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.