Long Beach State Athletics!
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Re: what came across the most
As long as I have been a fan, 45+ years, the university and the city have not been connected. The school and itís president own some of the blame but it goes both ways. Many of the cityís business leaders and influential residents didnít graduate from the Beach nor did any of their kids. SDSU, on the other hand, seems to have developed a deep connection with the city in recent years, even though there are two major universities in their neighborhood (USD and UCSD). Years back when the Beach and the Aztecs were closer to being rivals, they were having the same issues. Most of the city leaders didnít have a connection with SDSU, and unless the Aztecs were having a great season in football or basketball, attendance was weak. They seem to have bridged the gap between community and university in recent years.
Iím not optimistic but I hope LBSU can make some strides with Smitheranís experience and family connections. Heís seen the benefits of that connection between a university and itís host city
and for me this was in spades the most important and hopeful quality, is that Smitheran exudes that he is taking a position as the AD of the city of Long Beach.
Cegles, Fee, FKingA, and Conelly. None of them IMO ever came across as embracing that Beach and the city of Long Beach were the same thing. Yes, they recognized that in the abstract. Especially Conelly, she's been completely detached from that, going home to SB on weekends, her infantile lectures to boosters/alumni, oblivious to the continuity and embracing that as a means for excellence. Fee too. I guess to me they all at their core have been outsiders who really didn't want or understand how to get into the communities. Granted most of us came from somewhere else.
to the extent Smitheran can parlay that vision to grow community and business to increase their level of support an involvement, we shall see. The economy of the LOng Beach region within 15 miles of the university is approximately $100 billion. LBSU's impact is estimated at $1.5 billion, and directly impacts 10,000 jobs and $500 million in wages. While alumni are great and natural areas to improve, the key to attracting money and business has and always will be to make Beach athletics a regional South LA County/West OC & City athletic brand, and grow it in that matter. That he has a sense of Long Beach is really good, as his predecessors and bosses IMO never could project or embrace or that, or even begin to try to understand and crack that golden nugget.
ok, yeah, that wasn't nice