Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Maybe Jim Harbaugh should be one of Addazio's role models

The past few seasons, I have said that Addazio should model himself after Dabo Swinney. Be an emotional leader who dives deep into recruiting and delegates a lot to his coordinators. Maybe the real model should be Jim Harbaugh.

I know Harbaugh is far from perfect. He's a college coach, so there is a healthy mix of ego, hypocrisy, obsession and misguided priorities in his life. However, the guy has passion. And the guy turns that passion into interesting opportunities. Last year as part of spring ball, he took his team to Florida. This year, it went bigger and he took the team to Rome. Since you can't pay these players, a truly educational trip like this is a justifiable form of compensation. It is great PR too. Heck, we might get more BC alums to travel to Rome for a Spring game than we would hosting one in Alumni.

An added bonus is that Harbaugh got to meet Pope Francis and hand him a Michigan helmet. Given the Pope's history as a Jesuit, do you think he would turn down a visit from America's only FBS Jesuit football team?

Make this happen, Martin Jarmond.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

More Draft stuff

This has been around many of the BC message boards, but it is worth the attention. According to ESPN, BC is one of the college programs where our draftees out-perform their draft status. I wonder if our players will get a little more respect as Addazio's recruits become eligible for the Draft.

Here is the video of Mike Mayoc's visit with Johnson.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jarmond says all the right things

BC officially introduced new Athletic Director Martin Jarmond in a Monday Press Conference. We've been through a few too many of these the past few years, so I was glad to find the energy different with Jarmond. He seemed more at ease than some of the other people BC has trotted at to the media. He didn't go over the top in his enthusiasm nor did he have any stage fright. Jarmond seems confident and charismatic, which are a big part of the job.

The session was light on details, but that really can't be a surprise. The guy is not even officially in the job yet and hasn't met the whole staff. He may have very specific plans for BC, but now wasn't the time to share them.

He emphasized BC's balance of academics and athletics and even sprinkled in a reference to the spiritual (which is a slightly new twist). While still not battling the specifics of parking, food, tailgates, etc, he did address that the fan's game day experience starts at home and BC needs to make the trip to campus inviting and easy. Jarmond avoided a pointed question about both basketball programs and did say that he has hired and fired people before (it is just not on his resume).

I also appreciated his humor. He joked with alumni Tom Leyden that the school will soon be asking him for money. I can't see Brad Bates ever joking about something like that. But the joke, his background and his reference to BC's financial commitment show that we have a AD focused on fundraising. That doesn't guarantee success, but having more resources won't hurt any program.

Press Conferences don't make a team or program. They are only really notable when they are screwed up. Jarmond did better than most, but I don't think anyone is going to remember this day. What he does in the next two years will be more important.







Sunday, April 23, 2017

Baseball gets much needed sweep

For the first time in two years, BC Baseball swept n ACC series. The final win came on a complete game shutout from Brian Rapp. BC improved to 6-15 in ACC play. Hopefully this is a sign of a late season rebound. Next up, the team takes on UMass-Lowell on Tuesday.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Trying to read into the Spring Game

Those of us who watched the BC Spring Game know the drill. We watch because we love BC Football and the Spring Game is the only outlet for our addiction between the Bowl Game and the first game of the new season. The Spring Game is not a good predictor of anything related to real football. Because, like Saturday's 2017 Spring Game, this always feels more like a unique practice. 

The new twist this year that keeps the game from being a true look at BC was the lack of tackling. The play was dead as soon as a player had slight control on another. I am fine with limited contact. These guys shouldn't be bashing each other up now. But that I don't know how you can really evaluate BC's Defense off of today. 

The offense was a bit more telling. BC continued their tempo change from the Bowl game. Darius Wade looked decent and made numerous good throws. Antony Brown also got plenty of reps. While his athleticism and arm strength are noticeable, his throws were not as accurate. Hilliman looked sharp and healthy. Wilson also had a nice run. There were more than a few drops, but the WRs were fine.

The only true take away from all of this is that the offense is still evolving. For all of the talk -- including from Addazio -- that Brown was "the guy," he does not look ready to lead the team. Fortunately the season does not start tomorrow and he can get better. Wade, who was forgotten last year, looks capable. Aside from the QBs, the offense also seems ready to embrace modern tempo. That could change a lot about BC's games. All of those unknowns will be answered eventually...just not in a Spring Game.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Christian gets another guard in the recruiting class

Georgia prospect Avery Wilson committed to BC Friday. Wilson's offer list is not particularly impressive, but like some other recent recruits, he has good athleticism and could be considered a late bloomer. Due to our lack of depth, he should get playing time right away. As much as I would love Christian to be bringing in elite recruits, I have no problem with taking a shot on a good athlete. Welcome Avery. I hope you help provide a spark and surprise next year.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Can Martin Jarmond fix Boston College Sports?


BC doesn't have a problem on its hands with Martin Jarmond. It is the opposite. The new Boston College Athletic Director has a huge problem on his hands. The problem is BC sports. At this point in time, BC Athletics has a fanbase problem, an execution problem with their most high-profile sports, a fundraising problem, a facilities problem, a local and national perception problem, and another dozen issues in some of the non-revenue sports. All of the problems are solvable. I had hoped for a more experienced operator who had been hardened in previous political battles. I will take someone who seems to have youthful energy, ambition and a vision. Jarmond is going to need all of it.

The good news is that Jarmond has a history and passion for fundraising. That was one of the known prerequisites for this search. Raising money at Ohio State and Michigan State is a completely different animal from BC, but if Jarmond's quick accent shows anything, it is that he can adapt and rise to the occasion. Development is hard and a lot like sales. There are many dinners, and coffees and rounds of golf, and at the end of each one, you have to ask the person across the table for more money than he or she ever planned on giving. Bates was never comfortable doing that. It looks like Jarmond can. That alone will be a breath of fresh air and should help BC's sports revenues grow. I am happy for the people in BC Development who have gone a long time without an AD they could leverage in their jobs.

Bringing in someone from a sports factory like Ohio State is an interesting decision for BC. We do so many things differently. BC won't change how we handle admissions or academic tutoring, but maybe we will become more like Ohio State in our sports operations. Instead of doing things on the cheap and how we've always done them, maybe Jarmond can instill some new methods and minimums to give our athletes and coaches an even playing field.

But years from now -- when we look at Jarmond's legacy -- it will be how he handles Football and Basketball. I am less concerned about Basketball. Jarmond is a former DIA basketball player. Jim Christian is a lame duck. Jarmond has nearly a year to get things in place and find a new coach next spring. He has never hired a basketball coach, but has been around the sport for a long time. I will trust him on that. Football is a different issue. The Urban Meyer clique did have influence on this process. They went to bat for Jarmond. Jarmond and Addazio already have a relationship (Addazio was keynote speaker at an Ohio State coaches clinic just a few weeks ago). Bates never stood up to Addazio. Will Jarmond tell Addazio to ignore the critics? Will Jarmond tell Addazio to watch his temper with lower level employees? And most importantly will Jarmond make a difficult decision on Addazio if we go 6-6 again next fall? We won't know until things play out.

The reaction among BC fans and in the Athletic community has been overwhelmingly positive. This is the honeymoon. I now hope that Jarmond can fix BC before the frustrating BC-ness of our sports operations break him.

BC names Martin Jarmond new AD

Congratulations to BC's new Athletic Director Martin Jarmond. He has a big job ahead of him, but seems up for the challenge.

I will have a more in-depth post later.

Heights says it is Jarmond



More as it unfolds.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Explaining my Martin Jarmond tweets

In the ever-changing BC AD search a new name emerged Wednesday: Ohio State assistant AD Martin Jarmond. The name first leaked out on the BC message boards, then the Heights and finally via SI's Pete Thamel. I immediately went to Twitter to share my skepticism on the reports. Because this post could be meaningless in less than 24 hours (see the Mike Dee talk), I will try to keep things short. I don't believe Jarmond is the choice and I would be less than thrilled if he is the hire.

My skepticism on Jarmond being the candidate is based on how quiet this process has been. For better or worse, this is a Father Leahy decision and he has shown no history of sharing his opinions or news with sports reporters. The only thing I hear from BC people is that this is all Leahy and he is not talking. So if Jarmond is truly a finalist, it is his side that is talking to the media or BC folks speculating. If Jarmond's representatives are leaking to the media prior to a deal being finalized, they are playing with fire. It is the surest way to lose a BC offer. I would also be surprised by Jarmond based on the prerequisites that BC wanted in a candidate. While he has fundraising experience, Jarmond has never run his own department and has never hired or fired a coach. Of course, BC can say they want something and totally flip on that requirement, but it would be somewhat out of character for Father Leahy given his decisions since firing Gene D.

As for my skepticism on Jarmond's ability for the role, I just think BC is not in a place where we want someone learning on the job. We have major building projects to execute, decisions to make on our three biggest coaches (I am including a plan for when York steps down), and a fan and donor base to build up. Jarmond might be an Athletic Director wunderkind, but I would prefer someone who had a longer track record and a proven history of success.

We will see how this plays out. As the constant naysayer in this process, I will be wrong eventually. I just don't think it will be with Jarmond.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Occupy Wall Street -- BC style

Tuesday night is BC's annual Wall Street Council Tribute Dinner. It is one of BC biggest fundraising events and the most concentrated collection of big donors outside of reunions and a big football game. Father Leahy will be there. Among this crowd are a lot of passionate BC fans. Many of them have given large amounts of money to the school. While that doesn't buy you a say in BC's decision making (see Gregory Barber), it does get you the the opportunity to talk to Father Leahy. What I hope those fans do tonight is let him know that we still care and we want great Athletics. We also want someone who understands BC and is given the tools and support to succeed. At this late hour, it probably won't change Father Leahy's decision, but it still needs to be said. BC's current and future leadership need to know that we support the school but we also expect the school to strive for excellence. BC cannot be a Stanford, Duke or Notre Dame if we don't make the commitment with all the school's resources.

It will be also interesting to hear how the crowd reacts. In general, these folks are loyal, but I also sense discontentment. Maybe Father Leahy will sense it too.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Silly season

In my offline life, I probably overuse the colloquialism "if you throw enough -hit at the wall, some of it will stick." Right now that phrase perfectly captures what's going on with the BC message boards and with Twitter. You can say a decision is near because frankly there aren't that many weeks of school left. No source needed. You can say there are finalists because there are seemingly endless rumors of finalists. One particular reporter continues to throw up names and rehash talk and rumors from BC message boards. [I know I am being very hypocritical about aspects of this, but please trust I am trying my best to be rational, consistent and accurate.]

The rumor and candidate de jour is former MLB and NFL executive Mike Dee. I can see where his name would be leaked because that is an old Red Sox move. I know the leak is not coming from Father Leahy. There is no way he is talking to old Boston College beat writers. If Dee is talking to people, it is because he is trying to drum up interest. But if he is talking, he is doesn't understand the current BC dynamics. Talking out of turn causes problems (see: Ammaker, Steve Donahue, etc.) I imagine if Dee truly made the face-to-face stage with Father Leahy, going to the media before a final decision won't help his candidacy. But even beyond that, I don't believe Dee is a finalist. BC has told donors they are looking for someone with Athletic Director leadership experience and a history of hiring coaches. Dee doesn't have that. If Father Leahy goes in that direction, it will be a big surprise to some of his most active donors.

I would be very upset if BC hired Dee. Fit and experience are my main gripes, but there are others too. I will save those issues for when I am proven wrong and he is hired.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Baseball wins their first ACC series of the season

After a rough start to ACC play, the Baseball team finally won a weekend series. They won two out of three against Duke. Unfortunately Sunday's loss meant that it wasn't a sweep. While the little momentum is nice, BC has just three ACC wins so far this year.

The team takes on Dartmouth next and then resumes ACC play next weekend against NC State.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

The arms race

I retweeted this Saturday, but thought it deserved its own post.
Woody is right. This sort of thing is an enormous misuse of funds. The costs of those flat screens should go directly to the players. Seeing this sort of misguided largesse is also a reminder BC is taking the wrong approach.

Publicly BC's leadership has been against official payments to players. The only problem is players are getting paid illegally and through stupid benefits like 10K flat screens on their lockers. BC -- because of our revenue and our philosophy -- will never be able to keep up with all this nonsense. The indoor facility is nice but it won't have the bells and whistles the power programs have. So instead of keeping up with the Joneses, BC needs to argue for a true salary program for players and true direct benefits. It is only fair and will correct the market. Currently we have an inefficient black market where things like high-tech lockers are considered a good investment. If players were allowed to negotiate or get a salary, they would probably take much less cash into their pocket and hang their things on a hook!

Friday, April 14, 2017

More on Milano and other links

I don't know where Matt Milano will go in the Draft, but he is getting plenty of attention. This Steelers' blog breaks down his strengths and weaknesses. This write up thinks he is a top 10 Linebacker.

The Baseball team got its second ACC win of the season.

Softball lost both ends of a double header to UNC.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Women's Golf fighting for ACC Title this weekend

After one day of competition, the Women's Golf team sits at seventh overall in the ACC at +10. Duke put up the best numbers the first day and leads at -4. BC has two more rounds to improve their team score. While Women's Golf doesn't usually get attention around here, it would be nice to finish well in an ACC event this spring. Good luck to the women.

More Spring Game info and other links

We've known that the Spring Game would be streamed live. Now we know a few more details. ESPN  -- via the ACC Network -- will show the game live from Alumni. Cronin will be in his usual role of commentator, but Scott Mutryn will be filling in for Meter on play-by-play.

Could the Bears be one of the team's interested in John Johnson.

This blogger thinks Matt Milano could be the latest BC guy to sign with the New York Giants.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The waiting is the hardest part

I tweeted this earlier, but because of the shortened week at BC, it appears the AD announcement is not eminent. The school is closed Thursday through Monday for Easter. It is always possible a deal could come together over the weekend, but an official announcement is unlikely. The bigger challenge to this process is that no one knows much and it remains in Father Leahy's hands.

I will admit that I am frustrated with the whole thing. I keep telling myself to be patient. The frustration comes from BC having nearly a year to prepare for this, an opportunity to pursue a wide range of candidates and then finalize a deal that could have allowed the new AD to come on campus and begin a transition. Instead things creep along. The other challenge to taking so long and not engaging any media on the process is that it allows for all sorts of gossip and speculation. (Once again, I am guilty of this too.)

The only solace I have is that many of the names leaked of floated are not in the mix. I just hope that whoever Father Leahy finally decides to hire is better than the rumors.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Turner gone

If you want an example of the sorry state of BC basketball look at the case of AJ Turner's departure. Turner has been a frustrating disappointment who has never lived up to his recruiting ranking, yet the team will be much worse without him. Most view Jim Christian as a lame duck. But with a new Athletic Director coming in there was always the chance he would turn things around. Without Turner, things seem less likely to turn around. Maybe Chatman will get Turner's minutes, but there is no obvious replacement.

Other than frustration, I don't know why Turner is leaving. While BC is losing, I doubt he will be an impact player at other elite program. Plus, he will have to sit a year.

Where does Christian go from here? Hopefully the returning players step up. Who knows? I think we are in for another long season.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Smoke signals on new AD

There is a rumor going around the BC Message boards that that new AD is Memphis' Tom Bowen. I have heard it will be offered to someone else. But the point of this post is that we are all waiting and it appears the decision is coming soon. This is what I do know:

-- The Parker group and the small team of BC people have completed their interviews and made a recommendation to Father Leahy.
-- While the leading candidate's name has been mentioned, most of the finalists have not been named publicly.
-- The decision is all Leahy's and no one knows which way it will go. There has been a lot of talk and speculation about Leahy's future (I've been part of the gossip too) but those closest to him during this process see no signs that he is nearing his own retirement. This is not a situation where he will hire an AD and then walk into the sunset. Father Leahy plans on working with this AD in the years to come.
-- Many of the leading candidates brought up BC's commitment to athletics. Not just the head coaching, but some of the smaller details that hamstring our players and coaches. If we hire someone who did not challenge BC's current approach, then we are in long-term trouble.

The timing remains weird. It would make sense for BC to announce this week, yet Holy Week shortens the work week at BC.

I can't report when this will all be over. Other than the details listed above, no one knows anything. It is all in Father Leahy's hands and he is not telling anyone.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Football adds another grad transfer

West Virginia Tackle Marcell Lazard is coming to BC. I know some feel Addazio is hurting the true development of the team by not playing more young kids, but this -- like all 5th year football players -- is a win-win. 

As a reminder, BC faces many challenges getting JUCOs admitted. However, grad transfers are not a problem. So Addazio has been aggressive about bringing them in. Even though few have been stars, most contribute and are low risk. If the player is ineffective or gets hurt, it only cost BC one scholarship for one year. 

Lazard's transition to BC will be interesting to watch. He was a part-time starter at WVU, so he has elite level experience. Yet West Virginia's Oline operates very differently from BC. At West Virginia the Oline is nearly always playing zone. There is not much movement. Plenty of pass blocking and lots of spacing. At BC, Lazard will do more traditional, power stuff. If he adjusts, it should be a great learning experience.

I am sure this post will spark a few rebuttals regarding Addazio's misuse of the roster. In my opinion, leveraging 5th years is the smartest things Addazio has done. I hope Lazard plays well and looks like another coup.

Friday, April 07, 2017

A few recruiting notes

Four star California QB Brevin White is coming out to BC on his own dime. That's a good sign. But at the same time, it sounds like he is more excited about his Harvard visit than his BC visit. Maybe Addazio can sell him on our combination of athletics and academics.

BC sounds like they are in a good position for Indiana LB Hugh Davis.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Spring injuries and other links

It is tough getting through Spring Practice without some problems. Addazio didn't get lucky this year. Two promising players went down this week. Elijah Johnson suffered a knee injury. BC isn't talking specifics but social media is saying it is a ACL. We will see how long he is out. The other loss is linebacker Max Richardson. He broke his foot. That recovery shouldn't be as long.

If Jared Dudley really does plan on coaching after the NBA, this season is another example of his instincts and ability to develop young players.

Former Eagle Ryan Quigley signed with the Vikings.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

ESPN's projections aren't optimistic about BC



ESPN published their FPI projections for the 2017 season and their computer simulations don't have much faith in BC. As of now, we are only favored in three games. Wake Forest and Virginia are within reach, but still have us an underdogs. While this is proprietary stuff, I imagine the Sports Books will have similar expectations going into the season.

As we know, games are not won in simulation. BC also has many factors that would hurt in a modeling situation -- new QB, lack of stat sheet filling playmaker, losing some productive defensive players. A model will always have trouble predicting growth, maturity and development. I am more optimistic about our chances. I think we will win the three games ESPN predicts and then split with our peer programs. I also hope we are at the stage where we steal a game from the powerhouses on our schedule.

Addazio has been pointing to Year 5 for a long time. If the computers are correct, then he won't get a Year 6.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Weather disrupts Baseball/Softball and other links

Maybe we should build a roof over the new baseball/softball complex? I don't know any other way to prevent the early season weather issues BC has every year. The turf and drainage will be an improvement, but you can't stop the rain. 

Former BC Field Hockey players are using the Marathon to raise money for a former teammate. 

BC is going head to head with Don Brown for interest in a Florida DB.

Finally, I came across this BC-Holy Cross game from 1983. You'll see plenty of familiar BC names, plus former BC coach Bill McGovern on the Holy Cross side.

Monday, April 03, 2017

Another ACC Champ

North Carolina just won the National Championship. We now play in the conference that is home to the football and basketball champions. It might seem like BC will never be in position to win either championship, but being in the ACC is a huge benefit as we try to take the programs to the next level. If you are ever going to win anything big, it will be through recruiting and developing those players under intense competition. By playing champions annually, BC has a direct barometer of where they are with regards to the best teams in the country. Right now we are not doing enough. But by coming up short, the pressure increases. Hence the change in AD. And there will be more changes if Addazio and Christian do not start competing.

Getting crushed by the eventual champions can be deflating. Some long for the good ol' days or think that if we were in a mid-major conference, we could be more successful. I don't agree. As frustrating as this can be, I want to be associated with the best. I want to know how far we have to go. When we do turn things around, it will make things all that much more satisfying.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Tourney still lucrative for BC

I tweeted this out on Friday, but I still wanted to draw attention to this article on the ACC's Big Dance revenues. Because of the conference's success and North Carolina's deep runs, the ACC is bringing in record amounts of TV revenue for its members. BC will collect $6.8 million for doing nothing. That is not a bad deal. Of course the lucrative failure sends BC the wrong sort of message. I hope someone in leadership realizes how much more lucrative winning will be.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Dude?

This is not an April Fool's joke. Just thought I would point out that Don Brown is using the "dude" term again on Social Media. While the whole thing is silly to get worked up about, it does deal with the touchy subject of media attention, branding and the Addazio/Brown relationship.

As a quick reminder, Brown brought the "dude" term with him to BC. But Addazio really embraced it and splashed it all over social media. It then went viral and got plenty of attention from the College Sports media. There was less dude talk this year with Brown gone, but you could still see it sprinkled into BC coverage. Now that Brown is out there using it again, I bet Addazio will stop talking about it. Not out of hurt feelings, but probably based on his desire to create his own BC brand. You saw that a bit during Signing Day when BC had recruits tweet "#decidetofly."

Using "dude" doesn't win games. Getting dudes to come to your program does. I don't care if Addazio uses "dude" anymore. Just do what the kids like and get some good players this spring!