So I wrote this yesterday:
Mark Harlan is the rumor, and it seems like USF will move very quickly from here. We profiled Harlan here: http://t.co/BIMkCeKtMz— Collin Sherwin (@USFCollin) March 7, 2014
And then Joey Knight said he heard the same things I was hearing:
Like others such as @USFCollin, I'm hearing UCLA associate AD Mark Harlan as new #USF AD. Nothing officially confirmed. VERY secret process— Joey Knight (@TBTimes_Bulls) March 7, 2014
So it seems the smart money is on Mark Harlan to be USF's new AD as we're still trying to figure out if and when the search committee will meet again, and when this becomes official. Yes our SB Nation cohorts at Bruins Nation would look upon this poorly, however we're certainly willing to give the new guy a chance, especially considering there's been no formal confirmation yet. But then... well, it just got a bit unusual. To the Twitterverse!
@TBTimes_Bulls @USFCollin How is it possible that our new AD only has 38 twitter followers? I have 20 and I am nobody.— Lance Knowlton (@Lance_Knowlton) March 7, 2014
That made me search again to find Mark Harlan's Twitter account, so I did and Tweeted this so people that might want to follow could add him as I had just done:
.@harlan_mark & I just made it 39 MT @Lance_Knowlton: @TBTimes_Bulls @USFCollin How possible that our new AD only has 38 twitter followers?— Collin Sherwin (@USFCollin) March 7, 2014
Before I sent out that Tweet I did a quick scan of his timeline, which seemed to be mostly retweets about things at UCLA. Yes he didn't have a ton of followers, but it seemed like a newish account so I didn't think twice about it. But then shortly thereafter...
@USFCollin Nvm now it's back. Except it's private now— Lee Shaffer (@lmshaffe) March 7, 2014
So @harlan_mark literally just made his Twitter page private… h/t @lmshaffe for figuring that out.— Collin Sherwin (@USFCollin) March 7, 2014
And I’m seeing that it’s now totally deleted. Did we just creep out the new guy? @harlan_mark??— Collin Sherwin (@USFCollin) March 7, 2014
So the guy that everyone is saying is USF's new AD shut down his social media presence just due to a couple of mentions mere seconds after they happen? Seriously?? Considering when this job first came open and we did our first Odds Board with bios we said this:
We're adding a Twitter handle for each person since we basically consider it a requirement for the new guy or gal. Someone that's in touch with the fans and alumni via new media is the kind of person USF needs. You don't need to be @celebrityhottub levels of funny or @corybooker levels of accessible... but we at least want you to have an account.
Well... let's just say this wasn't the most comfortable introduction to the guy that's probably the guy.
We're still very willing to give him a chance, and though we respect the Bruins Nation guys as fellow SB Nation bloggers, we don't really know them. They could be crazy surfers that hold up banks like in Point Break to pay for Rose Bowl tickets for all we know (we did send them an email asking for some follow-up on Harlan but haven't gotten a response yet). But so far what the internet tells us about the guy everyone is whispering about hasn't been stellar as a Google search for "Mark Harlan" or "Mark Harlan UCLA" isn't the most flattering. And then he just axes his Twitter? Y U H8 TEH INTERTUBES MARK???
I guess this means winning the press conference is going to be more important than normal, but again, this is all assuming he's the new Athletic Director. And the only reason we're busting out Initech's Jump To Conclusions mat is because I've got over half a dozen people telling me that's what's happening, and Joey Knight is hearing the same things. So unless there's a The Usual Suspects level of twist by Judy Genshaft and the search committee, this seems likely to happen.
But remember 10 years ago USF was all set to give the job to Virginia's Jon Oliver, but then started digging into his past... and ended up with Doug Woolard who was their second choice, as another finalist Mark Hollis was either third or fourth. So until there's a signed contract and a press conference... hey, it's USF:
Until you see this woman behind a podium doing what she's doing above... nothing is official.