Monday, January 06, 2014

Why the BC basketball job still matters

I found myself defending the BC basketball job on some of the message boards Monday and felt I should bring the argument here...

I am constantly amazed by how little some BC fans often view our athletics programs. During the football searches, there were always some fans who voiced "BC is a terrible job. Who would ever want to coach here?" Now that it looks like basketball might face a change, you are hearing some of the same sentiments. "BC's _________ [insert: fans, facilities, recruiting base, etc.] are so bad, no one will ever want to take this job." Whatever you think of BC, know that this job is still very, very attractive. I don't know if BC will hire a big name. I don't know if BC will hire a good coach. Heck, Steve Donahue could still be our coach next year (that is another post altogether). BC and other programs make bad hires all the time, but it is never due to a lack of good, qualified or interesting candidates.

1. There are only so many jobs in power conferences. For everyone opening at a major college, there are dozens of guys who want the job. Especially in the ACC. Coaches as a group tend to be hypercompetitive constantly looking for their shot. The chance to go head to head against Duke, UNC and Syracuse is very appealing for some. Especially if the guy is an assistant at a big program or in a lower conference.

2. Historiclly BC has been a very good basketball program. We won Big East titles under different coaches. We've competed in the ACC. As you always hear during the Tourney, we have the most tournament wins without making a Final Four. The list of successful coaches who have come through BC is impressive (Daly, Davis, Williams, O'Brien, Skinner). That past success is encouraging to potential candidates.

3. The new coach will be able to get his players in the system quickly. It hasn't worked out well for Donahue, but most coaches won't shy away from having to restock the roster in two or three recruiting cycles. They won't be "stuck" with Donahue's guys. Plus most new coaches are going to come in with an understanding of who and who they cannot recruit. The program will be at a lowpoint. I expect BC will allow a few borderline guys in to help turn the tide early.

Every job has its drawbacks. Every coach who has a job can be selective about his next job. I don't know how the process will turn for BC. Trustees, ADs, Presidents and agents could all screw this up, but that doesn't mean the job is the issue.

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At 7:54 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

No doubt BC can be a very desirable job.

Playing/coaching against UNC, Duke, Syracuse, Louisville, GTech, UVA, Pitt, ND, NCSU is very desirable

But Iwonder about: 1. Salary and 2. Hoops infra$tructure

Aside from the likes of Duke, CUSE, schools like Nova, Pitt, NCSU reportedly pay their hoops coach over $2,000,000. Can and will BC pay those numbers? I tend to doubt it. Therefore, "no go" on a big name coach

Does BC provide enough $$$ for asst salaries, recruiting types, practice facilities, etc.? Is BC's hoops "bling" on par with what is offered at top 10- 30 schools?

Historically, BC has been cheap and never comfortable with big time NCAA sports expenses.

Dazz, for example, is a paid below market. TOB, Jags, Spaz. All paid well below market. I think Skinner's pay was closer to market rates, but still below median ACC pay.

What was Dobahue paid? Did BC provide enough support for Donahue to succeed?

So while BC could be a great job, it's reputation for being cheap won't help.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

I don't think anyone doubts that BC is an attractive job to the vast majority of successful coaches from lower rated conferences. Nobody believes we'll have a problem hiring someone from the MAC. But to hire someone like Pearl or Howland or to steal a proven recruiter coaching talent away from another program arguably on par with BC will require a level of leadership and commitment not exhibited in a long time at BC. As others have pointed out, I don't know what Leahy and others were thinking when they signed up to play in a conference against the likes of Duke, North Carolina, Wake, etc.? Did they tell the ACC at the time they were just interested in getting the ACC's money and had no intention of really competing with those schools? We are all beginning to wonder. This next hire is hugely important not only to us but also to the ACC's offices in Charlotte.

At 12:09 PM, Blogger NEDofSavinHill said...

Excellent football season. All the BCS bowls were entertaining. Too bad FSU lacked the speed and athletes that the SEC has otherwise they might have won by more. In the last 35 minutes of the title game FSU outscored the SEC team 31 to 10. But for a slow start by the freshman QB the game would have been lopsided. How annoying was it to listen to the SEC shills broadcast the game and tell us that the speed and athleticism in that conference is superior to others. FSU wants to apologize for ruining the media's plan. Put the Espn staff on suicide watch. How did it happen that the top two teams in the SEC ( Bama and Auburn) lost their bowl games to an ACC and Big 12 team ? How did the PAC 12's top two teams ( ASU and Stanford) lose and the ACC's top two ( FSU and Clemson) won? The Big 10's top two ( OSU and MSU) split. The Big 12's top two ( Baylor and Okl.St.) also lost. Do the above results make the ACC the best conference in the land or do they suggest a near parity among the top five conferences? 2. Was Bob Stoops correct when he said the SEC is not overwhelming? Stoops made the same points, expressed here, including that Mizzou and TAM which were mid level teams in the Big 12 then became top level teams in the overhyped SEC. If the SEC were much stronger than the Big 12 one would expect the new entries to be at the bottom of the league. Stoops said don't buy the propaganda. Is his position on the SEC being overrated crazy? Some on this site claimed it was a crazy argument to make. Do they still hold that position? 3. The Orange bowl was an exciting game. The Big 10 had a tough bowl season at two wins and five losses. If one adds in Rutgers and Maryland they went 2-7.What those schools add to the Big 10 is a mystery. But the Big 10 is at a geographical disadvantage. The bowls are played in SEC territory ( Florida) not in Big 10 territory ( Wisconsin). The home team always has an advantage. What about the horrendous officiating Clemson got? The AAC, nee Big East, refs are either the most incompetent extant or are completely biased. 15 penalties on Clemson and six on OSU. These are the same stiffs BC had to contend with for years. The ACC should never allow AAC refs to do any game where an ACC team is involved. IF AAC teams don't agree to those terms then don't schedule them. 4. One thing this season proved was that you don't have to be a marquis program to succeed. Good coaching can remedy everything. Cutcliff at Duke and O'Leary at FSU have shown that. Remember that BC under TOB was the top program in their division for several years, ahead of FSU and Clemson. Only VT had more wins in the ACC. 5. In the post game interview with Fowler Winston mentioned FSU's comeback against BC. Fowler excitedly complained that you couldn't compare BC to Auburn. Mentioning BC to Fowler is comparable to showing a cross to Dracula. He recoils at the name. It was Fowler along with another media lightweight who pronounced on national tv that Matt Ryan wasn't a good QB. Auburn put up 31 on FSU BC put up 34.

At 12:12 PM, Blogger NEDofSavinHill said...

O'Leary at UCF

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Hoib said...


I'm w/ u all the way on this.
It's always about the money. Atl sights a string of good hoop coaches we've had. Why did they leave? For the dough. If u want to play w/ the big boys u have to pay like the big boys

This applies not just to who you hire initially, but paying for overachievent. In big money college sports u give the coach a new contract when he overachieves and u have to eat the contract when he flops. It's what our competitors do so we must also.

I think that was the story w/ Jags, who was a hot property at the time. Gene wouldn't or couldn't pay up instead resorted to a publicity stunt that backfired horrendously.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger JBQ said...

A quick comment about Jags. He still is missed not for his success or failure but because of the image that he projected with something like 5 cute kids. That was his primary responsibility and he was faithful as a father. Donohue is a very fine person character wise. He just doesn't have the big time skills. BC has won in the past on the hardwood and will do so again. Skinner was a very good coach but it was time to move on. The onus is on Brad Bates. The BC community needs to think big time. I believe that supporters of BC are too provincial. This particular blog shows support from all over the country. The marketing effort is lousy. When BC went to USC, Big Jack Krack was there with the Rettig family. How about stopping the crying and bleeping over what might have been? The words of Bobby Kennedy come to mind. Some men see things as they are and wonder why. Others see the same thing and say why not. Chris O'Donnell is a wonderful ambassador in all of the ads. More than BJK need to get mad and remember "Heartbreak Ridge" and charge up that hill and plant that flag on the top of the Heights. Corny but true.

At 3:07 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Ned - good post.

I agree with you on the anti-ACC bias. FSU has had some of the best recruiting classes in all of the NCAA. FSU athletes can go toe-to-toe with the SEC. I am always repulsed listening to Herbie and Mushberger and Fowler.

It is painful to listen to the stupid story line about "atheticism"

And to add the the ESPN bs, consider this from the nitwit Heather Dinich:

"One thing it wasn’t: all about conference supremacy. While so much has been made about the ACC versus the SEC, Monday night’s moment of celebrating a 34-31 win over Auburn was for Florida State, and only Florida State."

Sorry, ESPN, FSU's victory does reflect favorably on the ACC.

Good to hear Jameis giving BC the nod. Although Jameis needs some help with his public speaking, he seems like a good kid (assuming those certain allegations are all wrong) with a real love of the game.

And Jimbo is a class act. Nice to hear him give kudos to the ACC in his victory comments.

At 3:51 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

If the "university" determines that a first class athletic department will be of overall value, it can be done. It won't happen because some rabid Eagles sports nuts want it to happen. It has nothing to do with "cheap". It would be strictly a business decision about ROI. Duke, ND and Stanford are all top notch academic institutions that have decided that the ROI of highly competitive athletics is worth it. If that evaluation is not positive on the Heights then we will not get to the top ten in any sport on a regular basis. Occasionally, yes. We'll be a solid training ground for ambitious coaches and will be able to recruit the kids who buy into what BC is without needing the big deal prestige.

Personally I think that the ROI is there. I hope that the President and Trustees come to the same conclusion. I believe it can add great benefit to most every facet of the university.

At 4:07 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Joseph, you have a gift for the obvious.

"If the "university" determines that a first class athletic department will be of overall value, it can be done. It won't happen because some rabid Eagles sports nuts want it to happen."

At 7:14 PM, Blogger bceagle91 said...

To add to mod34b's point, Clemson won its BCS game, too. The ACC wasn't great in the lesser bowl games (cough) but won both its BCS games. Maybe Heather should pay a little more attention.

At 8:15 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

m34 is a master of the obnoxious. If you have a problem with an opinion, then state it, if you are capable. To you it maybe be obvious. To many others is is as well. Most of your posts are obvious to those that love the jaded negative simplistic BS of an professional naysayer.

Says, the negative one, "Aside from the likes of Duke, CUSE, schools like Nova, Pitt, NCSU reportedly pay their hoops coach over $2,000,000. Can and will BC pay those numbers? I tend to doubt it. Therefore, "no go" on a big name coach". my point, which you say is obvious, is that if the university decides that the ROI is worth it, then IT WILL HAPPEN, not what you say "no go". You are probably too young to have ever benefited by the rigorous education at the Heights called the Ratio Studiorum. At least you you sure never understood it.

At 8:42 AM, Blogger Joseph said...

This is on point and very timely, considering the discussion here.

At 1:14 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

Wondering if running the best hockey program in the country detracts from our hoops efforts. I,m not a hockey guy, I know I've really missed the boat. So to those of u who follow both what do u think?
On this blog Duke,Stanford and so on are constantly mentioned for succeeding at what we are trying to do, but they don't have hockey. The only place I can think of that try's to make a go of all 3 is that evil empire in south bend.

At 1:32 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Hoib, the Big Ten has hockey

Minnesota is #1 in hockey presently; Michigan is #8, and Wisc is #14. PSU, OSU and MSU also have hockey teams.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

I think that we were looking at elite academic institutions. Many in the B-10 are very highly rated but not on a par with Stamford, ND and Duke (and BC)

I am not sure but I think that hockey makes money and always has.

At 3:56 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Joseph who is "we"?'as in "I think that we were looking at elite academic institutions. "

Michigan is ranked higher than BC in USNWR (28 vs 31), and BC is more closely ranked to Wisconsin (41), PSU (37) and OSU (52) than it is to very elite Duke (7) and Stanford (5)

At 7:15 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

Good gracious M34.5. Stop with the meaningless statistic to try to prove your stupidity. Stay on point,f you can. "we" the posters are discussing a point not trying to try to impress people that you have a working brain.

At 7:54 PM, Blogger AlohaBC said...

Take a look at Harvard across the river. They are getting better recruits in than BC. we should learn from what they did and go after someone with ACC roots. There are a bunch of old Duke guys coaching out there that would probably love a shot at an ACC job. Chris Collins went to Northwestern. I am not sure that is a better job than BC. I would look for coaches with ACC roots and name recognition that can draw recruits that want to play in the conference.

At 7:55 PM, Blogger AlohaBC said...

Take a look at Harvard across the river. They are getting better recruits in than BC. we should learn from what they did and go after someone with ACC roots. There are a bunch of old Duke guys coaching out there that would probably love a shot at an ACC job. Chris Collins went to Northwestern. I am not sure that is a better job than BC. I would look for coaches with ACC roots and name recognition that can draw recruits that want to play in the conference.

At 12:24 PM, Blogger Kyle DeFeo said...

I agree with Aloha, grab a Duke assistant. Steve Woj would bring some intensity that we haven't had in a long time.

At 12:43 PM, Blogger Smitty said...

Mo Cassara for the job. Great young coach who got screwed at Hofstra. Asst under Skinner. BC Grad School - great New England/New york Recruiter. Coached Craig Smith and Jarret Jack at Worcester Academy.

At 4:42 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

How about Tommy Amaker. He might be up for getting back to the ACC. His wife teaches ar Harvard so not having to move could be a plus for us.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

At this point Hoib, why on earth would Amaker want to go to BC over Harvard? Harvard has owned BC the last 8 or so years. Harvard has a much better program and Harvard is pretty much guaranteed a tournament berth every year because of the conference in which it plays. Harvard and Amaker are close to hitting the Gonzaga and Few apex.

At 7:43 PM, Blogger Hoib said...


Where we started this whole thing. Money,money,money.

At 11:15 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

I'm sure Harvard can pay Amaker infinitely more than BC could though with its huge endowment. Plus BC has a history of being pretty stingy when it comes to paying head coaches and staff. Unless Bates has some unique ability to open the purse strings, I can't see BC paying big money for a big coach.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger Joseph said...

Harvard CAN pay lots of $$$, but WILL they? BC also CAN pay, but WILL they?

All depends on how the administrations views the ROI. It is not done a whim, but only after a careful discussion of facts and high probabilities. They don't care about opinions on sports blogs.

At 5:34 PM, Blogger Hoib said...


Been out all day. The Ivys have lots of money but don't spend it on coaches. Fran Dunph's situation @ Penn was as least as good as Amaker's but he still went to Temple.
I'm interested in how u think this will play out?

At 11:33 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

I think it makes all the financial sense in the world for Harvard to keep Amaker and develop a powerhouse basketball program. Gives Harvard more exposure and something to hang their hat on outside of academics. It looks like Harvard and UConn will battle it out for northeast domination for years to come.

As for BC, I would like to believe that Bates would love to shell out whatever it takes to land a big time coach. However, I don't think BC will give him that much financial flexibility. Based on historical precedent, BC will offer something in the lower tier of the ACC, which will basically limit them to hiring a coach from a mid-major/lower tier conference who will use BC as a stepping stone. I hope I'm wrong.

At 10:25 AM, Blogger Hoib said...


I hope u are too, but you probably aren't.


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