give us one trait you can think if that Gator fans might not know about
Steve Robertson: “Scott is approachable. He makes everybody feel like they are important. From the big money guys in the suites on Saturdays to the farmer wearing a Mississippi State cap. Scott made everybody feel part of it. He was never above anybody else and people felt like they had one of their own running the show. He returned every e-mail. Sometimes late at night when others were with their families. He cares about people and not just about donors.”
Fightin’ Gators: Jeremy Foley was all about recruiting as an AD. In his hires it was maybe
the biggest trait a coach needed to be hired. Do you have a feel for where Stricklin prioritizes recruiting from his coaches?
Steve Robertson: “Scott understands that recruiting is the life blood of athletics, which is why he has worked so hard to upgrade and update facilities. He wants the coaches to have the tools they need to get the best players possible.”
Fightin’ Gators: What will Stricklin be remembered for at Miss. State?
Steve Robertson: “Scott is a guy who grew up coming to games at State and eventually enrolled here as a student. He's True Maroon. With him leaving the program, there are some who feel a bit betrayed. I think those feelings will pass and people will look back on this era fondly. Scott helped instill a lot of pride into Mississippi State athletics. It was a regular deal and not just part of some campaign. He tweeted out Maroon Friday pics every week that fans sent in as they wore their school colors all over the world. Scott believed Mississippi State was a special place and he wanted people to take part in showing that.”
Fightin’ Gators: What are your thoughts on Stricklin following in what many believe is a
legend at Florida in Foley?
Steve Robertson: “That's an awfully big undertaking, but Scott is extremely capable. He won't just be there to sign checks and shake hands. Scott will find ways to make Florida even better. He won't be a care taker so to speak but he won't upset the apple cart trying to put his stamp on things. Scott will listen to coaches and fans and then form his own opinions. He will do well and he work hard for the Florida Gators every single day. It's just going to be surreal seeing him wearing blue and orange rather than maroon and white.”