Wednesday, January 07, 2009

BC winning the PR battle

I've questioned how BC handled this situation in general, but one thing is clear: the administration won the PR battle. Sure some people took Gene to task for overreacting but most have gobbled up Gene's quotes and are now applauding his stand. Supposedly the Globe is prepping a piece that will bury Jags and make it look like he's been angling for any NFL job from Day 1. Here are some of Wednesday's reactions.

Dan Wetzel thinks Gene did the right thing.

Gregg Doyel takes an even stronger stand applauding BC.

Kevin Armstrong agrees with me that this should have stayed behind closed doors.

Brian Cook thinks we should hire Charlie Strong.

HD thinks BC's stance means we won't get an ambitious head coach.


Phil said...

I don't get why lots of people are running with the story that BC is out of line and should act differently since it's not a "destination job."

I really BC isn't where most "ambitious" coaches want to stay for 20 years, but is 3 years really asking that much?

Unknown said...

No place in sports is the final spot for a coach (see Phil Jackson, Joe Torre, Bill Parcells). The articles talk about BC demanding loyalty and the honoring of contracts, but I think this goes beyond that.

To build a successful program (which BC is) and take it to the next level, it needs stability. It needs a coach that could tell recruits, we need you to bring us to the orange bowl. Jags promised that (I am a student, and heard him say those words pretty much verbatim). I didn't expect Jags to be here for a decade, or even the length of his contract, but I expected him to do his best to continue building the program in order to win that final game. But he didn't even stay here long enough to let his own recruits take off their redshirts. So, I fully understand Gene and BC telling him to screw if he is not into it anymore after only 2 years and 1 recruiting season. (see lack of preparation in the vanderbilt game)

I loved Jags when we got him and up until Jan.1, but don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

Eagle in Brighton said...

All about the Charlie Strong candidacy. Would be a media splash, recruiting/image boon and a general net gain.

Number one choice in my book.

BCNorCal07 said...

I am totally on the Charlie Strong bandwagon. The man can coach and has ended up with great defenses whereever he's gone. As much as I like Spaz as a DC, I feel Strong would be a better head coach. Upsides: great coach, big-time PR boost, good recruiter, would likely be grateful. Downside: definitely not a BC lifer, no ties to the Northeast, probably would not like BC's restrictions on recruiting. In any case, count me in, as long as we could hold on to him for more than three years.

About Five said...

One downside is that we openly saw an AD that liked playing best friends with a young head football coach.

That more than BC having backbone is a negative in hiring the next coach. Good working relationship you want it, but this comes off unhealthy. And not something the strong leader of a football team would accept.

Is Gene D really the guy who can take BC to the next level?

Joe Bags said...

AboutFive - Gene D has already taken BC to new heights.

Bill - Assuming this Globe article happens, how much of it do you expect will be accurate? I mean, you've been pretty adamant in defending Jags throughout, are these claims about him "angling for an NFL job since day one" legit or is this the Ministry of Information at work?

Greg said...

It seems like there are two conversations going on. People seem to say that we shouldn't be surprised that Jags left b/c BC isn't a final destination. He was only here 2 YEARS. It isn't like he was here even 5 years and people are pissed. I know Gene wants someone here for a long time, but even if Jags was here 3 or 4 years, I don't think we are having this conversation. It isn't mutually exclusive, the options aren't a) your entire career, or b) 2 years.

About Five said...

Bags, Gene has taken BC to new heights but the goal per him is higher. So it is not unfair to wonder if he is the best guy to take BC there. Just as he rightfully said O'Brien who improved also BC football was not the guy for the next level. It is clear that Gene is career 0-1 in hiring coaches for major sports. It is fair to question if he is the guy or needs some support to pull it off.

ATL_eagle said...

Joe Bags: no doubt Jags wanted and wants to be an NFL head coach. But this whole Seahawks thing, not buying it. He would take a financial and professional hit and uproot his family again to become an NFL coordinator? And when he did become available, the Seahawks went and hired another one of his good friends (Gregg Knapp)? Even if he was talking to folks out there a lot, which is supposedly the angle the Globe would take, you lose the context and perspective of the calls. Jags talks to Mike London a lot. Does that mean he was coordinating some sort of move to be Richmond's OC. If Jags was this disloyal two faced, terrible guy why do people like Gene, Alex Gibbs, Mike McCarthy, Steve Logan, Frank Spaziani, Jim Mora, etc keep wanting to work with him? If he was trying to get out of Dodge at all costs, why not quit? Why not go to Auburn where the obstacles BC faces don't exist? I think Jags screwed up a really good thing at BC, but look at Gene's reaction yesterday. I think it reinforced what I wrote ["mutually assured destruction"] before Gene even spoke publicly. I said these were two really good friends who let stuff build and instead of dealing with it in the best interest of both their careers and BC, it reached the point of no return.

Unknown said...

The national media, and some local media are totally missing the reason why Jags was fired and misreading Gene's intention that he wants BC to be a destination job. To the first point, Jags wasn't fired because he interview, he was fired because he lied about interviewing and broke his relationship with Gene. To the second point, I don't think Gene wants a Joe Paterno type at BC. He is too savvy to know that won't happen. What he does want though is a coach that will be there for 4 to 6 years, have success, then move on to where ever the next job may be. At least that's the way I see it. I think that had Jags stayed for two more years and left the program in good shape Gene would have been more than happy to help Jags get back to the NFL.

When this story first broke I was upset at Gene's actions, but as the story plays out I believe he did the right thing. His job is to look after the well being of BC and he did just that. Gene has done remarkable things with the athletic program at BC. Besides the graduation rate stuff, there are a lot of non-revenue sports that compete for national championships. The facilities will come in due time as the Brighton campus gets developed. I hope Gene is there for a long time, he gets it.

My last point is that for all the harm this circus has done to BC, I think it has proven that BC is a national player. No, BC is not at the level of USC, Oklahoma, Florida, etc... but it wouldn't be the lead story on Sports Center if BC didn't matter. It wouldn't be all over WEEI if BC didn't matter.

I think it is still a great job, especially for a guy like Mike London or a similar up-and-comer. Gene just has to realize that have coaches that use BC as a stepping stone can be a good thing for both parties. It worked well with Tom Coughlin and it can work well in the future as program continues to develop and win games.

flutie22phelan20 said...

I'm glad we're salvaging some face in the national media. Ultimately, this is all water under the bridge if Gene makes the right selection in the coaching search -- and, honestly, this is a pretty damn good football staff, if they stay on, things may work out just fine.

The Herald reported today that Jags was seeking out the Atlanta and Baltimore NFL jobs LAST year. That just doesn't sit right, especially given the situation he walked into last year. I don't like how this has all played out, but if any of those reports were true, I'm glad he's been thrown to the curb.

ATL I'm eager to hear your thoughts about why you would prefer someone other than Spaz. I think a lot of the incentives are currently leaning in that direction, and his time and effort at BC is not something that Gene can ignore under any circumstances. That is particularly true if he takes our longest tenured -- and most successful -- assistant and puts the insulting "interim" label on him for the second time.

Andrea Martin said...

ATL- Adam Schecter from NFL network said on WEEI this morning that according to several NFL GMs, Jags has "character issues". Any insight into that?

Erik said...

The Charlie Strong hire could be a great one, however i have reservations. My main reason for being disturbed by this Jags firing is the lack of continuity on the staff. I'd love to see Spaz, McGovern, Bicknell, Day, Comissiong, and probably even Logan all stay on the staff to keep the players comfortable with the change, and also to re-assure the recruits that the reasons you are interested in BC are all still here at Boston College. But that is a short-term benefit, maybe Strong makes a big difference long-term.

Mostly I worry about losing Spaziani if he gets passed over again. Maybe he'd be okay with it, but I like having him out there every year.

Thomas said...

Dear GDF,
Save BC's face. Hire Charlie Strong. Announce it tomorrow. Enjoy the praise of the national media. Have a good day.

A concerned alumni

P.S. Have a plan B when he leaves after 4 years. Don't give him ultimatums. And don't try to be his best friend.

Edmonds4Life said...

I have to say I agree with ATL that all of this was avoidable and mutually destructive. Since we'll never know all the details of what went down it's hard to say who's to blame, but I think that Gene, as the AD, really did a lot to diminish the school's image. The AD is the one who should be the politician and the ultimate fighter for the school. I'm not saying firing Jags was the worst move (and maybe it was even the right move), but it's hard to say after this all played out that we're better off today than we were this time last week. That's gotta fall on Gene.

Here's hoping he makes an honest and thorough search... what's done is done and let's try to keep moving forward as a program. I wonder if there's any whispers of John DeFilippo, Gene's son and current Raiders QB coach joining the staff. I don't know much about him but the thought of having two DeFilippos makes me uncomfortable, even if it might make sense in some ways (young guy, obvious ties to BC, clearly unstable situation in Oakland and an offensive mind to balance Spaz if he becomes HC).

eagle1331 said...

I keep telling myself the reason he didn't announce anything yesterday is because he wanted to talk to Strong and was respectful enough of him, UF, and the National Championship not to say or LEAK anything about it to cause any distractions.

Anonymous said...

Emperor Gene continues to play his violin as the Heights burn.....

Where is Father Leahy to stop this madness? Two massive sized egos have ruined the university's reputation.

Someone take control of this sinking ship.....we are on life support and 10 minutes from being being dumped by the ACC for the Sun Coast Conference

Boyd said...

Bill, I'm no more sure about all the facts than any of us. But let me give some plausible answers:

"If Jags was this disloyal two faced, terrible guy why do people like Gene, Alex Gibbs, Mike McCarthy, Steve Logan, Frank Spaziani, Jim Mora, etc keep wanting to work with him?"

In some cases, they did not yet know he was disloyal and two-faced. In others, they are the same way and take it as a given.

"If he was trying to get out of Dodge at all costs, why not quit?"

Why quit when you can keep cashing the checks until you move seamlessly to another job? And who said "at all costs" anyway?

"Why not go to Auburn where the obstacles BC faces don't exist?"

Was this really an option for him? I don't recall him turning down an offer from Auburn.

I'd like to know who leaked this. But really, what changes? With no leak, GDF still tell Jags he can't interview, Jags still does it, and still gets fired. The only difference is we're stunned when it happens.

Willis said...

If the rumblings about Jags are true what are the chances Bob Kraft blackballs Jags at the NFL level? I think Jags should have thought more about the fact that one of the most respected NFL owners is a trustee at BC.

@timstwrt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
@timstwrt said...

We all keep talking about "saving face," while it becomes clearer and clearer that we're in the minority in thinking that face needs to be saved. In most of the conversations with non-BC people I've had, they've applauded the move. On some level, it speaks to recruits as a place they can take pride in.

From the beginning, I thought the ultimatum was over-the-top and that to be upset with being characterized as a steppingstone was delusional. That said, at the end of the day, who exactly have we alienated? Are recruits going to be upset that a school wants the guy coaching them to stick around? Are fans and alumni going to be upset to have a program with continuity? As far as I can tell, the only group we've distanced ourselves from here is the group of coaches who want to bounce after two years. We don't want them anyway. I think this was handled poorly, and I'm not a GDF apologist or Jags hater. But if we look at where we are today, this is far from the worst week in BC athletic history.

GordonsLeftFoot said...

ATL, your blog was on the front page of today's Boston Metro and again in the sports section. Congrats, and thanks for all of your work this week. I first started reading/posting here during the TOB departure. It feels like deja vu all over again.

By the way, is there any truth to these Brian Kelly rumors? Both HD and the Herald mentioned him as a possibility. Would he really leave Cinci for BC (after 2 years, like Jags) or hold off for something else, say, ND?

Adam M. said...

Herzy is coming back, and prefers Spaz to be his head coach.

Erik said...

I'm not one for man crushes, but Mark Herzlich comes pretty close.

Erik said...

What are the chances Charlie Strong could get Jelani Jenkins to come to BC? I know Florida is also recruiting him?