Lisa Love Fired: Put Up Or Shut Up Time In Tempe

TEMPE, AZ - DECEMBER 14: Head coach Todd Graham (R) of the Arizona State Sun Devil, with Vice President for Athletics Lisa Love (L), speaks at a press conference introducing him as the new head football coach at Sun Devil Stadium on December 14, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

My fellow Sun Devils, our long regional nightmare is over.

Our university cares; our great athletic department is a collection of teams and fans and not just of athletes. Here, Sun Devil Nation rules. But there is a higher Power, by whatever name we honor IT that ordains not only winning but pride, not only honor but legacy...

With respect to the paraphrasing of Gerald Ford's famous speech, today is both a great day for Arizona State Sun Devil athletics and one of tremendous concern.

Yes, Lisa Love's time as Vice President of Athletics at ASU is over. She has been fired after a seven year tenure that has been personified by baffling decisions, losses on the field, empty seats and growing fan angst.

It's of little value to recount the number of gross missteps she had during her time at ASU now, as they've already been reported, discussed and analyzed ad nauseum over the last several years. Quite simply, she was a very poor fit in her role and the both the performance of ASU's teams and the actions taken behind closed doors reflect that. As a result, Steve Patterson, Chief Operating Officer of Sun Devil Athletics, had been named ASU Vice President for University Athletics and Athletics Director to replace Love.

While the move has brought about nearly universal cheers from Sun Devil fans and alums, it also brings about a critical time for ASU.

Patterson came on-board initially to oversee facility improvements, including the renovations of Sun Devil Stadium. He has an extensive background in sports, but ASU was his first collegiate stop. While his success on the business side of the ledger is impressive, it's a reasonable question to ask whether he can build a successful and sustaining collegiate sports program.

Will he bring in more sports savvy people to the administration while he focuses on more strategic gains? Will he clean house? What changes will he make to repair the dysfunctional aspects of the school's athletic department?

The coming months and years will answer those questions. The situation Patterson is facing is a very difficult one, and his efforts will rightfully be under heavy scrutiny.

The fact of the matter is, it's "put up or shut up" time for ASU. Over the last several years, as wins became scarce and controversy increased, Lisa Love became the scapegoat to many in and out of the program. She made the decisions that mattered, she hired the coaches.

So surely, fans thought, she was the one keeping the "sleeping giant" asleep. Now she's gone. As are the excuses.

It's time to wake up. It's time to build a winner ASU.

Follow me on Twitter @BDenny29 for more on this story as it develops

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