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    grade for Harlan after year one?


    I’d give him a higher grade, but he really didn’t have to make any major decisions/staff changes. He said all the right things and dealt well with the Lauren McCluskey (sic) tragedy pretty well.


    1. followed through on RES expansion (it seems like Hill did the majority of the work, and Harlan just had to finish it up)
    2. campaigned hard to get Utah in the Holiday Bowl
    3. scheduled Arkansas in football (hopefully we’ll get to see more of this in the future)
    4. involvement in social media with his presence on twitter and his podcast was a nice change from Chris Hill


    1. his continued determination to keep the BYU game intact versus what I believe to be fan sentiment swaying the opposite way. I believe he’s being pressured by the Board of Trustees and some major boosters to keep the game
    2. not finalizing an on campus baseball stadium
    3. NCAA sanctions against men’s hoops

    I expected to really miss Chris Hill and see a little bit of fallout from his long tenure, but Harlan has done a great job so far and the transition has been fairly seamless. Year two might have some large decisions looming with the hoops program. Hopefully we’ll all be so giddy about football that whatever happens in hoops we can just shrug off.

  • leftyjace

    Harlan has done a lot of good, but I question why he got rid of the Utah Athletics counselor/mental health coach.
    I don’t know if it was because we had one against regulations/rules or what. But she was let go, and a lot of the athletes were freaking out on Twitter.
    Does anybody know any of the backstory there?

    • Xanthis

      If I remember correctly there was some rule changes. They hired another mental health coach that had the correct degrees required by the NCAA. 

      • leftyjace

        Ah, OK – that makes sense.
        Thanks for filling in the gaps.

  • TexUte

    We did win a national championship his first year (skiing) so that gives him points, although he had nothing to do with it, I’d count it if I was him.

  • Central Coast Ute

    I would add that he is willing to pay more for coordinators. Not sure if Hill would pay Ludwig or Scalley that much.

  • Hammer

    He’s in a no-win situation with the BYU game. The obsessed Zoobs will audit your ass if you decide something contrary to those games.

    • CincyUte

      This is true.  I’d like to think that he’s simply playing along and saying all the right things in public, but behind the scenes he’s trying to fill up our non-conference slate as fast as he can with real opponents.  That’s what I’d like to think anyway.

      • PhiladelphiaUte

        I hope you’re right.  That would actually be a very clever move on his part if true.

  • PhiladelphiaUte

    I give him a “B” because he got us the Arkansas game.  Prior to that, he was a solid C+.  If Harlan wants to raise his grade, he either needs to dump the cougars from our annual schedule, or at least get a one-off/2-for-1 out of it. And that’s not an unreasonable request, seeing as how that’s exactly what the Y did to Utah St before knee-jerking themselves into independence.  They didn’t start offering the Aggies a Home-&-Home because USU suddenly became relevant.  They did only did so because they’d lost their prior negotiating advantage.

  • ProudUte

    Until he can figure out a way to eliminate the BYU game, I won’t be satisfied.

    It’s not that I hate everything about BYU, I just don’t see one single advantage to us playing them.  If we played them once every four or so years, maybe I would be okay with that.  

    • whitlessham

      At this point it really is a no win situation playing the zoobs.  Harlan “should” know this but I think he’s weak and affraid of the mormon mofia.  Dr. Hill gave the middle finger to the mormon government    

  • pedro

    all in all not bad, but he cannot continue to raise season ticket prices in football.  

    • EagleMountainUte

      Supply vs demand.  He can raise them and probably will. 

  • Duhwayne

    SEZ was talk, now 1/4 of it’s being donated and I’m not sure if the Garffs were that big a source before. Ludwig picked off. I’d say he’s doing better than B level.

  • GameForAnyFuss

    I work for the U so I’ve been able to observe him from within. He’s doing a good job. I give him an A-.

    Let me be crystal clear about one thing: There’s nothing he can do about scheduling BYU-P in any sport. Nothing. This goes up to Ruth’s level. And Ruth is going to keep scheduling BYU-P (even though I think she doesn’t want to). Why? Because a group of legislators are threatening to cut state funding to UU Hospital and Huntsman Cancer if Utah won’t play BYU-P in basically all sports. So they’re going to keep playing until we vote the BYU-P-loving clowns out.

    Yes, you heard that right. A handful of politicians are willing to take money away from a hospital and a cancer center over sports.

    Anyway, Ruth and Mark are right to play along – their priorities are correct. There are more important things than sports.

    • sweetgrass

      that is what I feared.

      I also believe there are a handful of older influential boosters that can’t fathom not linking Utah with BYU. My father (who I owe my sports allegiance to U sports), panicked when Utah was joining the PAC-12 because he didn’t know what would happen to the rivalry. I can’t figure out that mindset, it seems strange to me, but it does exist with many of our older alums/boosters.

      • PhiladelphiaUte

        I graduated in 2000, so I don’t know where that classifies me.  Am I an “older alum” now?  That said, I was NEVER against joining a BCS/P5 league.  The Pac-10 was my first choice.  And since we’re not an AAU school, we’d have no avenue to the BigTen, so the Big 12 would have slid into my 2nd choice, assuming the Pac-10 passes on us.

        At the time we’d been invited, I was super excited, and “all-in” on the move.  But back then, I didn’t want to stop playing BYU.  But then mendenmidmajor lost the 2010 game, and claimed “the better team didn’t win”.  And then they’d gotten destroyed at home the following year, and all of zoob nation claimed that we’d gotten lucky again, and that they were the better team nevertheless.  And then they claimed to be the better team in both subsequent seasons (2012 and 2013), and that Utah was again, “lucky”.  After that, I was done with them.  What’s the point of playing them if the scoreboard doesn’t matter?  And on top of that, prior to Sitake arriving in Bubbleburgh, their players were targeting ours.  And the LAST straw, was Rep. Greg Hughes’ punitive audit after rightfully cancelling a basketball return game over their coach’s failure to address the cougars’ “brand” of dangerous thuggish play.

        So if I’m one of the “older alumni”, count me amongst the crew of alums who favor dropping them permanently off our schedules, save for either a one-off or 2-for-1 scheduling arrangement.  We could just go play Utah State instead.

    • Staples

      Aside from football, why wouldn’t we play them in every sport? Particularly in basketball I’m still of the mindset that we should maintain the local rivalries, including Utah State and Weber. Do we run the risk of losing a road game here and there? Sure, but it’s highly doubtful that a loss in Logan or even Ogden is going to be the sole deciding factor in missing out on an NCAA tournament bid. In football I think we should play BYU most years, but I would prefer to follow a P5 game, G5 game, and local game scheduling philosophy, with BYU and Utah State on a 4 years/2 years rotation. Now, who do I have to blackmail around here to get my ideas listened to?

      • GameForAnyFuss

        I think what you’re proposing is 90% of the currently reality, so I don’t think you need to blackmail anyone. If you want the status quo as it relates to scheduling BYU-P in all sports, just keep voting for BYU-P alums in state legislature races.

        • Staples

          And since I want to shake up the status quo by throwing Utah State into the mix, I need to vote for Aggies? Spencer Cox just earned my vote!