Friday, November 12, 2010

The Thomas Claiborne affair

I realize some of you avoid the rumor and innuendos that surround the program, so let me catch you up. A few weeks back our Spaz moved Thomas Claiborne out of the starting lineup. Public explanations were vague as to why the preseason All ACC player and three year starter was not starting but the word was he was being outplayed. Yet in most of those games Claiborne was quickly reinserted back into the game. His play was inconsistent but he was still effective enough. At the time there was plenty of gossip that Claiborne had spoke out against the coaching staff and was being punished.

Now, weeks later, Claiborne is playing again and he and Spaz are openly addressing their past issues and are publicly on the same page. So it seems like there was some truth to the rumors of discontent and that the benching was a subjective mix or performance and punishment. What does it all mean for BC, Spaz, Claiborne and this season?

One of the most critical roles of a head coach is managing the all the people involved in the program. The complexity of managing a unit or position is multiplied because now you have other coaches to worry about and you have final say. As with any diverse and big group, you can't manage everyone the same way. The best coaches understand that. I worry at times that Spaz has a little TOB in him in that he would hurt himself, the team and a player out of stubbornness disguised as principle. Did Claiborne mouth off? I buy it. Anyone can see that he is an emotional guy. But punishing him in a way that might hurt his career and your struggling team might not be the best message. You have to respect that player A and player B are different and respond differently to coaching and structure. If you lose a player or leader, that hurts the mood of the team and recruiting.

When we look back on this year the inconsistency of the offensive line is going to be a real focal point. It is a shame that things might have been different if emotions and pride hadn't gotten in the way of things.

As for why I didn't address this when it first happened? I am in my usual tough spot. I don't know Thomas or Spaz. No one who knew what was going on could go on record, so instead of stirring things up I just let it be. It doesn't surprise me that Spaz finally addressed it in the safe harbor of the Globe and Herald and after he is feeling a little safer about his own job. I just hope he has learned from this. Sometimes the difference between a five game losing streak and say going 2-3 is how you handle the players' emotions and not just the Xs and Os.


blist said...

I don't know if you caught it, but at the end of the Clemson game, Claiborne put his arm around Spaz and shouted something (in a good way) - maybe they made up or started seeing each others pov a bit? I have no clue, seemed like a good moment for them anyway

Sam said...

Fr. Leahy,

Fire this clown already

mod34b said...

Amazing that a 5th year senior does not know he needs to show respect for this coach.

Spaz's seeming "stubbornness disguised as principle" approach is also the GDF way too -- just ask Jags.

Dan Popko said...

Not about the Claiborne situation, but the Heights will be running a live blog for the opening of the basketball season at

Anfield10 said...

Is there something wrong with BC's All Access thing? This is the third time I have tried to listen to a BC men's hockey game and the radio link doesn't work, it just keeps loading. One time it was some other radio station altogether. Anyone know where I can listen to this BC-Vermont game?

Claver2010 said...

It's the UVM feed. Thanks Gene!

Unfortunately with Spaz we're stuck in mediocrity. I have seen nothing in 2 years to believe he can lead us to where we want to go.

Anfield10 said...

Thanks man really appreciate it, I look forward to listening to the hockey team all week and have been seriously pissed that our radio feed never seems to work

Claver2010 said...

Big win for hockey, I know UVM has yet to win but we haven't won at the Gutt since 05-06

Lenny Sienko said...

Check on this; but I understand that we do not have a radio station or a broadcast network for our NCAA championship hockey team.

This is inexcusable.

Walter said...

So this might be a few posts late, but I just read through Gene's transcript and I can't say that anything he said made me feel even a little bit better as a fan.

His answers were so by the book and aggravating. It was dodge dodge dodge and spin spin spin.

How hard can it really be to make tailgating better? Why not get more into the specifics of it or at least point fans in the right direction? I'm sick of hearing that "it's very difficult" without being told WHY it's so difficult.

He also mentioned that they hired some sort of tickets director. Shouldn't this have been done years ago? BBall home attendance has been moribund for at least the past three years.

I also didn't like the cheap shot he took at the bowls we've been in. Yeah, they haven't been spectacular, but outside of bcs bowls, which bowls really even mean anything?

And perhaps the biggest thing that annoyed me was the insistence that this season wasn't horrible and that everything has been fine all along. If he were really as disgruntled as everyone else as he claimed, he would have made sure that we didn't have a five game losing streak by demanding that the offensive playbook get mixed up so that we're not running on first down over 90% of the time.

thomas said...

Not to be Bias in any way,Or to give excuse for the waywardness of his mentality, But to Give Mention to facts that many DO NOT KNOW is that Thomas has been dealing with a lot of Emotional tragedy of Losing 2 Uncle's and His Grandfather to in which was very close to all in the past 7 Month's and 2 of them in just WEEKS OF EACH OTHER Just this Month alone. I should know for I am his Father and I know how it is to lose LOVED One's so close and unexpectedly,It was my Siblings and Father after all.

thomas said...
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