Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Select Football Alumni send letter and survey to Board of Trustees

As I mentioned, the BC Football Alumni are some of the most dissatisfied when it comes to the state of our football program. A group of them, led by Steven Lively, sent a letter to the Board of Trustees. They are also circulating a survey with regards to their level of satisfaction, their ticket buying status and their future financial support of the program. The letter follows.

November 17, 2011
Kathleen M. McGillycuddy, Chair
Boston College Board of Trustees
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue Chestnut Hill, MA 02467

Dear Mrs. McGillycuddy:

My name is Steven Lively and I am proud alum of Boston College. Included herein are my reflections, which are supported by a host of dissatisfied fellow alums, regarding the precipitous down-turn our football program and, more importantly, the Athletic Department in recent years. I love Boston College, and am concerned that current and future generations of students, parents, alumni and others who have enjoyed Boston College football, and other sports will not, unless change is enacted soon, have that opportunity in the future.

Discussion Points:
1. The steady decline of a historic and significant economic base for the university.
2. The steady decline of the football program.
3. Loss of BC Football Alum financial support for the university.
4. Loss of significant BC Football fan base.
5. Declining BC Football ticket sales.
6. Anger at and resentment of our Athletic Director.
7. A shifting away from a traditional athletic director’s role to that of fundraiser.
8. Concern that there may be a self serving motivation to receive higher compensation on the part of Athletic Directors, i.e. surcharging.

In closing, I ask that you and members of the Board investigate and make your decision. I have provided my contact information below. Thank you for the attention that you will give this most important matter.


Steven R. Lively,
1983 Graduate & Boston College Football Alum
Office Contact Number: XXX-XXX-XXXX
E-Mail: XXXXX.com
CC: Boston College Board of Trustees Members
Father William P. Leahy, S.J., President
Dineen A. Riviezzo, President Boston College Alumni Association Boston College Football Alumni

What I find interesting is that they are taking this directly to the Board instead of routing it through Gene or even Father Leahy. As we know there is a perception -- right or wrong -- that Gene can do whatever he wants and doesn't welcome feedback. Bypassing him ensures that the Board knows that there are real problems.

I still don't think a change will be made next week, but efforts like this may change the climate.

UPDATED: I didn't alter the letter in any way. Image below.


mod10aeagle said...

It's a shame Lively couldn't have called on an English major to help him with the letter.

mod34b said...

It is poorly written yet somehow quite authentic. I think, though, a few typos, are due to ATL's retyping.

and, of course, ATL can't resist gratuitously pushing his GDF/Spaz enablement point: "I still don't think a change will be made next week" Really? you don't say.

Joseph said...

ATL has a blog. Blogs involve opinions. Ergo, ATL has his opinions, and so does Mod34b. Somehow I have trouble getting from expressing an opinion on a matter to selling the point. Mod, saying that you think that the typos are ATL's fault telgraphs from whence you are coming.

Tim said...

Where's the rest of the letter? Or was that it?

Lenny Sienko said...

I applaud the enterprise of these football alums; but I understand why Bill feels we'll be stuck with #fireSpaz and #FireGDF yet another year.

Bill knows about "BC Logic". It runs something like this. The Trustees know we need a new direction and leadership at AD and a new HC in football. They would like to act shortly. However, since they were called out on this by the football alums, the Board can't act, since this would give the appearance of actually responding to criticism, something that BC administration can never do.

Its the BC version of "Catch 22". If the problem is serious enough to require a response to the critics, no response can be made.

mod34b said...

Joseph, dumb. You must be an accountant to fixate on typos in blog commentary. You also miss my point in your zest to be snarky.

I don't care if ATL has typos in his posts (he has plenty of them as does everyone else, even you).

But I did care that the typos (missing words) might unfairly make Lively look bad (in addition to the sludgey writing style) so that is why I made that comment. In other words, a few of the left out words were probably not left out by Lively, but by ATL re-typing. So, I was trying to be contructive. Capice.

to wit:

"My name is Steven Lively and I am [A] proud alum of Boston College"


"regarding the precipitous down-turn [OF] our football program "

"a self[-]serving motivation "

EL MIZ said...

lets post this somewhere and enable people to sign it, that way the trustees can see the vast amount of discontent with spaz.

Tim said...

I'd still like to see the rest of the letter.

jazzeagle05 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ATL_eagle said...

I copied and pasted the letter. I didn't edit it.

Tim said...

Thanks for posting the actual letter. I really hope that he supported the "talking points" with some sort of more detailed discussion, or some attachments or other explanation not included in the one-page letter we're looking at. Otherwise, this just looks like a bunch of baseless allegations, bordering on libel.

Joseph said...

And, now Mod34b? I am not smart enough to be an accountant, just an average guy who employees dozens of accountants.

I like the Catch 22 idea. So true!!

dixieagle said...

As an English major, I, also, wish that Lively had an editor.

That said, I am delighted that someone with actual ties to the football program was upset enough to take this upon himself. Way to go, Steven.

mod34b said...

and now what Joseph? you admit to be a complete weenie about typos? Or are you trying to impress people that you employ accountants. If so, major Congratulations to you. I mean really, WHOA!

And ATL, my apologies. I assumed that a BC grad who writes a letter to the BOT would proofread it (unlike a blogger commenter e.g., Jos.) and that maybe you re-typed it too fast.

So what do we have? We have a 50 year-old BC grad who can't write a decent letter (or a decent sentence) and who does not proofread an important letter. Yikes.

C'mon Lively, we expect better.

Diabetic Tackle said...


who are Lively's co-signee's to this message representing "Football Alumni"?

Jeff said...

You neglected to redact the image of the letter to hide the contact information. Was that intentional?

ATL_eagle said...

Diabetic Tackle:

It is circulating among the Bicknell era football alums. A few different guys from that time forwarded it to me. The survey is electronic and pretty straight forward (paraphrasing). 1. Do you have tickets, 2. Do you give and it allows for some open ended response regarding Gene.

eagle1331 said...
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eagle1331 said...

While I don't have the ability to call myself a BC football alumni, I did come to the realization last week that commenting on a blog, tweeting, or changing my facebook status to reflect my disdain for the state of BC football, Coach Spaz, and Gene D. was not going to be affective. Around the same time, I received a nice letter, albeit from CSOM and not the Flynn Fund or the school in general, asking for my annual donation. I'm not sure if this will work for many of you, put you can see my response here:


you may have to open it as a jpeg or download it (it's just a picture, not a virus). If not, the @fakebaldwin account retweeted the picture earlier in the day.

Admittedly, I pussed out a little and cut out my address and the tracking ID on the bottom before sending it in, so that if I have kids that want to go to BC they aren't held back because of it, but it was time that I finally said something that hopefully lands on a desk of someone that care.

cherry ghost said...

the board would take Mr Lively more serious if he didn't use a hotmail account

dmyankees said...

i agree, how can we publish this letter as a petition that other bc alums/supporters can sign?

can someone more tech-savy than i get this started?

ATL - have you any ideas on this?

JBQ said...

Kathleen M. McGillcuddy just assumed the Chair of the Board of Trustees. She is a graduate of Newton College of the Sacred Heart in 1971 which merged with BC in 1975. She has an MBA from Babson College. Her management experience is with BankBoston and FleetBoston. Her husband is Ron Logue. Her expressed interest is in the "role of women as leaders and influential participants". John F. Fish is the vice chair who is the CEO of Suffolk Construction and the first non alumni in that position. Evidently, Ms. McGillycuddy is counted as an alumnae. I would say that there are "gray clouds on the horizon".

BCDoubleEagle said...

"Her husband is Ron Logue"

And this letter is addressed to "Mrs. McGillycuddy." Classic.

thegateeagles said...

Does anyone else think it's interesting that, according to LinkedIn, Steven lively is also from the Atlanta area? Could it be that Bill is pushing his opinions through a lesser known, less polarizing figure?

thegateeagles said...

Does anyone else think it's interesting that, according to LinkedIn, Steven lively is also from the Atlanta area? Could it be that Bill is pushing his opinions through a lesser known, less polarizing figure?

Scoop said...

The leaders of the BOT are not alumni? I'm sorry but a degree from fig newton doesn't count in my book. You mean out of what, 60,000 or 80,000 alumni, BC can't find one to head-up the BOT? What a sorry state of affairs. It's not the university I graduated from. What next, a pedophile priest as the next president? Evidently, the problems run much deeper than meets the eye.

It's too bad the letter borders on being incoherent. I expect it will not be taken too seriously, given the non-BC leadership and its female first agenda of the BOT, unless there is strong follow-up by many more alums beyond the football alumni group. Put me down for an online petition.

Jimmy said...

Scoop = Jackass

EL MIZ said...

the grammar of the letter and the overall writing ability of Mr. Lively should not take a backseat to the fact that alumni are now sending letters to the BoT to air their grievances about Spaz and the AD at large. who cares if he doesn't punctuate correctly? the point is, the letter expresses the sentiment of many disgruntled BC fans.

some on this blog have wondered why donahue and spaz get "treated differently." the answer is the outlook. donahue engages the student body, is positive, encourages his players, and is a good "program leader." spaz is literally the exact opposite. there is no engagement. he is a pessimist and exudes little confidence in his players or the general direction of his team. while his Defenses have been good for the last decade, the offense under Spaz has been historically bad, not just by BC standards but across D1. it is great that his inadequacy as a coach and leader is being aired past Gene and straight to the Board.

with more opinionated letters like Mr. Lively, this will be Spaz's last year. the BoT, AD, and university at large will only act if they think they are looking at 20,000 in alumni next year at home games. they don't care about wins and losses, they care about a dent in donations and having people bloviate about how shitty the football team is at cocktail parties.

C. Scanz said...

So we hate the Spaz hire but love York and Donahue. We also now see the wisdom in leaving the big east for the ACC. Objectively, can we really criticize GDF right now? Football is one sport, and while Spaz may not be the right fit for head coach, can anyone blame the hire following his prolific defenses and program instability. Let's not play Monday morning quarterback.

Jimmy said...

Scanz says "can anyone blame the hire " of Spaz

Ah, yes they can.

His hiring has been soundly and roundly criticized from the day he was hired to present.

Spaz is obviously not a leader, never was a leader and never will be a leader

EL MIZ said...

scanz, the question isn't about whether spaz was the right hire. the question is whether, after 3 years of steady decline in terms of results, do we allow spaz to come back for a 4th year or have we seen enough? the consensus is enough, let's move on and get the program headed back in the right direction.

JP said...

"So we hate the Spaz hire but love York and Donahue."

York was not a GDF hire. York was hired in 1994, but GDF got to BC in 1997.

EagleManhattan said...
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EagleManhattan said...

I, for one, support Gene DeFilippo's new initiative to gain admittance to the Ivy League. Frankly, there's no way BC gets in with a legitimate BCS level football team, and we're making the first real strides this year toward our goal. Harvard from Monday to Friday, will soon become Harvard all week!

About Five said...

Scans, when you give Gene credit for York You pretty much disqualify yourself as knowing much of anything about BC sports. York predates by several years.

Credit for the ACC move has many fathers. Particularly when his boss the academic did not like the schools the Big East was going to wind up with. The President had the we are like Duke talk going from day one.

Knucklehead said...

Is this a real letter or a draft?

Did you get this from the bloggers at Blue Grey Sky?

Teej said...

The biggest issue isnt just football either. I started in 2005 and the first basketball game I went to sold out against Dartmouth. Almost every game I went to that year you had to arrive early to be in the bottom bowl of the student section and that was weekend nights when students can at least say they have other things to do. Yet now when we play games on a MONDAY night when there is absolutely nothing else to do, we cant get more than 100 students to go to the game? I know the team sucks but I'd play like crap too if I knew no one cared. A lot of this goes on the students, I am all for blaming the athletic department, but this has been a slow drop for the last 7 years in general. Good or Bad teams.

eagle1331 said...

Here you go people, Steven Lively's letter is on Change.org now for you to support...


Tim said...

(1) I checked the box score for the 2005 Dartmouth game. Attendance was 5,758 (i.e. more than 2,000 empty seats). I believe BC tends to report attendance as the number of tickets sold, so in reality there were probably even less than 5,758 in the building, and the game did not sell out.
(2) "I'd play like crap too if I knew no one cared." That's probably why you're not a division 1 athlete in a high-profile sport (correct me if I'm wrong). The players get paid $50,000 a year in free tuition, room and board to play a game. If they perform well, people will pay to see them; if they are not competitive, people won't waste their time and money. That's true of nearly every sports team in America, not just at BC.

ATL_eagle said...

I have never met Lively. I saw that he listed Atlanta as his location on LinkedIn, but he has never been to any local chapter events. I even asked BCMike (former ATL Chapter Pres) and he never recalled meeting him. I emailed Lively after I got the letter but he has not replied. As I said, this is circulating among Bicknell era football alumni. Multiple guys from that era sent it to me with the purpose of sharing it.

mod34b said...

Lively, a 1983 graduate, was a starter for the first half of the Flutie years. An outstanding BC football player.

But he is not one of the bigger names from that storied era. Too bad some of the other names could not sign on.

those names include

Flutie, DeOssie, Kowalski, Brennan, Phelan, Thurman, Radochowsky (i am sure i mispelled it), Ruth and even Jack Bicknell jr.

I am sure there are others. But put it this way: The BC football alum from 1982-1985 are the most impressive class of BC football athletes ever. They are all around 50, establsihed in life, and with a lot of credibility about BC football.

I wish they would have acted with more cohension, unity, and yes, grammar.

I think Lively will be ignored because he did not rally his famous brethern too join and his letter presents the arguments very poorly.

bc1960 said...

Most of the above posts point to Mr. Lively's style - and not the substance of his argument. He deserves credit for speaking out. The fact remains that until Gene De Filippo is removed, Amateur Hour will continue within the Boston College Department of Athletics.

Robert R. Hannan, A&S 60

JBQ said...

Ronald E. Logue, husband of Kathleen M. McGillicuddy, Chair Bd. of Trustees. Born: 1946. B.S. Boston College (approx '68), MBA Boston College. State Street Corporation CEO, 2004 with company since 1990. Retired 2010 with 6 million dollar transition award. CEO compensation rank in Forbes #83at 28.7 million. Board of Directors for Federal Reserve of Boston.

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Jmac said...

I knew Steve Lively when he played for BC and in the years after. He is a great guy who is passionate about his alma mater. Stop picking apart his letter and realize that he is just trying to better the state of BC football and the decreasing enthusiasm of students, alums and other fans. The apathy at games, not just football, I might add is pathetic.

I, for one, admire his attempt to be a voice for many people, like myself, who care deeply about BC, and want things to improve.

Roniey Butler said...

It's surely supports as per mine view because trustees know that he need a new direction and leadership.
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