Thursday, May 16, 2013

BC basketball's influence spreads all over New England

UMass-Lowell hired former BC assistant Pat Duquette as their new coach. I am happy for Pat as he was another in a long-line of quality Al Skinner assistants. Duquette getting the job was a reminder that while the local media might not always pay attention to BC sports, the other New England Athletic Departments do. And hiring yet another BC assistant shows that people in college athletics appreciate our approach to basketball.

Of all the college sports, men's college basketball might be the most exploitative of the student athletes. It starts before they even step on campus with the corrupt AAU circuit and then continues as men's hoops has an intensive travel schedule that really makes it hard to be a student and it all wraps up with a multi-billion dollar tournament that underwrites the NCAA. BC has done basketball the right way for a long time, but really became a program to emulate under Skinner and continues now under Donahue. Other ADs recognize that and so you now find BC guys leading Providence, Northeastern, BU, UMass-Lowell, and Bryant. (It should also be noted that former BC coach Jim O'Brien is at Emerson.)

Ironically while his former assistants flourish, Al Skinner was passed over for another local job. UMass-Lowell hinted at what might have been the problem -- "our discussions with Al didn’t go quite in a direction that would work as well for Al." I can only speculate on what was said, but it reads like Al wants to do things his way. I applaud him for demanding his way when he returns. One day soon an AD is going to let Skinner do things his way and won't regret it. Just ask all of Al's guys who are now leading New England basketball.


Pearl Washington said...

Tremendous post. Al has been a winner for 40 years.

These AD's are clowns. Especially at the mid major level who are mired in mediocrity.

Hire AL , get to tournaments, raise the profile of your univeristy

Lenny Sienko said...

If one assumes that Al's current payments form BC would be reduced or terminated upon his finding new employment, then his not getting or taking a new coaching position makes sense.

He would lose a lot of money to take a job at UMass Lowell. This must be what the Lowell spokesperson referred to.