Little, who travels with the women’s basketball team, will be in attendance this Sunday in Indianapolis, Ind., as the program makes their Final Four debut against Washington. He will be rooting afar for the men’s program when they take on North Carolina on Saturday in Houston. In the meantime, he caught up with us to talk about his new role, receiving a new honor (and title) and the Broncos' championship.
What's been your role with the Syracuse Athletic Department recently with each basketball team's tournament success?
"We’re women’s supporters. We’ll be traveling with the women [to Indianapolis]. I follow the ladies basketball team. This is the first time in history that they've made the Sweet 16 or the Elite 8, and now the Final Four. They've never done that in the history of the school.
Syracuse is doing well and I’m glad to still be there and working with the University. I’m just excited."
And I heard you received news of a new honor, is that right?
"They made an announcement at the function that I would be receiving an honorary Doctorates Degree on May 15, so now you have to call me doctor. Tell [Jim Saccomano] Sacco I’m going to be Dr. Little for now on. Not the Franchise, I'll be Dr. Little. You can officially call me Dr. Little on May 15 at 10:45 a.m."
How did you find out about that, and what was your reaction?
It’s been a great year and a great last five years that I’ve been at Syracuse. I’ve encouraged and influenced and helped a lot of the student-athletes and others. For that, they want to honor me with an honorary doctorate degree. You never know. Coming from New Haven, Conn., and never having the opportunity to do a lot of things, now I’m an honorary doctor. I have an honorary doctorate degree from Syracuse University. I am so, so happy in my journey and Syracuse has been great for me and my wife, who received three degrees. She received her undergraduate degree and now she’ll receive a master’s degree from the school of education. It’s been a good journey for the two of us. You just can’t get your arms around being an honorary doctor."
As a Broncos Ring of Famer, what was it like for you watching the team win Super Bowl 50?
"I was really excited. They reached out and invited my wife and I to be a part of the celebration, to be a part of the Super Bowl as they did when they went to New York. I was thrilled to be there and just happy for the Bowlen family, whom I have become very, very close to. Unfortunately Pat couldn’t be there, but I was glad John [Elway] said, 'This one's for Pat,' because it really was.
I’m just so happy that they finally won the big one again, and they won the 50th Super Bowl, which is just unbelievable. For them to continue to include me in their family with [Senior Vice President of Business Development] Mac Freeman and [Director of Community Outreach] Bill Thompson and the rest of the gang, I'm just so thrilled. [President and CEO] Joe Ellis has reached out to me and I'm just honored to have been a Bronco. I'm happy that we won the 50th Super Bowl. I'm happy for John in his position. All the former players, we're honored to have been a Bronco."