New UW boss orders outside review of two sports teams

Oct 25, 2013 The Associated Press

LARAMIE -- University of Wyoming president Bob Sternberg has hired an outside consultant to evaluate the football and men's basketball programs, a process that has been under way for weeks but is becoming public knowledge after an embarrassing football loss last weekend.

The football team lost to rival Colorado State 52-22 on Saturday. Not since 1922 had Wyoming allowed CSU to score more than 50 points.

Sternberg discussed the move in a letter to the media and university patrons.

"The basic philosophy behind my approach is that no matter how well any of us, including myself, is doing, there is always room for improvement. By reviewing a wide array of the university's functions, my administration can identify areas of particular need and set priorities for improvement.

"It became clear early on that one area deserving of my attention is UW athletics. As I have said before, I believe a strong NCAA Division I athletics program fits well within UW's land-grant mission of educating future ethical leaders who will make a positive, meaningful and enduring difference to the world.

"Successful teams promote positive spirit and passion toward a university, produce financial benefits, and raise its profile statewide and nationally. They also provide a tremendous opportunity for athletes to develop their ethical-leadership skills. Done right, athletics complements a university's academic mission rather than competing with it."

Sternberg described football and mens' basketball as "the big two" in terms of public focus, so he started there.

"Looking over the long, proud history of those particular programs, I have observed that, for the past couple of decades, we have not been consistently as successful as we would like to be. And because the level of competitiveness is so high nationally for these sports, I decided to seek some national expertise to see if there are ways to boost our performance on the field -- while maintaining the excellence our athletes have achieved in the classroom," he wrote.

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