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Pete Garcia says...

Here are some things from a Monday night conversation I had with FIU AD Pete Garcia.

His reaction to the day's events: "Rutgers handled everything in a professional manner. I'm very happy Mario decided to stay. I agree with him that he's building something special here."

"Obviously, money isn't everything, especially when you're like Mario, who's from down here, who has worked down here to build something over the last five years."

When I asked about the still-ongoing talks for another deal, he said, "We've talked about things, but this wasn't a leverage thing. It was never about that."

Nobody knows completely what's going on in Cristobal's head. But I find myself thinking of my Herald colleague Dan LeBatard, a 43-year-old Cuban-American born, raised, educated, working for 22 years of post-college life in South Florida where he has family. Dan has said often -- and I know it to be true -- that he's had a number of opportunities to leave South Florida for much more lucrative, higher profile jobs in sports media, but he stays because he's happy in this area.

Cristobal is a 41-year-old Cuban-American born, raised, educated and working for most of the last 20 years in South Florida, where he has family. He works for an AD that he's known for 20 years and has a program he rebuilt and of which he's emperor. He and I have talked about that moment on the drive home to Miami Beach when you're coming over one of the causeway crests and you take in the beautiful breadth of the bay, boats, buildings. You can't help but smile and think how lucky you are to be driving toward that scene every day because it's home.

Never underrate comfort and happiness.



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