Friday, March 14, 2014

Ever to Complicate

Even after the Syracuse win, Brad Bates was actively seeking feedback on potential replacements for Steve Donahue. Bates thought Donahue underachieved last season, so this year’s disaster was even more disturbing. Since the Syracuse game names were even submitted to Bates. He was ready to make the move. BC lost to Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament and no announcement came. Then Thamel broke the news that Donahue is returning. Given Thamel's relationship with Donahue, I assume Donahue is his source. Of course feedback was filled with shock and disappointment...and no official announcement from BC. So what's going on at the Heights?

Friday morning a source with access to Leahy adamantly told me that Leahy was not interfering and no decision had been made. This echoed what another person close to Bates said. Blauds also wrote the same thing. But that doesn't make any of this better. All the decision makers knew when the season was ending. All knew a decision had to be made. But here we are not only without an official announcement, but with BC not controlling the message! This is not that hard. There is no new information in play. The decisionmakers need decide if he is staying or going. Then you make an announcement and live with the repercussions.

There are only a few different explanations and none of them are good.

-- Explanation 1. Despite wanting him gone, Bates and/or Leahy either had a change of heart, decided to give Donahue one more year. Donahue -- or someone very close -- told Thamel. Thamel broke the news. BC didn't prepare a statement because they weren't ready or wanted to share it with important boosters first. This isn't a sound plan, but it is the most simple and most likely.

-- Explanation 2. BC's leadership really haven't come to a decision but someone jumped the gun in letting Thamel know. This is the party line coming from BC. Another guy swore to me that neither Bates nor Leahy are the source for Thamel story and were surprised by it. While this might give hope to the anti-Donahue crowd, none of us should be encouraged by BC not having a decision ready or a clear message.

-- Explanation 3. Donahue or someone close to him lied to Thamel. I don't want to believe this. I like Donahue and Thamel. However, the Thamel story without a quick, official follow up from BC is strange. But Vega's story from Wednesday still lingers. Vega is not the type to run a story without a good source. Most read it as anti-Donahue. Could the Thamel story be Donahue's camp making things difficult for BC? I would like to think not, but I've seen these things turn ugly.

This is what I know.

I've been wrong plenty of times, so take it for what it is worth. I know Bates wanted a change. Something or someone changed things. Maybe BC didn't expect this sort of blowback. I don't know. Most likely Donahue is staying. Thamel's story was pretty definite. If so, BC has mishandled this situation on multiple levels. Stay tuned. I will post more when I know more.


Napolean Bonaparte said...

Good effing grief.

FakeShalomTfree said...

Have we not suffered enough as a fan base?! I thought the buffoonery in the athletic dept ended when GDF left, but I'm pretty sure it's alive and well under Mr Bates

I'm going on the assumption that Donahue will be our coach next year. If this is the case, hopefully we'll see some changes on the coaching staff. Coaches with actual, real life major conference experience would be nice, though I can't imagine people lining up to join this staff.

I just saw a dog catching a frisbee with his teeth at halftime of a Big Ten tourney game. Perhaps we could line up that act to fill some seats next year

Bravesbill said...

Sounds like the athletic department has screwed this situation worse than the Malaysian government has screwed up the search for the disappearing plane.

Hoib said...

I say it again, if the decision has not been made we as fans need to let the school know how we feel. If not us who?

CT said...

Think the 10:27 post sums it up.

Hoib said...

Why we need a new coach

From today's NYT

Providence runs a drill that LaDontae Henton would challenge any team in the country to try for five minutes. It is a box-out drill featuring four players. And it is physical.

How physical? Henton simply pointed to his left front tooth, which is fake. He got the dental implant earlier this season.

PC out rebounded us 36-20

The next time I see one of our guys box out properly it'll be the first, but hey we run a great weave!

EL MIZ said...

i find this all a bit hard to believe. the Whistler's camp leaks something to Thamel (the writer who got duped by Teo, lets not forget) in a desperate attempt to strike before...what? before BC fires him? wouldn't BC just fire him anyway? that sounds like something george costanza would try to pull, only to get fired at the end of the episode.

i will hold out hope, since bringing this guy back for another year sets us back another 4 given the scholarship situation, but i would be surprised if the Thamel story were false.

Explanation 4 - BC tells Donahue they're keeping him another year (which is what i've heard from BC people with a scoop). Donahue tells Thamel. BC simply doesn't release a statement because they don't think its necessary (which is troubling since 99% of the fan base wanted this guy canned).

Knucklehead said...

Explanation 4:

The school is waiting to see if the Anderson, Rahon and Hanlan are coming back.

Essentially allowing Donahue to re-recruit his own players. If Donahue gets two of the three back next year he will keep his job.

EL MIZ said...

BATES when announcing the firing of Spaziani:

"This is a very performance-based business," BC athletic director Brad Bates said at a news conference at Alumni Stadium to announce his first major move since being hired by BC last month. "Ultimately, winning and losing make a great deal of difference."

why are the losses not making a difference on the basketball court? taking non-conference schedule out of it, in the ACC this year we were 4-14, 7-11 last year, 4-14 the year before that. with players Donahue has brought in and coached, BC is 15-39 against the conference.

also, enough of this "Donahue is a good guy because he was around on moving day" nonsense. he forced Brady Heslip out, and some would say smeared his name doing it. (BTW - Heslip is shooting 47% on 3's this season and had 24 points in 32 minutes yesterday against Texas - guess Donahue's eye for talent isnt what its cracked up to be).

did he or did he not honor the scholarships of guys BC had recruited with Skinner? Kevin Noreen and Papa Samba Ndao were both committed to BC and never woud up here. why? Addazio took on Spaziani committs. Rakim Sanders transfered. Donahue insisted he wanted "his guys" and got them, and in the process he forced a handful of people out of BC. with "his guys" he has gotten his butt kicked and been in the absolute basement of the ACC.

i don't want to hear about Dennis Clifford, or a hard schedule -- his players, his program, same issues that every team in the country deals with in terms of injuries and tough games, and the results have been thoroughly and conclusively unimpressive


Joseph said...

I like most every poster here believe that SD is the wrong guy for BC. However, I don't get some of the posts that complain about the situation. A perfect example of hooey is:"Sounds like the athletic department has screwed this situation worse than the Malaysian government has screwed up the search for the disappearing plane." The plane is missing, but how does that indicate that the Malaysian government screwed up the search. Because Bates has yet to act or make a definitive statement likewise does not mean that he has screwed up the situation. Have you ever had the responsibility of running an institution as complex as BC? How about the same in a big league athletic dept? No? I didn't think so. I would like to see SD replaced by someone who would fit our needs much better, but I am not privy to the whole story and neither are any of the posters making noise here.

Bravesbill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bravesbill said...

Joseph, obviously you are a troll who doesn't watch the news and distorts comments to fit an ill-suited agenda. Obviously my comment was in reference to Atl's three explanations all of which show that Bates has screwed the pooch. And as for the Malaysian government, that was obviously hyperbole. If you have been watching any coverage, you would know it has screwed the search beyond repair. It comes out with a new story ever day, has denied multiple plausible explanations without evidence and basically has to retract its statements, and now has expanded the search to about a 2000 mile radius. Oh ya, now the story comes out that the plane could have flown another 7 hours after losing communication/radar contact and that it could have gone over the Indian Ocean after the government initially claimed it never went off course. Educate yourself Joseph before you prove yourself a fool.

Thomas said...

Is it possible Bates only wanted to replace Donahue if he could get a guy he wanted? It's plausible they're trying to negotiate in the back room while the front is getting boisterous.

I admittedly don't know how these situations unfold so forgive me if that sounds ridiculous. I'm still holding on the morsel of hope that Donahue gets canned and looking for any possible explanation he will.

ATL_eagle said...

The problem starts with the Thamel story. If Bates told Donahue he is staying, he cannot hedge with the media or fans once the story gets out. It makes us look disorganized and oblivious to our own fans.

Joseph said...

Yes, BB and you probably think that every game should be called right after the first whistle and nothing new allowed as the game unfolds. The plane thing is slowly but surely gaining more info. You probably think that the Boston marathon bombers should have been identified and caught within minutes of he explosions.

We all value ALT and his blog and insights, but that is all they are, and neither you nor anyone else posting here really knows what BC and Bates are doing or thinking. You can make all the wise-ass comments you want but they won't make you wise.

Yes, it is very unpleasant to feel that you know it all but are impotent. None of us like it the way it is, but some of us can admit to ourselves the truth: we just don't know and Bates won't tell us and it pisses you off.

Joseph said...

Something positive the eagles beat the Irish 4 to 2 to force game 3.

eagleboston said...

I respect ATL, but this post is bordering on insanity. No one cares about BC basketball and no one is wasting their time right now with bated breath wondering what Bates is going to do (except for us diehards). Who cares if BC is not out ahead of the media on this? Just because some idiot is reporting that Coach D is staying is meaningless. If BC is going to fire Donahue, I am sure there are a lot of negotiations and back and forth that need to occur. It is better to do things the right way than to rush and be concerned with the media. I have actually had to fire people and it is never fun. You want to do it in the most humane and respectful way possible and sometimes that takes a day or two. If Bates is going to retain him, then it makes sense to make the announcement when all of the conference tourney hoopla dies down.

Heydad said...

If he is not getting fired why do have to announce anything? He's still on the payroll and goes to work everyday just like the rest of us.

JoeyMethod said...

Ed Cooley just won the Big East tournament with Providence. I believe GDF ignored him four years ago when we were looking for a coach. Who was the first person Ed thanked after winning? Al Skinner.


BCMike said...

Explanation 5

SD goes to Bates, tired of the noose hanging over his head. Asks if he is still the coach of Boston College basketball.

Bates, perhaps caught off-guard, tells him he is as no formal decision has been made yet and since he's not been fired, he still has the job.

Donahue elated, receives a phone call from his Agent asking him how it went and if he needs to find a new home. Don tells him he's still the Coach of BC hoops.

This info then is relayed to Thamel who publishes it as Don coming back for another year.

Hario said...

Heydad-- it's true they don't have to make an announcement but when the globe got in touch with bates on Friday...bates would not confirm the SI story that Donahue is coming back...that's the signal that either maybe a decisions hasn't been made yet or that the SI story caught bates and Bc of gaurd since they didn't have a confirmation statement ready for the globe

Hario said...

This was globe quote yesterday -- According to a Sports Illustrated report, Donahue, 51, met with BC athletic director Brad Bates and was told he would return for his fifth season. However, when reached Friday night, Bates declined to confirm the report, saying, “When we’re ready to make a public statement in the best interest of the program, we’ll do that."

Weird since they had 24 hours to come up with a we think this is best for future of our program like statement

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Hario - if we do not have an announcement by Wednesday, my guess is that there was always a plan to keep him for another year. Remarkably, I think they were surprised by the strength of the adverse reaction. My guess is that they are now schmoozing all the heavy hitters among the Flynn Fund and other donors.

If they had wanted to get rid of Donahue they would have probably decided that days/weeks ago and had a plan and announcement ready to go promptly after the GT game or after the ACC tournament.

If they retain Donahue, it will be the biggest career mistake Bates has ever made (for either supporting it or not resigning).

dmyankees said...

A question - does anyone have an idea of whether the potential Rahon/Anderson transfers are because of Donahue or because Donahue may go? This could be playing some role in the decision.

Hoib said...

The fate of the players should have no impact on the decision.

A BC sports history lesson.
Our infamous winless football season was coached by a guy named Ed Cheblek. When it was over the coach was called into AD Flynn's office and fired. He went back and told the players he was out. They then went to Flynn and protested. Flynn reversed himself and we wasted another 2 season's before Cheblek skipped town.
Fortunately for BC the new coach, Bicknell, gave a kid named Flutie a shot, and the ship was finally righted.

Hario said...

I agree with you Napolean ---

its just still disheartening to me of how dense they could be if they are actually surprised by the strength of the adverse reaction.

Any fool would have seen it coming

Napolean Bonaparte said...

Doubly dense when you consider the background/track record under which they elected to give Donahue another year compared to the background/track record under which they fired Skinner. I guess Donahue really was the perfect "fit" for BC. I lost patience with Skinner and was glad to see him go - but no way was he as bad as Donahue.