Mark Harlan’s 3 1/2 year tenure

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    • #156391

      Ute Fan

      I’ve been under the impression that Mark Harlan has been an outstanding AD hire. He exceeded expectations with fundraising that not only accelerated the SEZ project but also lessened the amount that the Athletics Department would have to payback by approximately $10M. He moved on Larry K. a year earlier than most were expecting and seemed to make a really good hire in Craig Smith (jury is still out but most would agree that Coach Smith has been a breath of fresh air to the MBB prgram). Harlan has seemed highly focused and engaged on supporting the student-athletes and coaches with whatever is needed, such as chartering flights down to Texas so that the entire team could attend the funerals of Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe. And I think the way the Atheltic Department embraced Ty & Aaron’s families as well as the way they chose to honor their losses was remarkable and Harlan deserves a lot of credit. 
      With all of that said, there have been a few comments posted recently that suggest Harlan hasn’t been that great of a fit at Utah and some aren’t all that excited about him. I think someone suggested that it likely won’t be too long before Harlan jumps to another University. I’m just curious if there’s something to these comments that I’m not aware of or are these just made-up rumors to get people excited? 
      If there’s anyone who has credible knowledge of Mark Harlan’s performance so far in his tenure, please share. Thanks in advance.

    • #156398

      Ute Fan

      I haven’t had a problem with anything he’s done. How could I? What has he done that could possibly be seen as a negative big enough to out do the good he has done?

    • #156406

      Ute Fan

      It seems some people are upset no matter what. Harlan has done a great job IMO and some of the things people gripe about aren’t Harlans fault. 

    • #156409

      Ute Fan

      I think he is generally well-received by Ute fans, and I don’t put a lot of stock into rumors and speculation. But for what it’s worth, I have heard the following criticisms of him:

      – He’s not that invested in Utah and will jump ship whenever the opportunity presents itself. 

      – It’s been said that he has a track record in previous positions of being a bad boss and tends to create toxic relationships. People point to high turnover in the administration side of the athletic department and Crimson Club as proof of this beginning to emerge at Utah.

      – People in the athletic department have claimed he has more of a “closed door” policy, which is a huge shift from the way Chris Hill ran things. This is speculated to be the reason why Kyle Brennan left.

      – His track record with hiring coaches is poor.

      – Tends to be very stubborn on certain issues (refusal to consider Scalley as the next HC being one example).

      Again, I’m not speaking with authority or certainty here. These are just reasons I’ve heard for why people don’t like Harlan. Take them with a grain of salt.

      • #156410

        Ute Fan

        Interesting, thanks for sharing. I realize all of this may or may not be true or may be completely exaggerated. This is just the first I’ve heard that these types of criticisms were floating around out there about Harlan.

        • #156417

          Ute Fan

          Agreed. His actions don’t seem to match these criticisms. I don’t put a lot of stock into most of them, to be honest. 

    • #156415

      Central Coast Ute
      Ute Fan

      He seems to be a good fit to me. However,I don’t expect him to stay long. Chris Hill was different than most AD’s. They don’t usually stay for long. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go within the next few years to a bigger university.

    • #156440

      Ute Fan

      I have to wonder if some Ute fans don’t like him because he didn’t tell BYU to pound sand.  That’s not on Harlan… there are higher powers that control that thing (no pun intended).

      • #156452
        1 3

        Ute Fan

        I’d be mad at him if he did tell BYU to pound sand. Utah should be playing them regularly. I can live without every year (though I think they should), but certainly on a regular rotation. The conclusion I can come to is that folks that think Utah should never play BYU again are emotionally irrational. But you know, we all have irrational opinions from time to time.

        • #156456

          Ute Fan

          Tell that to my sister and her lab in the med school whose research project funding was frozen by the state legislature as retaliation for canceling playing TDS. Yep, totally irrational…..

      • #156511

        2008 National Champ
        Ute Fan

        I resemble that remark. But let’s be honest, I’m a one-trick pony when it comes to Utah sports. As long as Whitt continues as HC, the only thing I care about in relation to the AD is not having to play the parochial school every year.

        So if I was to answer a poll on how good of a job Harlan is doing, it’s a big fail. Every time Utah has a chance to move on from that series, somehow the parochial school gets even more games.

        When it comes to everything else having to do with the Athletic Department not related to the football team.,, it doesn’t even register in my world unless there is a huge scandal.

    • #156532

      Ute Fan

      My biggest beef with Harlan was his inabiliity to understand our market when he first got here.  The first two years we saw significant jumps in ticket prices.  Which, if you know anything about Utahs economic situation (lower wages, higer cost of living) you know that by raising prices your are pricing the common man out of the game.  Some are fine with this.  I am not.  The common man is part of what makes college sports, particularly football, so fun.  

      25 years ago, when you went to a Jazz game, you literally would lose your hearing.  The place was off the charts loud.  So loud that the governement actually investigated the Delta center for the danger.   Now that the ticket prices are so high, most folks cannot attend unless they are sitting on the upper deck or are given tickets by a corporation.  Does it still get loud there, yes, sometimes.  But nothing like it used to be.  

      Harlan has\had us on that same track. I hope he now sees the value in us commoners even though there is more money seeminly with the corporations.  Reality is winning is what will make you the most money of all things you can do.  Having an incredible home field advantage helps you win. You don’t get that advantage from coroporate seats. 


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