Monday, March 11, 2013

Skinner and Donahue are separate issues

Jared Dudley's defense of Al Skinner in the Herald resparked the argument of where our basketball program is, where it should be and where it might have been had Al stayed. While we will know more about the state of the basketball program a week from now, dragging Donahue's progress in with Skinner's situation is not fair to Donahue.

I love Al Skinner. He's a fantastic coach who earned a better ending at BC. I am on record stating that any program that doesn't hire him is foolish. Dudley is right that "BC hasn't been the same since he left." But saying it now was probably not the best timing.

Steve Donahue is trying to build something. It's been fits and starts but we might just be turning the corner. I want Donahue to succeed and hope that he will, but Donahue's mission is why BC hasn't been the same since Skinner left. He is not trying to emulate Al or carry on Al's vision for the program. He made sure of that when he churned the roster quickly and changed the style of play.

We don't know where the program would be under Al now. And it doesn't matter since the guy who fired Skinner is no longer making decisions for BC. Steve Donahue has another week and then another season to show he has the program headed in the right direction. He should be given that time. We gave it to Al and it paid off in a big way.


Erik said...

With all the talk of the unfairness of Al's unemployment, I have yet to see something indicating he has applied for jobs. Anyone know? Is he actively pursuing jobs?

TheFive said...

Al was very much his own man who did things in his own way, and BC was the better for it. The same goes for Donahue.

The only people not willing to see the foundation that Donahue is building are either not paying attention or willfully blind.

@timstwrt said...

Hopefully this can lead to the new regime starting to heal old wounds. The way that BC treated Al was shameful, and Bates needs to make a concerted effort to rebuild the bridge that GDF burned down.

Donahue is absolutely a separate issue, but he hasn't helped Al's situation. Rather than saying that he wanted to rebuild the program in his own image, Donahue acted like a complete tear down was necessary, perpetuating incorrect notions about Al's recruiting. In an effort to buy himself more rope, Donahue acted like the cupboard was bare.

At the very least, Bates and Donahue should do whatever they can to bring Al back to be honored before a game next year. The way that this school has treated it's all-time winningest coach is shameful, and Jared Dudley shouldn't be the the only BC representative trying to close that rift.

eagle1331 said...

I'm sorry, but no matter what your relationship with the basketball team (and I love Dudley), harping on the Skinner era - whether you agree or disagree with his departure - is only detrimental to the state of BC basketball at this point. Jared is wearing out his welcome in my book by continually beating a dead horse. Don has even brought him in to practices, yet he still takes the bat and swings away. Getting disgusting. Nobody has even interviewed Skinner in the last 2 seasons...

@timstwrt said...
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@timstwrt said...

uh, what are you talking about? Dudley didn't say anything negative about Donahue.

Knucklehead said...

Dudley is trying to help Al not hurt Donahue or Boston College.

Everyone knew it was going to take 2-3 years to getback to mediocrity.

The program was stale without Cooley and Coen. They hustled and coached and Al closed the deal with certain players.

Dudley is at BC because Coen got a hold of one of his tapes.

Knucklehead said...

As an aside if you watch a Oklahoma City Thunder game, i watch some since Reggie Jackson is now their backup PG, look for assistant coach Brian Keefe on the sideline.

Keefe is the all-time leading scorer in my home town Winchester MA. Keefe played at Cal St. Santa Cruz or something, then came to BC and left BC when O'B got dismissed and then ended up at UNLV.

He was video coordinator for the Spurs and is now a legit Assistant at OKC.

If I were BC i would keep my eye on him long-term. Donohue is a great coach a deserves to keep his job long-term. This just a shout out to a successful local BB player with BC ties.

CEW said...

I am excited about the progress the team has shown in the second half of the season and especially in the last four games. And I can't wait to see if things come together next year.

Still, I think Dudley has more than earned the right to offer his honest opinion about the state of the program and about the status of Al Skinner. Dudley did not rip Donahue or the hoops program. Calling for Al to get another coaching opportunity is the decent, appropriate thing to do and right now, in the hottest month of college hoops news, is the right time to talk about it. I'm glad Dudley did it and I don't see any detriment to the BC hoops program from him speaking. I am proud to share a degree from the same alma mater as Dudley, he has distinguished himself as a player and a person. Just because the main story right now about BC hoops is positive and hopeful does not mean that Dudley needs to toe the line.

eagle1331 said...

At @tmstwart... what good does it do to keep talking about Skinner with relation to BC. Dudley did say the BC hasn't been the same since Skinner left. How is that not a slight at the current staff & players? We as fans knew there would be rebuilding - he is taking that period as a talking point as to why Skinner should still be there (or have another job).

The past is the past. BC does need to honor Al's time with the school and try to mend that bridge in some fashion, but taking press away from the current guys to talk about a coach that is 4 years gone certainly does not help the school or team.

Please feel free to counter how this article boasts BC or the team though, I'm intrigued as to your viewpoint. There is a dig at BC in there though, so it isn't a positive article on BC Basketball.

Frankly, I don't get why there is even an article about Skinner right now... he's disappeared into the coaching abyss because no school has even interviewed him. Either the paper is desperate for storylines or Dudley is their last grasp at the old regime giving them talking points, because all this article seems to me is Dudley getting up on a soap box in his alma mater's backyard to say it has done wrong, the program has gone down hillin his mind, and Skinner needs a job.

@timstwrt said...

You're just reinforcing the point that Dudley was making. Skinner isn't getting interviewed, and Dudley thinks it's strange. BC buried the guy on his way out the door, so Dudley (and everyone else in the world) thinks that there's a link between that and the fact that a highly accomplished coach isn't getting feelers.

The BC basketball program has not been the same since Skinner left. That's a simple statement of fact. They seem pointed in the right direction, but it's not some outlandish statement for Dudley to make.

I don't think it's necessarily Jared Dudley's job to "boast" BC or the program. BC dicked over his coach and hasn't done anything to make amends. Dudley has every right to be confused. I'm not arguing that this is some great publicity for the program or anything, but there's a simple matter of doing what's right. If BC needs a kick in the ass to do the right thing, then it's fine with me if Jared Dudley is the one giving it.

abby said...

Uh, Jared, the program hasn't been the same since YOU left. It was in clear decline during the waning years of the Skinner era. That is indisputable. Also, I whole-heartedly dispute the assertion that Al's teams were always "prepared." He was not a good game or situational coach. That is also indisputable.

BC cannot be blamed at all for Al's lack of job prospects. He has a record and a reputation that speaks for itself. If there is no interest, I am sure there are reasons that go beyond his treatment by BC.

eagleboston said...

Skinner is too busy counting the timeouts he saved up instead of interviewing.

eagleboston said...
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eagle1331 said...

It is not BC's fault at all the Skinner is not getting a job and it is not our local paper's job to try and help him. That is what references are for on a resume. That is why Skinner has an agent. That is why Skinner has a telephone.

All ADs can see Als record - it speaks for itself - and that Gene's record of bad breakups does as well. I think it is safe to assume 99% of Athletic Departments are wise enough to those facts, and that if Skinner truly deserved an interview, they would have made the call by now and not take one weasel's smear campaign at face value. Perhaps it had more legitimacy than we realize though, if nobody is interviewing him? Either way, it is not Bates job to call schools with openings and say hey this guy I never worked with deserves an interview because maybe the guy that worked here before me said some misguided things about him? Sure, he should be in the BC HOF, but when was the last time a boss that fired you called other companies to get you a new job?

College coaching is not a political office that everyone gets a vote on. It isn't BC's job to go out and campaign for Skinner. If Dudley wants to do that, that is his right, but he shouldn't do it in the backyard of the alma mater that purportedly got him to where he is, calling out the program therein. The talent Al was bringing in at the end was not that great. The assistants were bailing off of his ship and the new assistants weren't doing all the leg work for the man making the big paycheck. BC recognized that and made the right move, in my opinion.

You're clearly in the camp where Al should have been given the JoePa free pass to decide his own fate. I'm not. We needed a change and I'm willing to recognize that there were going to be rough years in making the transition to a new system and new coach; Dudley and yourself are not.

I am a huge Dudley fan. I am appreciative of what Skinner did for/at the school, but I agree that it was time for him to go. His in game coaching got worse and worse every year. The team was coming out flat more often. Players were getting in trouble more often.

@timstwrt said...
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