I am already getting questions about my criticism of Gene and being asked why I am not more critical of Jags. I’ll let it all play out before coming down one way or another. My loyalty and interest first is to BC the institution and the players who are caught in the middle. Long after Gene and Jags are gone, BC will still be there and most of the kids in that locker room will be Boston College alumni. They are the ones getting screwed.
But this is why I am frustrated with our Athletic Director and not really mad at our head coach…
The Job and Loyalty
Boston College is not a final destination job. Few jobs in any sport are. You have to be in a great spot with great support not to look elsewhere. Even if you win at unprecedented levels, fans, owners, alumni, and players get tired of the same old, same old. In my experience most coaches have thin skin and rabbit ears too. They want to be appreciated and adored and compensated. So the nature of the profession is for them to flirt with other jobs. They are people just like us and often get sucked in to the seemingly greener grass. I bet Bob Stoops and Urban Meyer will both be mentioned for NFL jobs and despite their current riches and security, both will listen. It’s ego. It’s economics. It’s the nature of the beast.
That being said, why should we expect Jags to act any differently? After TOB’s first winning season, he got involved in the North Carolina job and subsequently floated his name and/or interviewed every offseason.
I would love to have a BC lifer…our own Bobby Bowden or Joe Paterno. But those situations are rare. If we cannot have a lifer, I have no problem being a grooming stop for young, up and comers, like Coughlin and Jags and even TOB. Heck, the position becomes that much more attractive to bright young coaches if they know they can go to BC and then move onto the NFL.
I know that Jags has passed on other college jobs since he has been at BC. Although he would never say anything publicly like this, I think he would only leave BC for an NFL job. That should have been obvious to Gene when he hired an NFL guy.
Contracts, Negotiation, and Leverage
I don’t care if Jags had an iron-clad contract that forbid him from even watching an NFL game. The reality of the industry is that these contracts are rarely enforced and never successfully used as implements to block someone from taking another job (see Rich Rodriquez, see Bobby Petrino, etc.) Gene knows this. So Gene has choices when situations like this arise.
1. Renegotiate and give Jags more money
2. Let him talk and potentially walk
Instead he picked the nuclear option of an ultimatum. What good can come of that? You either lose your coach or keep him and have him resent you and the job. There is no coming back from an ultimatum. Even now these two might publicly save face, but do you think things will be rosy between them. Their Friday golf outings might be off for a bit..dontcha think?
Letting it go public
This is my biggest problem. Regardless of where the leak came from, it got out. Now BC has a PR nightmare that will hurt the current recruiting class, ensure short term instability and make finding a good new coach that much more difficult as long as Gene is still Athletic Director. This is not a baseball coach or a women’s basketball coach. Hardball was the wrong way to go. Gene has played his cards right in the past (ACC expansion, Cathy Inglese, TOB, the first coaching search). He may come out of this even better for it, but I am not optimistic. Even when things are going wrong, the AD should do his best to keep it all behind closed doors.
BC should have let Jags talk to the Jets and let this thing play out. I love Jags, but everyone is replaceable. BC is a great place and should be a great job. We could have found another good coach. Handling it in this way burned bridges and made the school look bad.