New Memphis AD Sees Opportunity With "Growing Momentum"
New Univ. of Memphis AD Laird Veatch "didn't announce any sweeping plans" in his introductory press conference, but he was "thrilled by what he saw as growing momentum with Memphis athletics," according to Evan Barnes of the Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL. Memphis currently has a football team "coming off its best five-year run in history" and a basketball team with the "nation's No. 1 recruiting class." Veatch yesterday did mention a $19M "expansion of the Leftwich Tennis center." Veatch said that one of his priorities will be to "enhance the fan experience and promote the university's mission." He added that he wants to continue Memphis football's "rise by seeking high-profile opponents." Memphis has "scheduled an SEC team four of the next five seasons." Veatch said, "What gets me really excited is the opportunity to build something bigger and greater" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/14).
RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB: In Memphis, Mark Giannotto writes the "reality of the precarious spot in which Memphis currently and traditionally sits in the college athletics landscape" is still "looming under all this deserved fanfare." There is also the "belief among the university's power brokers that the school could be in a better spot if it plays its cards right." It is "clear preparing for the next wave of conference realignment led to" Veatch's hire. He is "connected to the power brokers of college sports in a way nobody before him in this position has been." Veatch "gives Memphis a better shot at what it really wants" (Memphis COMMERCIAL APPEAL, 8/14).