Sunday, January 12, 2014

The afterlife of a hit piece

Boston Media -- and especially the Sports Media -- love a good hit piece. It is a Boston tradition. Although out of the spotlight most of the time, BC figures have been subject to more than one over the years. One of the most glaring hits of recent was Bob Ryan's takedown of Al Skinner. At the time it seemed overly harsh and not surprisingly has followed Skinner around as he tried to work his way back into basketball. I don't know Ryan's motivations on the column or his sources, but I would venture to guess BC people fed him much of the fodder. And that is what bothers me.

Obviously Gene is long gone and in fairness to him I read plenty of Globe hits prior to his arrival (one of the more memorable). Maybe it is a Boston thing to protect your sources and attack their enemies. Think of how out of place and inaccurate Sean McDonough's rant on Jags was at the end of the BC-Florida State broadcast. Who knows where he got his info or why he felt the need to protect Spaz (supposedly they are friendly). But none of it is necessary. So far Brad Bates has played things close to the vest and hasn't got drawn into any media ambushes. I hope it stays that way. Because in the long run there is no winning in any of this. It all just reflects poorly on BC and everyone involved. I feel for Al Skinner and hope that he gets a second chance. He was treated poorly. Age more than anything is probably going to keep him from getting another head job, but a smart AD somewhere will hopefully see past that.

Al's replacement is entering a critical point in his tenure. BC and Brad Bates will have to make a decision and stand by it. However, whatever they do, I hope they back it up with clear reasoning and stand in front of the decision. Gossiping behind closed doors to win the spin never looks good and never helps anyone in the long term.

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18 Comments:

At 12:26 PM, Blogger JBQ said...

I went to Wikipedia and looked up the background for Al Skinner. He played at UMass with Julius Irving although younger. He was a very good rebounder and leading scorer his senior year. He then played with Julius in the ABA. He coached at Marist (the home of Bill O'Reilly) for a couple of years and then went to URI for 9 and BC for 13. He was fired in March of 2010. He was more than adequate. Sometimes, it is just time to move on. However, what did BC move on to? They need some bigs who can play defense and rebound. The Ivy League 5 man weave for 3s at the top of the key is atrocious.

 
At 1:17 PM, Blogger I'm Keith said...

Folks, it's time to move on. The Al Skinner chapter ended in 2010. Deal with it. Hopefully brighter days for BC basketball are directly ahead of us. I'm hoping this team competes strong in the ACC this season and can turn things around. If not this season, add some quality bigs and let's make a push in 2014-15. BC can be great at basketball again.

 
At 6:55 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

Wikipedia is certainly the place to go when complete and accurate info is needed. Thanks for the info. We didn't know.

 
At 8:27 PM, Blogger eagleboston said...

I find it really perplexing that the same people defending Al Skinner are the very people who publicly blasted TOB. The line of thinking is incredibly inconsistent as both had similar success and both ran out of favor with the BC fandom. It makes zero sense to stand up for Al yet pummel TOB. Both brought BC to new heights and we should be grateful for their achievements. However, both also reached a ceiling that they could not eclipse and it was time for them to move on. At this point, it is time for us to move on from Skinner and TOB (TOB, after all, was 3 coaches ago). Let's quit hashing old issues and focus on the BC of the present and the future.

 
At 8:32 PM, Blogger del olio said...

I don't remember Atl Eagle taking Al's part ("he was treated poorly") when it al went down.

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger lbkjj said...

How about a mention of the big BC hockey win over a strong Providence team Friday night.
This site clearly has a Southern roundball bias and routinely ignores the most successful sport in recent BC history.

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger Claver2010 said...

To the above, as I said before ATL does an awesome job but this is the last place you should go for BC hockey coverage.

Friday night was one of the best games BC has played in a while, huge win to create some separation at the top of HE. Saturday afternoon they completely slept walked through and were lucky to escape with a tie. Great BC contingent down in Providence.

As for Skinner, it was 4 years ago. Time for all to move on.


 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger ModA36 said...

I watched the football games with a BC hoops player who played 4 years for Al. He agrees with yesterday's Globe article that the claims that Skinner was lazy was nonsense. He was always incredibly prepared and practices were intense, and run by Al.

Perhaps it was time for a fresh face, but the fact that Al had no-one in his Freshman class his last year bothered me little. What likely happened is they went for some great players and didn't get them. So, rather than waste a scholarship on some player who can't play at this level (see Donahue), he stored them for the future. And 2 of the three players had had coming in the following year have had very good (Heslip) and solid (Noreen) careers.

 
At 10:33 AM, Blogger Hoib said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again now. No matter what u think about Al, I for one loved him, that leak by Gene was an absolute disgrace. It's never too late to apologize. The man deserves an apology. This is resurfacing only because Donehue has been so bad. Even if the Don turned out to be great BC stilled wronged Al.


DEL OLIO

ATL was always a big Al supporter.


eagleboston

I felt BC didn't appreciate TOB either, but there is a major difference between he and AL. We were league champs under AL, never under TOB.

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger FakeShalomTfree said...

ModA36 brings up a good point on Al's final recruits (Noreen and Heslip). I'm probably beating a dead horse now, but in case there are any Donahue apologists still out there lets not forget that he drove quality ACC out of the program in favor of what we have on the floor today. He also (reportedly) told Bryce Cotton that he couldn't play in the league, and we all know how that turned out.

lbkjj- with all due respect to the hockey program and this blog, the focus here has primarily been basketball/football. There are plenty of other sources for hockey news

 
At 11:43 AM, Blogger @timstwrt said...

There's one gigantic difference between TOB and Al, in that O'Brien quit and Al was fired.

Once Bates ends the Donahue Error, he needs to work for a public reconciliation with Skinner. It doesn't reflect well on BC to have such a poisoned relationship with its most successful basketball coach.

 
At 1:07 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1:09 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 1:12 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

mentioning SC reminds me to ask; Who knows why we need 5 guys to tell us what we will see in an NFL game, and then the same 5 guys tell us what we just saw? I don't know about others, but I do know that I will see a football game and then I know enough to be able to grasp what I just saw. No matter what they say in the way of speculation is just more noisy BS.

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger eddierock said...

This is where you go if you want to read about BC hockey:

http://thebostoncollegehockeyblog.blogspot.com/

A really good blog.

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger del olio said...

I was wrong. I apologize.

 
At 12:34 AM, Blogger ryan morgan said...

Skinner had tough teams that fought. Talented too. He deserved better.

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger BCMike said...

So....Bruce Pearl?

 

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