24 Comments
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Damn, that was really well written.

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Brock Huard discussed Cohen's departure on his show today and two things he said stood out to me: (1) He felt Cohen had had enough of being underpaid relative to her position (a contention Huard strongly agreed with) and (2) Huard believed UW was facing a serious challenge in getting younger alumni involved into contributing financially to athletics. Christian, can you address either of these points as well as maybe at some point dig even deeper into some of the obstacles the football program faces from upper campus?

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I'm a Duck so probably no one on this thread cares what I think. I respect Cohen tremendously and wish her well - but man, SC is a grinder. That 'support' she is keen to tap into will flush her if things don't go as they wish. That's the game.

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The fluff about her UW "fandom" aside, the USC job seems like a logical upgrade for her. Her family moved up here from SoCal, but she chose to go back to SoCal as soon as she was able when she left for college so it seems like it's always been her true home. And of course, USC likely offers more money, a bigger athletics budget, and more prestige.

Also, she wasn't bad as AD but hard to argue she did much other than maintain the status quo. UW athletics are about where they were when she was hired in 2016.

Petersen and Romar were the coaches at the start then and DeBoer and Hopkins at the end. We when 3-4 national championship in the non-rowing sports in the decade before AD Cohen but no none during her tenure. We finished 21st in the Directors Cup which is about where we have finished just about every year since it became a thing. And the department still has unresolved financial issues not helped by the Lake debacle or the almost-inevitable Hopkins firing coming soon.

It's a shame we're losing someone in a major position to a conference rival, but it doesn't seem like it'll take a tremendous effort to find a new AD who will be at least as good and possibly better.

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Really Nicely Done!! Thank you.

Give Credit where Credit is Due... she earned it, All of it. And she owned the missteps. A #Dawg4Life first.💜💛 She kinda hit the Transfer Portal for Big NIL $$$ and a new challenge. Wishing her all the best... She Can "Learn to fight on" but "SAY WHO" will Always make her Smile.

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The loss of Cohen really bums me out. I think she is an elite AD. And this was inspired writing and perspective. One of your best pieces, Christian. Thanks.

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Great article I’m a little bias She is our daughter in law She did a fantastic job at W I know she will do well at SC

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Great read!

Super bummer that she is leaving. I thought she did a great job.

Makes me concerned for the UW athletic department. I have to wonder if she looked at the budget and wasn't able to find a way to make things work with the half share B1G money. Then at the same time having USC come after her with double the revenue in conference money alone? That makes it a whole lot easier to do the job of an AD.

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Could not be more disappointed with the last couple weeks. First the big 10 and now this!?!?!? How fun it was to root for the home grown kids... Tui, the Huard brothers, Chorak, Emtman, Gaskin, Jarzynka, Bubba, Gordon, Bruener, Locker.......the list goes on. It's all about the $$ now. May as well be the NFL.

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The ESPN 30 for 30 on the last few years of the Pac12 will tbe WILD. Great read, Christian.

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Aug 23, 2023·edited Aug 23, 2023

From what she says & does, it's hard to root against Jen Cohen. Effusive positivity & apparent integrity are highly attractive. These qualities helped to mitigate the impacts of some of Jen's performance-related "misses" (properly related in the article) with the UW fanbase & donor pool.

My question is: will these self-same qualities garner similar grace with the USC fanbase & donor pool when she "misses" down there? I fear the answer will be "no". She is not a USC alumna & quite frankly, she probably has the wrong genitalia to be given as long of a leash that Swan, Hayden & Bohn received.

That being said, she is stepping into one of the most highly-advantaged collegiate athletic departments in the country. As long as USC's football operations conrinue to run smoothly & the scandals are minimal, I have no doubt that Jen will do well. At least her female subordinates will probably sleep much easier than they had been under Bohn.

But if Lincoln Riley has many more years that end in a disappointing fashion (as last year's did), I suspect he will Bolt for an NFL HC job. Then Jen's performance will come down to her next football HC hire...and she had best not miss.

I wish Jen well in all of her USC endeavors with the exception of competitions versus the NW schools...

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She did a great job for us, and I wish her well, except in football. Her being gone shouldn’t affect us in the short term, but getting the replacement right is hugely important. Nobody wants another Hedges.

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"We can develop into our best selves" sounds rather like "you can win championships here" (as Steve Sarkisian notably said on arrival at USC, though it didn't work out that way for him)

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I’m sure the shaky financial situation in UW athletics factored into her decision. It’s going to be an uphill climb until 2030. Washington will attract capable candidates. This move really doesn’t concern me. Losing DeBoer would have.

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I have ONE question. Where was Cohen's advice when the BIG, gaining the Seattle and Portland media markets, and the coveted night slots, advised/or fought against taking a 50% cut for 7 years? If she fought hard against it, fine. If she recommended, we take it, she set us up and she earned her first USC paycheck. Maybe it's just me but I smell a rat!

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This is how things are starting to shake out… the schools who are in the upper echelon financially are starting to pull away from the rest because they can afford to hire the best coaches and players both directly and with what they can do indirectly with resources. USC will be making close to $200 million more than UW from the TV contract over the next six years, plus their alums have far deeper pockets when it comes to athletics. That’s an awful lot to work with, when as an AD you’re ultimately judged on how much your major sports win.

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