It’s that time of year when college students are stressing about finals and college football fans are concerned about where their favorite teams will be playing when the season ends.
The suspense of where USF would be playing this holiday season ended early with the official announcement that they have been invited to participate in the Brut Sun Bowl.
The Sun Bowl, the second-oldest bowl game played, guarantees that USF will be highlighted nationally on CBS. More people will see the Bulls and hear about USF than before. For a young university desperately trying to become part of national dialogue, the exposure is priceless.
Many critics will argue that athletics often takes the emphasis away from academics at universities, but there can also be a positive response. As a fan base grows, more people become interested in attending a school. With an increase in applications, a university can choose to be much more selective in whom they decide to admit.
Much of the success USF has experienced in athletics can be attributed to the dedication of one man. While coach Jim Leavitt stressed during the announcement regarding the Sun Bowl that many people have had a part in the program’s meteoric rise, a large portion of its success is based on his steadiness and determination.
As the face of the program, USF has found an anomaly in the world of collegiate sports in Leavitt. He has already turned down more prestigious positions that offered more money. The calls for his services – and the prices being offered – will only increase with each successful year for the team.
While many coaches claim to be faithful to the school that employs them, many jump at the large salaries or accept positions that offer more notoriety. Leavitt has shown that he is more in the business of legacy building than in padding his bank account.
And that gives everyone at USF, fans or otherwise, someone they can be proud to have as a representative of the school.