Some felt that the Athletic Department at the University of Colorado needed a new direction, a new attitude and someone who could help take the Buff Sports programs to a new and exciting level.
The Administration of the University went with someone they knew. Someone who has been part of this athletic program during a time of winning and successes on all levels.
They turned to Rick George, the former assistant coach under Coach Bill McCartney, and a person they believe will help unify and bring together a fractured fan base.
BuffPlayBook.com got the opportunity to sit down Wednesday morning with Colorado's Athletic Director to get some answers to a variety of questions in an exclusive interview.
It was easy to see that George had returned home to a place that he loves and cares about and in his own words, something he is very "passionate" about.
This will be a two part series with discussions about the Buff's future in the PAC 12, his support for the current Head Football Coach Mike MacIntyre and much, much more.
We start part two of this two part series off with how George feels about Colorado being in the Pac 12.
BuffPlayBook.com's Question: Do you think the PAC 12 is where Colorado belongs?
Rick George's Answer: Absolutely. Absolutely from an academic prospective it fits us very well. There are seven other universities in this league we have partnerships in research which makes sense. We also have an alumni base of thousands on the west coast, upwards of over 20,000 former grads. It makes great sense. We didn't have that same connection with Ames, Iowa; Norman, Oklahoma, or in Kansas.
BPB Question: Your thoughts on the PAC and Direct TV controversy.
George's Answer: I have formed an opinion on it; it's important for us to resolve that issue. We want our fans to see the games. It's disappointing that Direct TV hasn't worked more closely with our conference to solve whatever issues there may be. I think the PAC 12 position on the issue is right. We need them to carry our games and our network, it's important for them to carry it.
BPB Question: This fan base seems a little scattered, divided, and fractured. What is your thoughts on that situation?
George's Answer: It is, for a variety of reasons. You go back to the last 12 months and there are a lot of things that the fan base are divided about. I get it, I understand, I appreciate the fact that they are passionate about it. Here is where we have to get to. We have to get to everybody realizing why they love this place. It's the student athletes, it's the teams, and it's the university. That's the things that binds us together. Whatever it is, we have to find a way to get over it. When I left Illinois as an athlete, I was bitter about a few things as a former athlete. I had to get over the things that bothered me and I did. Now I support Illinois as a former athlete should. It's important that whatever the issues are that everybody focus on what are the common denominators that brings us all together. That's the student athlete, our love for the University of Colorado. If we can get everyone to that point, we can unify behind a direction and we will all be better off.
BPB Question: Is there a division between the academic side of the university and the athletic side?
George's Answer: Absolutely not. Matter of fact I think academics is one of our strengths for our athletes. I can tell you that our President and our Chancellor are completely on board with the direction we want to go. They want the same things I have been talking about, the three things we want to accomplish. They support it personally and from an university standpoint. I couldn't be happier with the partnership we have together.
BPB Question: You didn't hire Mike MacIntyre, the man that hired him is gone. What have you done to make sure he knows that he has the support of the university and your support?
George's Answer: He absolutely has the university's support. He absolutely, unequivocally, has my support. Mike MacIntyre is not only a good football coach, but he is a good man. He has the principles that we want leading our young men. I love the way he leads his team. We have gotten to know each other really well in such a short time. I don't worry about who hired who, it's not about being my guys. I tell all of our staff they don't work for me, but they work with me and we all work for the University of Colorado. We have a lot of confidence in Mike MacIntyre. He will have whatever amount of time he needs to move this football program forward. We need to give more tools to work with. New facilities, big shiny weight rooms are important for young men and their first impressions of your school. We have to build more facilities. It's going to take time and it will take time for Mike to build his program. This is a long term project, not a short term one. Right now it's not all about wins and losses, it's about how we show improvement, how we compete for 60 minutes in a game, and how much effort they give.
BPB Question: How do you handle perhaps unrealistic expectations from CU fans and alumni?
George's Answer: What are unreal expectations? No one will have bigger expectations than I will. You can't go big if you don't dream big. I will probably be criticized more on that issue than most. I want to push people outside their comfort zones. When you do that, people will realize that they can do more than they thought they could do.
BPB Question: Do you feel that you will be able to raise $50 million dollars before a certain deadline? George's Answer: I definitely feel we will be able to do that. I feel very confident about it.
BPB Question: Some feel that due to your confidence in that matter, maybe you already have some commitments that will help you achieve that goal?
George's Answer: No, as far as I know we have zero. That's where I'm starting this project at.
BPB Question: Fans are wondering what will be your long term goal in regards to adding sports at Colorado.
George's Answer: I have no long term goal at this point. We need to do what we are doing very well before we worry about adding other sports.