Friday, March 24, 2017

Don't read too much into the Jim Paquette news

Friday afternoon, Loyola and Jim Paquette announced that he would step down as their AD in June. The news immediately sparked internet speculation that he is coming to BC as the new Athletic Director. After talking to a few people this evening, I am pretty sure this is coincidence and Paquette is unlikely to get the BC job.

I haven't written much about the AD search lately because there hasn't been real news. BC's fundraisers are answering some big donor questions and the school has signed Parker Search, but no hard news on interviews, finalists or even a hard timeline. But this is what I do know and how it fits in with the Paquette situation.

-- BC is telling donors that they want someone who has hired multiple coaches -- and hopefully a football coach -- in a previous job. This would seem to eliminate Paquette right off the bat. Loyola doesn't have a football team and Paquette never made a football hire. He has hired coaches while in Baltimore but never under the microscope or challenges of a Power 5 type revenue sport hire.

-- The new AD will not have ties to Gene Defilippo. This might not be fair to Paquette or any of the other BC staffers from the GDF era, but it is understandable position from BC. If they want new energy, new ideas and a new face to present to the donor and sports community, it doesn't look great to bring in Gene's righthand man.

Then there is the timing on Paquette's part. The BC job has open to speculation ever since BC publicly announced that Bates' contract had not been extended. He's been a lame duck since. Any interested candidate has had ample time to work the back channels and prepare for an opportunity. Someone like Paquette would especially have insider info that most candidates would not have. If he thought he was in the mix for this job, would he make such a big change now? Leaving Loyola does nothing to help his candidacy. If anything it might raise questions. I haven't talked to Paquette about this -- but I doubt he takes this risk if BC were an immediate option.

I could still see Paquette return to BC in some capacity or even become AD one day years from now. But given the timing and the public stances of BC's current leadership, I don't think he is getting the job now.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Mock Drafts and other links

Sometimes you see Mock Drafts that capture the first round. This one goes much deeper and hence predicts that John Johnson goes to the Redskins and Milano to Green Bay.

247 notes the importance of new verbal Joey Luchetti's Lawrence Academy teammates. I don't think this was a package deal, but getting the other guys that much more excited about BC is not a bad thing.

For those who missed it, BC provided a nice recap of Father Monan's funeral. The links also includes video from the Mass.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Practice Facility gets Boston approval and other links

Paperwork shouldn't be such a big deal, but the City of Boston signing off on the Indoor Practice Facility is big news. There will be plenty of bumps ahead, but this really means that BC can break ground this year and show recruits some progress.

The Heights confirmed that BC is using Parker Executive Search to run its AD process. This is normal to the process at most school's. Parker will do a lot of the vetting for BC. I am glad a search firm was hired and relieved it wasn't Gene's or Bates'. Parker has conflicts, but nothing really related to BC.

Here is more on BC's Pro Day from CBS Sports. Going on the reporter's comments, the Colts have interest in Towles and the Ravens have interest in Johnson.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The NFL still likes BC's talent

Because the graduating seniors were part of a smallish recruiting class recruited by Spaz, the knock on them is that they weren't that talented. Considering 22 NFL teams turned out for BC's Pro Day, this group either outperformed its ranking or BC's Football reputation outshines the recruiting experts.

Another turnout factor that impressed me about BC's Pro Day was that this was the rescheduled date. BC's first Pro Day was changed due to fear of last week's blizzard.

Because he already measured well at the Combine, Matt Milano only did position drills. John Johnson did everything and was usually BC's top scorer in most drills. Myles Willis did well enough that he will hopefully generate some free agent interest.

If I had to guess who was the reason so many teams showed up, I would have to say Patrick Towles. Regardless of Towles' history or our frustration with his play, the guy still has all the NFL tools. He's big and athletic and can throw it a mile. Some NFL team might want him in their camp. If a team does turn Towles into a viable NFL backup, they will have really leveraged BC's anonymous Pro Day.

Monday, March 20, 2017

New verbals for Addazio's latest recruiting class

It took a little longer than usual, but Addazio and his staff finally have some verbals in the 2018 recruiting class. The first is Rhode Island WR Jehlani Galloway. This is a guy the staff is very familiar with and has good upside. Of course he doesn't have great offers or high rankings as of now. But I think BC's attention will get others to come calling. Welcome aboard, Galloway.

The other verbal is Lawrence Academy's Joey Luchetti. Like Galloway, there is a familiarity/upside aspect to this commit. He might end up as a Defensive End or Tight End. Addazio hasn't been this open or vague with that type of position assignment, but for decades BC recruited this sort of body type and then found a position for the guy once he got on campus. It is like calling him an "athlete" but not considering him for the speed positions.

I expect more verbals to follow. Spring Ball is a key recruiting time as you can get kids on campus and get them excited about the future.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Why BC is out of the NCAA Hockey Tourney

For a minute, I thought BC was going to do it. I thought the Hockey team was going to earn an auto-bid into the NCAA Tournament by winning the Hockey East Tournament. UMass-Lowell won, so BC is now home. To those who don't pay much attention to college hockey, this might not make sense. BC playing well in the HE Tourney should make them more attractive. But unfortunately it was too, little too late. BC's struggles in February proved too costly and so the Eagles are the first team out. 

BCI has a great explainer on the NCAA's selection process via Pairwise. The Heights also put things in perspective. This team was very young. Not much was officially expected in the preseason. It is just at BC, we expect York to pull out a miracle every year. It is news when we don't make the postseason. I know this makes me sound a bit optimistic, a bit ungrateful and a bit entitled, but I expect BC to bounce back next year.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

RIP Father Monan


If you are proud of what Boston College is today, you owe it to mostly one man: Father Donald Monan, S.J. If you attended BC in the last 45 years, your educational and social experience was really shaped by one man: Father Monan. If you are a fan of BC sports, the school and its athletics would not be where they are today without the passion of Father Monan. The school's 24th president died Saturday at the Campion home for Jesuits in Weston. He leaves behind and enormous and proud legacy.

Doug Flutie is often given credit as the spark for BC's current popularity, but nothing Flutie did on the field happens without Father Monan. By the time Doug arrived, Father Monan had already rebuilt the school's teetering financials and started the building boom that changed BC from a regional commuter school to a national university. Monan respected athletics and saw sports as a key to a full educational experience. He supported our teams and athletes and encouraged BC to take part in the then risky proposition of the Big East Conference. But Monan also knew that any attention BC earned on the field had to be complimented with elite academics. That academic focus, not the sports, is why BC's reputation is now solidified among the best universities in the country.

But beyond his accomplishments as an educator, leader and Catholic thinker, I think what is hard to capture was Monan's warmth and charm. In that case he was an ideal university President. Who wouldn't help BC when Father Monan called? No wonder the school was able to raise so much money during his tenure. He had that easy way about him that inspired trust and love. I was a BC student during his final years. To say he was beloved was an understatement. His fellow Jesuits had tremendous loyalty to him too. A few years after we graduated, my wife and I visited another Jesuit at St. Mary's for lunch. As we were wrapping up, Monan walked over to say hello. As our host introduced us, Father Monan then spent a few minutes talking to us about BC, life after graduation, etc. His charisma in that scenario showed that he could have done many things with his life and been a great success in politics or business. All of us -- especially the Jesuits and BC -- are lucky that he received the call to serve others. His leadership, vision and compassion will forever be a part of Boston College. We all owe him our thanks. May he rest in peace.