Monday, April 14, 2014

Money talks

Scott Spinelli officially joined Jim Christian's staff Monday. The news was expected and welcome. What I found more interesting was the Washington Post's reporting of the hire:


Spinelli’s deal, the specific terms of which were not disclosed, will make him one of the highest-paid assistants in ACC, a source said. During the 2012-13 season, the last season contracts were made available via an open records request, Spinelli made $202,000 with the Terps. According to the source, Boston College offered Spinelli a significant raise.


BC doesn't release salaries and as a private institution, it doesn't have to release anything (at least until tax filings a few years from now). But this validates some of the speculation that BC increased the budget for the basketball program. We know that Ohio received a $500,000 buyout for Christian's contract. We know that Spinelli got a "significant raise" from his $200,000 salary. All this talk of money raises and answers some questions that have lingered since the basketball season ended.

It appears BC is ready to make a financial commitment to basketball. Spinelli is a nice piece, but I hope we compliment his strengths and Christian's needs by increasing the recruiting budget too. Facilities upgrades would also help. Yet we still don't know Christian's salary. I hope we didn't overpay for him. Not because I don't like him, but because there wasn't a market demand to overpay him. Spinelli is a lead assistant at a ACC/Big Ten school. He can demand an big salary to move. Christian had no such leverage when making the jump from Ohio.

Christian didn't have leverage, but other coaches did (Wright, Howland, McCaffery?, Chris Mack?, Chambers?). Could BC have upped the budget just a bit more to get one of these guys? Should they? I would have but I am not Brad Bates. But looking at the troubles Cal is also going through on their search, maybe some of these guys just decided to wait this cycle out.

The money shows a commitment from BC. It is the first step. Now BC and the Christian staff need to come up with a shared philosophy with regards to admissions.

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31 Comments:

At 9:29 PM, Blogger Lenny Sienko said...

The BC org chart lists John Mahoney as Undergraduate Director of Admissions. That's same John Mahoney who got into it with JOB over his three recruits all those years ago.

As long as Mr. Mahoney remains in place, I see no possibility of any arrangement being made about recruits.

If Mr. Mahoney is gome in the near future, as is likely given the number of years involved, then J. Christian may be able to try his JUCO recruiting skills.

 
At 8:01 AM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

Do we have any evidence that our athlete admissions policies for basketball are currently any more restrictive than schools like Vandy, ND, Northwestern, Stanford, Duke, etc.? I really find it hard to believe that our admissions standards preclude us from anything other than admitting academic basket cases that schools like a Kentucky or Memphis might admit. With all due respect, I have heard a few interviews with some of our players over the years and they didn't strike me as PhD material. The JOB incident is ancient history.

 
At 8:20 AM, Blogger EL MIZ said...

Duke can say whatever it wants, it routinely recruits and lets in one and done's (Kyrie and Jabari, their incoming recruit class is basically all one and dones; recruited John Wall and a bunch of other one and dones).

i would like to know our comp versus Stanford (given their recent success)

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

"Spinelli’s deal, the specific terms of which were not disclosed, will make him one of the highest-paid assistants in ACC"

I am very surprised that BC is paying an over-market-average salary, let alone a top ACC salary. Whoa! Well, that is news!

Bravo!

 
At 1:59 PM, Blogger Lenny Sienko said...

Sorry, Nappy, but JOB is not so “ancient history”. Eighteen years after, Mr. Murphy and Fr. Leahy still run the undergraduate admissions program and BC, respectively.

Here’s a little more historical persepctive:

Jonathan DePina, 5’9”, Denied admission in fall of 1996; starred for four years in all-Boston back court at UMass.

Elton Tyler, 6’9”, Denied admission 1996. Tyler is the only player in U Miami history to compete in four NCAA Tournaments.

Adam Allenspach, 7’ 1” Gave oral commitment to BC but changed mind after admissions controversy;played four years at Clemson

Michael Bradley, 6’ 10” Committed to Eagles but signed with Kentucky after admissions controversy; one year at Kentucky before transferring to Villanova for one good/great year...left early for NBA, oft injured...Euro pro ball.

Upon the settlement of the JOB suit against Boston College, Fr. Leahy pronounced BC’s official position on the admission of basketball players. If anybody has any proof there has been a change, it would be welcome:


Fr. Leahy noted that the University's admission process, for athletes and non-athletes alike, entails "not just grade point averages or SAT scores" but considers factors including the student's family support system and ability to communicate.
"The bottom line is," Fr. Leahy said, "do the people in our Admission Office think the person can graduate from Boston College and have a profitable undergraduate career?"

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Big Jack Krack said...

I think JOB was pushing the envelope before the Pina, Tyler, Bradley, Allenspach fiasco. Which is what it was.

My recollection is that JOB often liked to take his criticisms public - making statements in the Globe and Herald, etc.

I wish he would have quietly tried to work closer with the Office of Undergraduate Admission.

When the deal makes the public arena, you get the President making the statement "do the people in our Admission Office think the person can graduate from Boston College and have a profitable undergraduate career?"

JOB went public and this is where we are. He offered scholarships to players without coordinating with Mahoney first - and aired the dirty laundry in the papers.

I wish he was more savvy. Al Skinner seemed to be.

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger GP11 said...

Lenny are you saying that Father Leahy's statement is a bad thing? John Mahoney cares about Boston College far more than most. I think there is a fine line between invested more money in facilities/coaching and admitting students that the administration don't believe have a chance at being successful students. If you think that the athletes for the power sports are held to the same admissions standards as the average student you're kidding yourself. The standards for athletes are looser, but reducing those standards to the point of being a sham is a step I'd rather not see BC take.

 
At 4:16 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

GP11, Lenny does not have high standards for BC. He wanted Calhoun and Pearl for BC's coach. He and others view ethical standards as "pollyanna" and stupid.

These types would love another Sean Williams. As long as W's are had, who cares about the education of an athlete. WHO CARES! Their tools: ignore, minimize, spin.

Sadly, these types only wants to be entertained by their alma mater. ENTERTAIN ME!

and more sadly, many agree with this no/low standards approach.

Really, what true Eagle could disagree with the logic and sentiment of Fr. Leahy:

"The bottom line is: do the people in our Admission Office think the person can graduate from Boston College and have a profitable undergraduate career?"

Ever to Excel! Yep. that's the motto.

 
At 4:27 PM, Blogger Napolean Bonaparte said...

I don't think anyone wants a sham. When you win championships with a bunch of kids with fourth grade reading levels - what's the point? (Ask John Calipari - I know he really cares.) But I also don't think our admissions barriers for hoops and football should be more stringent than say those at Notre Dame, Northwestern and Vanderbilt.

None of these issues apply to hockey, however, as most of them have been hit in the face and head so many times that its our Christian duty to give them a home and teach them life skills like how to operate an elevator.

 
At 4:58 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

It may have been a long search but Cal was able to get a pretty good coach....someone who's much more qualified than Christian.

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

"The bottom line is," Fr. Leahy said, "do the people in our Admission Office think the person can graduate from Boston College and have a profitable undergraduate career?"

Seems totally reasonable to me. Leave the "one and done" to others. BC is a premier academic institution not a minor league for athletes. I firmly believe that top academics and top athletics can coexist, not easy to acchieve but possible. If not then the athletics must be second.

 
At 7:08 PM, Blogger dixieagle said...

There are plenty of smart, talented student athletes out there. It's the job of our coaches to scout them out and convince them to come to BC. If they can't do that, then they're not doing their jobs.

 
At 8:04 PM, Blogger Michael Flaherty said...

Lenny Sienko has been pushing this agenda that JOB somehow got a raw deal from BC. However, anyone reading this blog should know that Lenny has admitted to having worked with JOB when both were undergrads at BC. Probably a student manager but that's just a guess. But the larger point is that Lenny has somewhat of a blind spot in all things relating to JOB.

John Mahoney has never and never will need to defend himself when it comes to admissions decisions and admissions standards at BC.

JOB is no longer here because at the end of the day, Father Leahy felt he could no longer trust Jim. He went public with what Father Leahy and Leo Sullivan thought was a private conversation. John was not privy to this conversation.

John directs his admissions officers to make admission decisions only after working with the coaching staffs. He makes his recommendations based on Father's quotes above. Can the kid do the work with the supports in place and does he or she have the desire to do the work? BC has and will continue to take chances with kids. How many chances is usually up to how much confidence the admissions office has with the coach in charge.

As for the kids mentioned above, Tyler had his academic issues at Miami and never left with a degree. DePina was an ok player at UMass. Bradley had a decent career at Nova and left early for the NBA and didn't last long. I do not believe he went back for his degree. The kid at Clemson rode the bench his entire career. Not exactly the stellar recruiting class it was touted as.

JOB went on to his own trouble with the NCAA and got fired from Ohio State because of it.

JOB also was allowed to continue in his position at BC after performing in a similar fashion to Steve Donahue. JOB has some tragedy in his life and that was the right thing to do by BC. JOB repaid that act of kindness by suing the school after he left for the OSU job. All you need to know about JOB.

 
At 8:06 PM, Blogger Michael Flaherty said...

Lenny Sienko has been pushing this agenda that JOB somehow got a raw deal from BC. However, anyone reading this blog should know that Lenny has admitted to having worked with JOB when both were undergrads at BC. Probably a student manager but that's just a guess. But the larger point is that Lenny has somewhat of a blind spot in all things relating to JOB.

John Mahoney has never and never will need to defend himself when it comes to admissions decisions and admissions standards at BC.

JOB is no longer here because at the end of the day, Father Leahy felt he could no longer trust Jim. He went public with what Father Leahy and Leo Sullivan thought was a private conversation. John was not privy to this conversation.

John directs his admissions officers to make admission decisions only after working with the coaching staffs. He makes his recommendations based on Father's quotes above. Can the kid do the work with the supports in place and does he or she have the desire to do the work? BC has and will continue to take chances with kids. How many chances is usually up to how much confidence the admissions office has with the coach in charge.

As for the kids mentioned above, Tyler had his academic issues at Miami and never left with a degree. DePina was an ok player at UMass. Bradley had a decent career at Nova and left early for the NBA and didn't last long. I do not believe he went back for his degree. The kid at Clemson rode the bench his entire career. Not exactly the stellar recruiting class it was touted as.

JOB went on to his own trouble with the NCAA and got fired from Ohio State because of it.

JOB also was allowed to continue in his position at BC after performing in a similar fashion to Steve Donahue. JOB has some tragedy in his life and that was the right thing to do by BC. JOB repaid that act of kindness by suing the school after he left for the OSU job. All you need to know about JOB.

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

Well said. It gets very tiresome to read posts from people who want to degrade my Alma Mater, BC is not an Alabama or a Kentucky and I hope never will be. I hope that we can work to achieve the very high level in athletics as we have in academics. Not at that cost of Aein aristeuein but consistent with it.
We don't need the 'mine is bigger than yours' attitude to be proud of the BC community of scholars and athletes.

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

Well said. It gets very tiresome to read posts from people who want to degrade my Alma Mater, BC is not an Alabama or a Kentucky and I hope never will be. I hope that we can work to achieve the very high level in athletics as we have in academics. Not at that cost of Aein aristeuein but consistent with it.
We don't need the 'mine is bigger than yours' attitude to be proud of the BC community of scholars and athletes.

 
At 8:58 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

Who are you folks kidding. Do you think any other university president would say anything different than Leahy about their schools admissions policy. This entire student athlete thing is a fairy tale. These kids are just a bunch of mercenaries brought in to play ball. They are there for their athletic ability and no other reason. So as far as I'm concerned I think we should adhere to the NCAA standards and no more. The more ethical thing to do would be to allow all 18 year olds to turn professional if they had the ability and stop w/ this hypocritical student athlete nonsense .

 
At 9:51 PM, Blogger Lenny Sienko said...

Mod34b and Joseph disagree with my take on basketball admissions...not a surprise.

Thanks for setting up my ethical standards as a straw man, Mod34b. If it were up to me, I wouldn't let Calhoun near the Heights when he was first looking for a job or now. Bruce Pearl I'd hire as my coach in an instant. I love his style of ball.

My ethical views of college sports are shaped by the fact that I was actually at BC in the "bad old days" when "student athletes" were unceremoniously dumped at the end of the season for their sport. Roncalli cleared out some choice rooms come late November in the 60's and early 70's. I still remember one d-lineman lugging his snow tires down three flights from where he had them stored in his room.

I never said that a lack of standards was a good thing. In fact, I posted the quote from Fr. Leahy without judgment on my part as a kind of Rorschach test for folks on here. I was not disappointed.

Folks who line up with the admin leaped to the defense of the powers that be and those with the temerity to question authority responded somewhat more thoughtfully.

What could be a more subjective standard than "...factors including the student's family support system and ability to communicate."?

Lets be clear about this... "The bottom line is," Fr. Leahy said, "do the people in our Admission Office think the person can graduate from Boston College and have a profitable undergraduate career?"

How is that determined? How does one prevent any type of bias:...cultural...class...or race...from creeping into the process.

Michael Flaherty...when I was an undergard, I watched JOB play...one of our great BC guards. When I was at BCLS, I carried the toolbox and hooked up the telephone feed for the radio broadcast of the BC basketball games. Len DeLuca was the play-by-play and JOB was the color guy. I got into the games for free...that was it for working with JOB.

Do I have an agenda about JOB? No; but I am one of the few who comments on this and other boards who doesn't pile on him and I haven't changed my mind about Mr. Mahoney needing some oversight in the admissions process, which I think is way too subjective.

Michael Flaherty, haven't seen you on here before; but thanks for the detailed report on the admissions process for student athletes. I haven't seen anything so definitive, ever...if you're going to see "John" Mahoney soon...say tomorrow in the office, tell him we really need a BIG man up front.

 
At 10:27 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

I don't have a particularly strong feeling one way or the other about JOB, but to be fair if you are going to mention his failings you should also mention his successes. He took us to the elite 8. Won a Big East title and made a final4 at OSU, something BC has never been able to do. I hope I get to see us 1 time in the final 4 before I punch out, but the clock is ticking pretty quickly for me on that one.

 
At 7:48 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

hoib  and Lenny, 

You  lack of respect for student athletes and are completely uncaring (not to mention, unaware) about BC's Raison d'etre.   

Nasty stuff

"This entire student athlete thing is a fairy tale. These kids are just a bunch of mercenaries brought in to play ball. They are there for their athletic ability and no other reason."

"My ethical views of college sports are shaped by the fact that I was actually at BC in the "bad old days" when "student athletes" were unceremoniously dumped at the end of the season for their sport. "

 
At 10:17 AM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

Your argument would be a lot better Mod and Joseph if BC didn't lower its academic standards at all for any athletes. That's obviously not the case at all.

 
At 10:54 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

Bracvebill you are missing the point.

 
At 1:03 PM, Blogger Bravesbill said...

How so? I'm not arguing that BC should lower its academic standards at all. I'm just pointing out that the main part of your arguments (esp. Joseph's)have been undercut by BC's willingness to relax standards. Once standards are relaxed where do you draw the line? "The bottom line is: do the people in our Admission Office think the person can graduate from Boston College and have a profitable undergraduate career, is that the new standard now? If that's the case, you could argue that anyone that qualifies to get into a university can achieve that "standard," with the rampant grade inflation and nonsense "liberal arts" classes that are offered.

 
At 1:40 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

Mod34b

1 on what basis are you judging Sean Williams un qualified for admission. That's a pretty serious charge and depending on how you reached that conclusion one might say immoral

2 seeing as you are so concerned w/ preserving the moral rectitude of our Alma Mater, maybe you can get up on your high horse over this. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/10/us/10irish.html?
I'm sure you'll be happy that the school didn't lie, even though it meant protecting a murderer of an innocent mother of 10. Or maybe you will persist in your quixotic journey to maintain our purity in that pristine endeavor that is college sports in the 21st century

3 nice job quoting me out of context. I'm sure there's a political campaign somewhere that can use your help.

4 just to show I'm not in lock step w/ Lenny here, I would have taken Calhoun over JOB in A heartbeat. I love his style of play. What a wonderful display of it in this years tourney. Fearless hard nosed ball w/ a stifling man to man defense, this is how the game is supposed to be played. Instead for the last 3 years we've been treated to a pathetic mambypamby stile of play where we routinely get our asses handed to us. I don't know how that is supposed to represent our motto, but I guess you didn't mind the losses because you were happy in thinking our kids were smarter.

 
At 1:43 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

Bravesbill

You were right about Cal.,they came out w/ a good coach. I also noticed that Tenn. is letting him take his prized recruit. I can't see why Ohio won't do the same. Why would you want a kid on your team who doesn't want to be there.

 
At 2:39 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

Hoib.

you say: "3 nice job quoting me out of context. I'm sure there's a political campaign somewhere that can use your help."

You were quoted out of context? Good one, you weasel.

Here is your entire remark, with the part I quoted in bold.

"Who are you folks kidding. Do you think any other university president would say anything different than Leahy about their schools admissions policy. This entire student athlete thing is a fairy tale. These kids are just a bunch of mercenaries brought in to play ball. They are there for their athletic ability and no other reason. So as far as I'm concerned I think we should adhere to the NCAA standards and no more. The more ethical thing to do would be to allow all 18 year olds to turn professional if they had the ability and stop w/ this hypocritical student athlete nonsense."

Care to retract you ill-conceived deflection?

 
At 3:20 PM, Blogger mod34b said...

hoib, your comment about the subpoena to BC regarding the IRA is an extremely dumb comment.

 
At 4:59 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

Mod34b

So as usual you resort to the insult, classy. Ever to excell? I don't think so.

 
At 2:32 PM, Blogger Joseph said...

I can't imagine siding with M34b, but....

maybe Hoib can explain why he wants BC to be like any other school regarding any facet of the University. Personally I get more pride in seeing our graduation rate than seeing good athletes turn pro. They graduate because they value the education and the school values them.

 
At 7:36 PM, Blogger Hoib said...

Joseph

You and I just see things differently. No big deal. I feel if we play in the ACC we should recruit the players we need to be competitive. I don't think we should do anything other than play by the NCAA rules when it comes to recruiting. It's what we do during the game so why not apply the same approach to the recruiting game.
BC admits over 2000 freshman a year. If we take 1 or 2 just qualified for Hoops and 4 or 5 for football at WR & DB the 2 positions we are never competitive,we would improve our competitiveness quite a bit. By making these 6 or so exceptions a year it is statistically impossible to change the #s for the class overall. It is what UNC does, and they are a school in our league who ranks above BC in USNWR rankings. I will place a caveat though, I don't want to admit anyone who has shown a potential towards violence to his classmates.
I love BC sports, it's why I spend so much time on this blog. I'm sure this jades my view, but I don't see anything immoral in what I suggest. Feel free to disagree.

 

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