Thursday, May 31, 2012

Donation dilemma: to give or not to give?

May 31 marks the end of Boston College's fiscal year. If you are on BC's email list or follow BC on Facebook, I am sure you've received plenty of reminders that today is the last day to donate for the 2011-2012 school year. I don't know how far off BC is from its goal, but I know anecdotally that gifts to the Flynn Fund are down. There are always multiple factors in the decision to give to a charity, but fans and alumni unhappiness with BC athletics is having a negative affect on the Flynn Fund drive. I hate telling people how to spend their money, but I do have as suggestions for past Flynn Fund donors who are not giving this year.

1. Give to the General Fund.

BC's needs our gifts to continue its mission. The general fund covers a variety of areas. This money could trickle back to sports, but the purpose of the General fund is for BC to use the money as it sees fit. Plus even a small gift to the General fund helps the school's rankings and keeps you on the donor list.

2. Give to a named Athletic Scholarship or endowed position.

This way you can give to BC sports but not support the area of the Athletic Department that has upset you. Like the suggestion 1, this can still indirectly support the Flynn Fund, since the money from your gift rolls into the same budget as the Flynn Fund. But the intent is still there.

3. Give a conditional gift.

If you want Spaz gone or Gene gone or something else done, give BC a conditional gift. Say "I will give $XXX when Spaz steps down..." etc. BC is likely to reject this offer, but your point will be made. If enough former givers promise conditional gifts it swill send a message beyond the Athletic Department.

In full disclosure, my wife and I gave to the BC Fund in December. The size of our gift varies from year to year, but we do feel it is important to give to BC consistently.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Help Frank Chamberlain's family as he battles cancer

My enduring memory of Frank Chamberlain is a game-saving tackle he made against Syracuse in 1999. Chamberlain was a tough, hard-nosed New Jersey tackler. Although he was a Henning recruit, Chamberlain was the prototype for the type of LB TOB would recruit. Now Chamberlain is battling cancer and his family needs the BC community's support.

Dear Football Alumni:

I am passing along this information as a favor to our football alumni to deliver difficult news about a beloved member of the Boston College football family. Below is a message from Frank Chamberlin’s teammates, who are asking for assistance in helping a fellow Eagle during a difficult time:

Frank Chamberlin, Class of 2000, has been diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma [Grade III Glioma], a very serious form of brain cancer. Frank, his wife Lisa, and their three young daughters are now engaged in the struggle of their lives. While Frank has recuperated from surgery and completed currently available chemotherapy and radiation treatment, the coming weeks and months will not be easy as the family searches for other forms of treatment.

In order to help Frank and his family manage the financial burden of this health crisis, we have coordinated with the Andy K. and Friends Charitable Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 non‐profit organization that assists families experiencing recent illness, hardship, or adversity. One hundred percent of every tax deductable donation will go directly to the Chamberlin family.

We hope you will consider making a donation to help the Chamberlin family meet this health crisis. Please make your donation payable to the Andy K. and Friends Charitable Foundation, write “Frank Chamberlin‐BC” in the memo field, and mail to...

Danielle Stephens
441 Manchester Way Wyckoff, NJ 07481

While we continually update contact information for the Boston College football family, we understand that this information changes regularly. Please assist us by forwarding this letter to your Boston College football contacts via email or social media.

Boston College football has given us all so much: unexpected opportunities, important friendships, and the chance to chase our dreams. Most of all, it has made us all teammates for life. One of our teammates needs us now. Thank you in advance for your generosity.

Sincerely, The Boston College Football Family Please consider supporting Frank Chamberlin and his family during their health crisis. Once an Eagle, Always an Eagle!

Gene DeFilippo Director of Athletics Boston College

Other BC voices

As the BC blogosphere and twitterverse have grown, we all seem to be commenting on the same topics. But there are some unique voices out there that might get lost in the noise. Here are some other BC folks who at times are overlooked or not given enough credit. Follow their work for insight, passion and humor.

BCMike: twitter and BC Draft. Mike is a fellow Georgia transplant and has been active on various BC message boards and platforms for years.

Dave Levy: twitter and Heights and Lows. Dave's twitter feed is not exclusively BC sports, but it is media and sports heavy. Heights and Lows takes a more lighthearted approach to BC sports.

The Heights: twitter and tumblr. The Heights Sports section is in the middle of a great run. For the past six or seven years they've been building their depth, improving their reporting and breaking more news.

Greg Joyce: twitter. Greg will edit the Heights Sports section next football season. With the fate of Spaz, Gene and the ACC in play, the Fall will not lack for storylines or news.

Stephen Sikora: twitter. Another Heights Sports staff writer. He live tweets during games.

Austin Tedesco: twitter. Austin closed the school year with a strong Steve Donahue interview.

Prof. Ed Taylor: ETEagle Blog. CSOM Accounting Professor and die hard BC fan.

Eric Hoffses: twitter. As I've said before, I am not a fan of Eagle Action, but I am a fan of Hoffses. He is easily the best guy covering -- not just commentating on -- BC sports.

Soaring to Glory: Blog. Their individual previews of the players are worth the read.

Around the Res: Blog. They are the only ones who can get Gene to answer their questions!

I know I didn't cover everyone. If there is someone or some blog that I overlooked, please add it in the comments section.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Defilippo cancels interview with Eagle Action

For better or worse, Eagle Action has been the largest and longest-serving independent BC-focused media outlet. They've produced some great work and some equally appalling apologia over the years. Rarely have their editors or lead writers been at the forefront of BC criticism. If anything some of their writers over the years have been considered mouthpieces for certain BC coaches and personalities. That is why Gene Defilippo's decision to cancel his interview with Eagle Action is so surprising.

The interview was scheduled for last Friday with Eagle Action Founder and Publisher Mike Rutstein. Rutstein announced this today:

“Several of you had asked about my annual interview with Gene DeFilippo, which was scheduled for last Friday and which I had hoped to start posting here this week.

Unfortunately, Gene had to cancel our meeting on Friday. In talking to him today about rescheduling, it became clear that he didn't consider this to be a good time for us to sit down. I had sent him a preview of my questions and he seemed disappointed with some of the backward-looking questions about the football program. He held out the possibility of an interview in the fall when Boston College supporters would have the prospect of a new football season ahead of them.

Thanks to those of you who suggested questions for the interview. I hope to follow up in the fall."

If Gene is upset with the tone from an Eagle Action softy, what is he going to do when the Hot Seat talk heats up? Like any leader who has been held a position for 15 years, Gene has made some mistakes. If he doesn't want to address issues from the past, he should at least do it within the confines of an interview. Then he can brush off whatever Rutstein might have asked and steer the question back to his desired talking point. It is media training 101. Cancelling just looks like he has something to hide or no vision for the future.

Unless Spaz pulls a huge turnaround, he is coaching his last season at BC. If Gene wants to lead the process of hiring a new coach, he needs to be out front. He needs to show that he understands where he went wrong and what type of coach BC needs for the future. If he doesn't do that, the BC fans and boosters will just assume that Gene is going to screw up the search again.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Boston College Veterans Memorial

I tend to focus on the Boston College stories and students who make headlines. There are many deserving groups that I overlook, including the BC men and women who gave their lives serving our country. BC established a fund and on campus Memorial for these veterans. Read more about it here and visit the Memorial the next time you are on campus.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Soaring's strong previews continue and other links

Fellow BC blog Soaring to Glory is previewing the whole roster. It's a great idea and worth follow. Check out their latest on Johnathan Coleman.

ISL star Emilee Daley committed to play for BC basketball.

If Mike Slive is against the Plus+One, I don't think it will gain much traction.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Brace latest football alum to rebuke Spaz

Ron Brace took to Facebook today to vent his feelings on BC Football. It sparked a long series of comments and pointed criticism of Spaz. Other young football alumni weighed in too. With Ron's permission, I have posted screen shots of the exchanges.

Many think the fan criticism of Spaz is unfair and excessive. But you really have to worry when guys who played under Spaz are so vocal. BC and Gene rationalized and justified the Spaz hire because of the love and respect he had from the players. It didn't ring true then and now guys like Brace -- An All ACC player and Second Round Draft pick -- are defending Jags and slamming Spaz.

Brace doesn't speak for all football alumni nor the current players. Who knows? Perhaps the new assistants are bringing a new attitude and new energy to the team. My guess is they're not and many current players have checked out on their head coach. College Football is a tough, emotional sport. To succeed you need player buy-in and guys going in the same direction. I don't think we have that under Spaz. The Hot Seat is going to be scorching come Fall.

Spaz talking about the season and other links

Spaz made a rare offseason media appearance and talked continuity as a key to success.

Kelli Stack was named named the 2012 Bob Allen Women's Player of the Year by USA Hockey.

Tony Barnhart has a plan for fixing the ACC.

Former Eagle Dan Koppen is ready to make an impact in the NFL again.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

TV Rights Q&A with sports lawyer Timothy Epstein

There has been so much speculation on the ACC TV contract, that ESPN felt the need to post a press release explaining and defending the deal. BC guy Tim Epstein specializes in sports law. He is familiar with standard TV rights deals and has some knowledge of the ACC TV deal. To get a better understanding of the situation and the ACC's options, I asked him the following questions. His answers follow.

1. Why would the ACC give the Commissioner the right to agree to a deal without their approval? Is this common among college conferences?

Tim Epstein: With the TV deals, these were unanimously approved by the schools. There is an ACC television committee among the members. There is no carte blanche given to the Commissioner to get a deal done. When expansion was agreed upon in September, this was done by the school presidents. They agreed upon the expansion knowing that money would be adjusted relative to the existing ESPN deal. Any specific details get floated to the television committee after the big picture is decided by the presidents (in consultation with the ADs, financial consultants, and legal).

2. Do the schools have the right to veto the agreement? Is a simple majority needed to ratify the deal?

Tim Epstein: I am sure that the response from both the ACC and ESPN would be that a right to veto is moot here since there was unanimous approval on the initial deal. Each conference has voting procedures set out in its constitution or bylaws, but these are not usually readily available to the public, so it is difficult to know what is “common” amongst the conferences in terms of voting. Since the ACC Bylaws are available for purchase, but not for free viewing, it would be inappropriate for me to cite to the specific bylaws. One example that has been brought out in public by ESPN is the Big Ten’s process of voting in Nebraska a couple of years ago. Pursuant to Big Ten Bylaws, acceptance of Nebraska into the Conference required an affirmative vote of seventy percent of membership, voted on by the presidents and chancellors of the member schools. You could extrapolate something similar for TV revenue.

3. Even though the ACC is in a long term deal with ESPN that includes "look ins" why can't they sue ESPN for bad faith? This deal is clearly undermarket but because the ACC doesn't have a true out, they can't shop their rights to NBC/Comcast, FOX, or CBS.

Tim Epstein: While there may be disappointment in the deal, there were financial consultants involved who would place the ACC deal above true market. There are timing aspects of other deals. This is undermarket relative to Pac-12, but again this is not necessarily apples to apples. The Pac-12 might actually be an overpayment. Keep in mind that course of dealing with ESPN has been good for the ACC. The ACC hired multiple financial consultants on this deal, so it was not done without knowledge.

Even though some may view this deal as disadvantageous to the ACC and its member schools, the ACC probably does not have a valid claim for bad faith against ESPN for a number of reasons. Primarily, while this contract (15 years, $3.6 billion) may fall short of the other four power conferences’ TV deals; it is by no means unfair or unconscionable from a substantive perspective. As the examples of Syracuse and Pittsburgh demonstrate, the ACC is still an attractive location for schools, in large part due to its television revenue. Just because the contract is not ostensibly on par with the Big Ten, SEC, Pac 12 and Big XII does not mean that the ACC is getting an unfair shake here. Revenues upward of $17 million per school per year would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

From a procedural point of view, a bad faith or unconscionability claim is equally weak. ESPN has broadcast ACC content since its inception in 1979, and the two entities have maintained a strong relationship since that time. This relationship hurts the ACC’s chances of proving bad faith, because the network has historically proved quite advantageous to the Conference, and the working relationship creates a presumption that the dealings were conducted at arms-length. It is not at all uncommon for business entities that have contracted for a long period of time to pay for goods or services slightly below market rate in order to maintain the strong relationship. Moreover, as was stated in the question, ESPN does not have a monopoly on the broadcast of collegiate athletics. The ACC could have looked to NBC/Comcast, FOX, or CBS as an alternative to the contract it signed with ESPN. The Conference chose not to do so, and instead, signed this deal.

I think that people are focusing on the additional members being a change in material circumstances as a reason to renegotiate the deal. That is true, which is why different numbers are in with the entrance of new members, but people simply want these numbers higher. That brings us to valuation, which intelligent minds will differ on whether the new numbers on the May 9th ESPN deal are at, below, or above market.

4. Why are we still at the stage where the conferences allow ESPN to poach member schools? I know the ACC has been guilty of it in the past, but I could never understand the ESPN angle. For example, ESPN was paying $7 million for the rights to Syracuse Football. Now they will pay $17 million. Florida State is getting $17 million but might get $25 million in the Big XII. ESPN knows this and knows what it will pay in the new conference. Shouldn't the conferences build in some sort of protection so their main supplier doesn't manipulate membership?

Tim Epstein: This question requires a few separate responses that may be a bit disjointed. Initially, I think ESPN's influence on conferences is a bit overstated. The conferences surely recognize that bigger is better, and conference realignment is a direct result of the drive to increase television revenues, but to suggest that ESPN is actually dictating the movement of institutions is misguided. At most, ESPN can say, “if you add member school X, we will pay you Y.” While money talks, conference affiliation is still a decision made by university presidents and chancellors, and one would hope that academic and non-football considerations still come into play. Also, the Syracuse example focuses too much on the small picture. Syracuse may be earning a greater share of revenue as a result of its move, but ESPN is not paying the school $10 million more per year just so it can broadcast Syracuse football. ESPN and the ACC are looking at the big picture -- ESPN is paying this sum for the rights to broadcast all ACC football, and the Conference is undoubtedly more attractive as a fourteen team conference than the current Big East is as a cross-continental amalgamation of schools. This, and an academic upgrade, is why Syracuse left, and this is why ESPN is paying.

One must also not forget that Syracuse and Pittsburgh make ACC basketball all the more attractive as well because the schools will play regular matchups with traditional powerhouses like UNC and Duke. Obviously football reigns, but in the ACC especially, basketball cannot go unnoticed. Finally, the conferences do have some level of protection against schools exiting in the way of exit fees and waiting periods. The Big East, for example, just voted to raise that fee from $5 million to $10 million. Again though, this protection is more against schools leaving in general.

While ESPN has a great deal of market power, it is not the sole supplier of college football, and cannot really manipulate schools other than by offering economic incentives. From the ACC’s point of view, its strongest protection against departure of member institutions could be more success on the field. Its traditional top football programs ( Miami and Florida State ) have not faired well on the national stage, and this has hurt the Conference’s attractiveness to its suppliers (read ESPN). This perceived weakness has only exacerbated the problem, as now, schools like Florida State are worried that the ACC will no longer be viewed as a “top-tier” conference, and thus, the Big XII has become a viable alternative from a football-centric perspective. So for Florida State, it has really made its own bed by underperforming as a national power in football, thus potentially adversely affecting the price ESPN was willing to pay for the ACC as a whole.

Finally, $25 million is not something that I have seen justification for. The only fact out of the Big 12 is that the average of the deal comes out to $20 million per year. This does not start until 2015. These are graduated deals. For the ACC, the whole length of the deal is $17 million plus, but a different formulation puts the ACC at $19 million. So, you could really be talking about another million per year if a school went to the Big XII. ESPN has no interest in creating a have-not conference when they have created a have in the ACC. The ACC is probably the most balanced from markets, geography, sports, and academics. My read is that TV values are maybe 30% of athletic budgets at this point. It is big, but not everything. The SEC gets more than the ACC, and deserves more for football. The Big 10 got a big investor at the right time, and you could say the same for the Pac-12, so timing factors in. Those conferences also get more rights from their members than the ACC gets from its membership in areas to monetize. I love BC, but in terms of football, the ACC does not have the same value from a branding standpoint, particularly with FSU and Miami being down recently.

ACC will do anything to keep FSU

Earlier I said that the only thing that could save the ACC was ESPN. When the Big XII was set to fall apart, ESPN came in and appeased Texas and held the coalition together. It doesn't appear like they will do the same for Florida State and the ACC. I think this is shortsighted on their part, but I don't think anyone in Bristol or Tallahassee seems to care. Now with the Plus+1 format back in play power is definitely consolidating. As I said before, if Florida State leaves it would set off a chain reaction and the ACC would splinter. I don't think most ACC members wants that. I don't even know if Florida State wants that. But money and survival trump all. However, the ACC can save the conference and keep Florida State. But they need to act quickly and pull every lever possible.

Uneven revenue sharing
The other teams are going to have to pay Florida State to stick around. However unfair it might seem, that is the reality. I am sure they will create calculations to rationalize the new splits, but at the end of the day FSU is going to demand the biggest share of the pie. And that is going to come from schools like Wake, Pitt BC and Syracuse. I don't like the idea and think it is a slippery slope, but I know that it is on the table. It is the price the smaller schools will pay to have a seat in a power conference. (And once FSU pulls that off, look for the power players in the other conferences to do the same. How long do you think Ohio State wants to split their money evenly with Iowa? etc.)

Turn the Orange Bowl into an elite Bowl
With the Plus+1 back on the table and the four power conferences paired off, congressional oversight might rear its ugly head again. That means that the Big Boys will need to throw a bone to the Have Nots. The Orange Bowl is also in danger of becoming a second tier bowl. If the ACC and the Orange Bowl want to stay relevant they need to find an opponent who provides relevancy. They should commit to taking the highest ranked at large team every year to play the ACC Champ. In some years that might be a Boise. In others the second place team from the Big Ten or SEC. But whoever it is needs to provide a ratings boost to the ACC Champion. In this scenario an 11-1 Florida State team might play a 11-1 LSU team or a 12-0 Boise State. The winner of that game would probably jump a two-loss team that might win from the Rose or Champions Bowl.

Play the Basketball card
With new conference shift, the big schools are closer and closer to leaving the NCAA. That would mean huge money deals. While basketball is secondary, the new power schools will want a basketball tournament. ESPN would want to broadcast that tournament and have let it be known that they would want Duke, UNC and Syracuse part of that tournament. FSU might cringe at basketball reasserting itself, but will the Noles really care as long as they have the money and access they want.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Family recruits not coming to BC and other links

First Chase Rettig's brother committed to LSU. Today Jeff Commissiong's cousin committed to Georgia Tech. Combine that with Bosa's commitment to Ohio State a few weeks back and you see that BC missed out on a few players that should have been ours. These types of recruits have access to what is going on at BC and have a built in affinity to the program. I wonder if these folks with ties to BC are either worried about Spaz's future or the mood around the program.

BC promoted Acacia Walker from assistant to Head Women's Lacrosse Coach. Congrats to her, but I do wonder why we are promoting assistants of coaches we just fired. If the assistance had the solutions wouldn't the head coach have more success.

Heights and Lows posted the first look at the Alumni Stadium renovations.

This might be the best column on the Florida State's unhappiness and who is to blame.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Q&A with Brian Foley from College Baseball Daily

While I've expressed my disappointment in this season's BC baseball team, my perspective is more emotional and uninformed. To get a better feel for what happened and what expectations should have been, I asked Brian Foley from College Baseball Daily about the team and its future. Because he focuses on college baseball and is a BC grad, I think Brian holds a unique perspective on our team. My questions and his answers are below.

1. BC just completed another losing season. Although expectations weren't high, did you expect the team to be more competitive? Losing to some mediocre northern schools surprised me as did the inconsistency in ACC play.

Brian Foley: I expected Boston College to win eight ACC games this year and finish last in the conference based on the talent level in the lineup and on the mound. The losing to the "Northern" programs is due to the fact that the pitching was still not up to ACC caliber on the weekends which pushed guys that are "midweek" guys into pitching in conference matchups. They need to get stronger on the bump.

2. Seven players graduate. Who will be the biggest hole to fill?

Brian Foley: Melchionda is the biggest hole to fill in the lineup. He played a solid shortstop defensively but was extremely limited in his range so they will get better on defense with whoever takes over at short.

3. How do you feel about Gambino's recruiting so far?

Brian Foley: Gambino is known for being a diehard recruiter and next season's incoming freshman class is loaded with impact bats including Lexington MA third baseman/RHP Christopher Shaw and Fullerton, CA catcher Stephen Sauter to name a few.

4. What should our expectations be for next season? When will BC have a winning season again?

Brian Foley: The expectations for next season are to compete for an NCAA Regional spot if they freshman come in and make an impact. BC will have a winning season next year and be a bubble team. I put my word on it. This will be Gambino's first season with HIS recruits.

Monday, May 21, 2012

ESPN is the only thing that can save the ACC as we know it

Florida State is frustrated and ready to move. As a matter of self-preservation another ACC school will jump to the Big XII with them (Miami, Clemson, Georgia Tech) and then all the ACC teams will scramble in another game of musical chairs. (Maryland and Virginia to the Big Ten? NC State and Virginia Tech to the SEC?) If this happens, it will be ESPN's fault. And ESPN's will pay dearly for it. They will pay in increased rights fees and loss of control. The worldwide leader in sports has the chance to hit the brakes and preserve their investment and control in the ACC, but based on the actions out of Bristol, no one there seems to see the big picture.

Here are the factors in play, what ESPN can do and why they should act.

Money and ACC parity
Issue: Every time the ACC signs an ESPN TV deal, it is outdated and below market before the ink is dry. This naturally causes resentment among the members and puts them behind their competitors in other conferences. ESPN probably feels blameless in this area. They are not forcing the ACC to sign these deals. They can't help the timing. It's not ESPN's fault that the ACC leaders are playing checkers while the other conferences play chess. But ESPN needs to preserve the ACC deal. They have a partner that is 100% in bed with them. ACC games are going to fill ESPN3 and ESPNU. The conference is willing to play in timeslots where ESPN needs programming and provide reliable ratings.
Resolution: ESPN needs to get Florida State, Clemson and whoever else has wandering eyes in a room together with the rest of the ACC. They need to revise the ACC deal again only this time with some sort of parity clause. Allow that the ACC TV payout will always be within X% of the top conference deal and always X% above the average of the major conferences. This may seem like a huge pill to swallow for ESPN. But instead of getting a discount on ACC games, they should be paying a premium. This is their only exclusive partnership in major college sports. That has value. Whatever money they give up in the deal they will make back in other areas.

Access to the playoff
Issue: The ACC cannot be left out of the playoff. Because the other conferences are aggressive and forward looking, they are dictating the size and shape of the new four-team playoff. ESPN has stated that they want to run and broadcast any playoff. ACC teams are scared less about the bowls and more about never having access to the playoff.
Resolution: If ESPN does want to run that show, they need to provide assurances that ACC will have the same level of access and ability to qualify as the Big Ten, Big XII, Pac 12 and SEC.

Third Tier Rights/ACC Network
Issue: Three conferences have their own network and the SEC is about to form one. The ACC is the only "major" conference without one. I don't think ACC fans care about a conference network. I think this issue, like many is about perception and money.
Resolution: If ESPN had to placate Texas by forming the Longhorn Network, they may have to do the same with the ACC.

Since the ACC does a terrible job championing their own case, let me sum up all the facts and hope that ESPN steps back and sees what is at stake.
1. In similar timeslots on ESPN Networks, ACC Football delivers bigger ratings than Big XII or Pac 12 games.
2. If Florida State and any other schools leave the ACC, ESPN will have to pay more for their TV rights AND have less content (as some of those games will move to FOX or other cable channels).
3. The PAC 12 has taken back first tier rights. An expanded Big XII will try to do the same. CBS has first tier rights to the SEC. The Big Ten's deal is up in 2016. They will attempt to take back first tier rights too. The only conference where ESPN controls first tier rights is with the ACC. As ESPN sees the best games moved off of their channels to others, a strong ACC led by Florida State is a great insurance policy. If ESPN doesn't act, all the good Florida State, Miami, Clemson, Virginia Tech, Duke and North Carolina games will be on other networks.

The ACC created this mess, but ESPN gladly signed them up for deals that they knew were undermarket. No one ever wants to fork over more money when they don't have to. I don't expect ESPN to save the day this time around...and that probably means the end of the ACC as we know it. Hopefully someone in Bristol will see what needs to be done and protect their investment in the ACC.

Recruiting news and other links

BC recently offered Florida linebacker Nick Internicola. The distance to Boston might not be a tough sell though since Internicola is a Massachusetts native. BC also targeted Florida prospects Kevin Maurice and Jeff Badet.

The baseball team won their season finale. They finished the season 22-33 (10-20 in conference) and did not qualify for the ACC Tournament.

With the goal scoring and media attention, Chris Kreider is going to be the most popular Ranger by the end of the playoffs.

Soaring to Glory is previewing every returning player. Today's feature: Spiffy Evans.

Will Class of 2012's graduation change our mojo?

It used to be fun to cheer for Boston College. Yet we all know things changed. Our once lovable overachieving teams became boring. We lost our free spirit, go for broke attitude. Games became a chore. Some blame Gene D. I've forgiven him and moved on to a new group to blame: the BC class of 2012!

It might not seem fair to blame new college grads for the plight of our sports, but who said life was fair? This is what I know: our teams were fun until they got here. When these kids were applying for college BC was the No. 2 team in the country. We won bowl games annually. Once the '12ers arrived, things seemed normal. We made the ACC Championship again. But we lost the big game again. And then saw our bowl streak end. We also saw our teams miss the NCAA basketball tournament and saw more coaching turnover than anyone could have predicted.

Defenders of the class of 2012 will claim that BC hockey's never been better. Multiple National Championships and a trophy case of Beanpot and Hockey East titles are nice, but are we really going to give them credit for it? I just think Jerry York's super powers include deflecting 2012's evil spirits!

Speeches today will pat the class of 2012 on their back for their accomplishments. Speakers will tell them to go out and change the world. You won't hear that from me. I want them to apologize.

I hope the incoming freshmen bring a new vibe to BC sports. I would suggest a punishment for the new grads, but being a BC fan provides enough punishment as is.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Key quotes from New York Times article on conference shakeup

I still think reactions to the Big XII-SEC Bowl game was overblown. I found Pete Thamel's article the most evenhanded. Here are a few bits that stood out to me:

The Big 12, which has 10 teams, will eventually want to grow back to 12. Florida State would pine to keep its football relevance. (The twist, of course, is that the A.C.C.’s national irrelevance can basically be traced to the struggles of Florida State and Miami, which could be the top targets to be poached.) Don’t expect any major moves until a playoff plan is settled.
The ACC has options and some leverage. If Florida State bails before the playoff plan is laid out, that is on them. I hope the ACC is acting aggressively. I am less concerned with money and most concerned with playoff access.
This union will probably create tiers of college football. The four-team playoff that has been discussed would make up the first tier. The next tier would be this game, known as the Champions Bowl, and the Rose Bowl. While neither game would have the cachet of the national semifinal and national title games, they could be put in favorable time slots on New Year’s Day and considered the best leftovers.

This new bowl is essentially the NIT. Why would Florida State leave over access to the NIT? If it is a money issue, the ACC can form a new bowl too. Play the No. 2/No. 3 Big Ten team in the Meadowlands every year. On at FedexField! We have access to big markets and big stadiums. This is not a big deal if cooler heads prevail.

The ACC has made some short sighted deals and seen its best teams play lousy football on the biggest stages. That's in the past. If we get out-maneuvered on these deals, then its on the ACC to join the have nots and the NCAA to form a true playoff.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Not caring about the latest conference speculation and other links

Heights and Lows found bro'd out Eagle hat a few weeks ago. It's Friday. It's graduation weekend. It's time to celebrate, so I figured it was time to bust out the bro hat.

The Big XII and SEC announced a bowl game and generated another round of the ACC's sky is falling/Florida State is leaving event hand handwringing. As I tweeted, I am not worried. The playoffs will expand and will include other teams. There is just too much money left on the table for it not to happen.

Spaz had good things to say to HD. She also thinks Rettig will adapt well to the new system.

Steve Flynn -- an invited football walkon from Central Massachusetts -- is having a strong baseball season.

BC makes change with Women's Lax

Laxpower reported that BC has fired Women's Lacrosse coach Bowen Holden. I know very little about Women's Lacrosse so I cannot judge much about Holden's skills or coaching. Although she had a winning record, the team struggled in ACC play.

Like other BC coaching mistakes, Holden was very young and had no prior head coaching experience. I know BC doesn't have big athletic budgets, but there is no reason we cannot find more experienced candidates for our openings. The idea to catch the next great coach before anyone else involves a lot of risk. BC shouldn't have to take that risk. We can bring great coaches to BC.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Game times announced and other links

BC and the ACC announced the kickoff times for our first two home games. Miami will start at 3:30 and will be shown on ESPN2 or regionally on ABC. The Maine game will start at 1 PM and be available on ESPN3.

Chase Rettig's old QB coach had some insight into his development.

HD is back from her leave and thinks our game against Miami is crucial for building momentum.

Presnap read further explains his stance on BC. It is another tough read. What is interesting though is that he is so critical in part because of our prior success, self inflicted wounds and that we still have upside. But the unlikely upside makes it all more depressing.

Baseball dropped their first game against Duke.

The Hockey team's celebration tour took them to the Capitol.

The future of BC's uniforms

While the rest of the ACC bloggers debate about FSU's departure, I am going to fret about another hypothetical. Grantland posted a great article on the future of corporate logos on sports uniforms. Logos are commonplace on sports jerseys around the world and in other sports (like NASCAR), but have not been a factor in the major, professional U.S. sports. Grantland predicts the NBA and NHL will have some variant soon. What the article did not broach was if college teams will add logos in the near future. My guess is they will and that raises many questions.

For anyone doubting that some college will eventually try the logo concept, all you need to do is look how willingly college teams embrace "combat" jerseys and other marketing ploys related to their uniforms. Is wearing some ridiculous contraption from Nike (or Under Armour) all that different from having a sports drink logo plastered on a shoulder of a uniform?

I doubt BC would ever be the first to try this idea, but we won't be the last. Once an few ACC teams or at least two of the Boston pro teams make the move you can count on BC to follow. This could be worth millions to the program. Aesthetically I wouldn't like it but I am sure I would get used to the idea. But what brands would we want to be associated with? Giant Glass and BMW of Peabody are great supporters of BC sports, but does that mean we have to have them out in front of the University's most public students?

Paying athletes also becomes an issue. It is hard enough to justify their amateur status now, but how can you when their uniforms become billboards? Schools could spin the endorsement: "those sponsors cover the cost of Title IX sports." The rebuttal is obviously that AT&T doesn't pay to be on the softball uniforms that no one sees.

College sports are changing. The money pouring in and the decisions being made will force schools like BC to readdress what our athletic mission truly is. I am not advocating that we become a Holy Cross. I still think athletics are a great tool and outlet for BC. But we need to start being more honest with ourselves and be prepared to answer the tough questions like should our students be walking ads for anything other than the school?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

ESPN defends ACC deal, big hockey donation and other links

Given the growing criticism of the new ACC deal, ESPN felt the need to defend and explain the specifics of the agreement. What's interesting is that Syracuse and Pitt triggered the opportunity to evaluate the deal but was not a contracted "out" of the old deal. Still my point from yesterday holds true: ESPN needs to keep the ACC at parity with the other conference.

An anonymous donor gave BC a $5 million donation to to turn the hockey head coach position into a endowed job. I think this shows BC Development team that success in sports can open up wallets. BC is losing money ever day that Spaz is in charge.

This preview of the football team is spot on, very candid and depressing.

The ACC and Big Ten announced the pairings for the Challenge. BC will face Pen State on Wednesday November 28th.

Baseball lost to Maine 9-4 on Monday. The final series of the season begins Thursday against Duke.

Spaz believes the new playoff needs to have conference winners.

ESPN3 is the ACC network and that's the problem

The ACC seems vulnerable and is dealing with unhappy members because of the new TV deal. All the gripes relate to money and third tier rights. As with most unhappy partnerships both sides are not seeing the value of the other. ESPN and the ACC can make ESPN3 one of the most viable new distribution platforms in TV and the Internet. But to do so, ESPN needs to revise the ACC deal again and pay a premium for the ACC's third tier rights.

ESPN3 is the perfect network

New sports networks have had varied levels of success in their distribution. ESPN3 hasn't had the same political or financial hurdles because they are dealing with Internet Service Providers and not cable and satellite companies. Most major ISPs carry the network and have for a few years.

I've complained like everyone else about having to watch games on my laptop, but technology is making that less of an issue. There are a variety of streaming devices and gaming systems that enable putting ESPN3 on a big screen. As ESPN continues to invest in ESPN3 the production quality will be as good as any traditional channel and seamless from a Big Ten Network or Pact 12 Network production. And unlike those other networks, ACC content would be still within the ESPN network so the conference will benefit from ESPN's cross promotion and massive audience.

ESPN can make ESPN3 the biggest Internet Channel available. It can be bigger than Hulu or MLBTV. And that is big for the ACC. While the other college networks can pushed to a sports tier, the ACC can be the center piece of ESPN's biggest innovation since ESPN2.

ESPN3 is not a money machine

Where the ACC suffers is in revenue allocation from ESPN3. The Big Ten Network collects approximately $1 per cable subscribers in Big Ten markets. ESPN3 collects an undisclosed amount per ISP subscriber for ESPN3. But regardless if ESPN3 collects $1 per subscriber, that money is not exclusively for the ACC. Why share all that revenue with the ACC when EPSN can claim that some of those subscribers are more interested in the other programming on ESPN3 like soccer or tennis or auto racing? If the ACC had its own network or had built one with the Pac 12, that revenue division would be less opaque.

Now ESPN has plenty of cash. They have their cable revenue and enormous ad sales that the Big Ten or Pac 12 networks cannot approach. With that track record and advantage, ESPN will probably turn ESPN3 into a cash cow too. But because it's not one now, the ACC suffers.

ESPN needs to save the conference

I am sure ESPN viewed their new deal with the ACC as fair. Since they were bidding against themselves, I imagine they didn't feel the need to break records. But that conservative approach clearly backfired. Florida State is unhappy and ready to join the Big 12. Some would say that ESPN doesn't care, because as a member of the Big 12, ESPN would still have rights to plenty of Florida State games. But if ESPN let's Florida State leave they will be losing a valuable asset. The ACC is exclusive to ESPN. That bond should have a premium.

We'll find out more about the ACC's future this summer. The likely outcome is a breakup. I hope everyone slows down, because the ACC's partnership could be fantastic. But no one seems to see the big picture.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dragicevich transfers to BC officially

When we last blogged about Alex Dragicevich he was denying reports that he had committed to Boston College. Now his transfer is public and official. All my original comments on his transfer still hold. It's a good sign to get a transfer from Notre Dame and he has the type of game to thrive under Donahue. The bad news is that he cannot play next year and makes our class of 2015 very, very crowded. If Donahue doesn't get some scholarship balance, he will have a huge rebuilding project in three years.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Feldman on Spaz and other links

Bruce Feldman's Friday Mailbag had a few different BC angles this week. Feldman considers Spaz -- along with Mack Brown -- to have the hottest seats in college football. The less obvious tie to BC comes via Feldman's lead on San Jose State Coach Mike MacIntyre. Bruce predicts MacIntyre will be one of the hot names on the coaching front next year. Could he be a candidate at BC? I don't know, but his past relationship with John DeFilippo won't hurt his chances.

The Orlando Sentinel is the latest publication to think BC will struggle this year. They ranked us 94th overall.

BC target and NJ running back Gerald Towns-Owens already has offers from BC and Rutgers.

In honor of Mother's Day, ESPN posted a feature on Mark Herzlich and his mother.

A double Eagle plays peacemaker between BC-UConn

They said "only Nixon could go to China" so perhaps only a BC guy could solve UConn's BC problem. Connecticut's Governor Dan Malloy (a BC and BC Law Grad) reached out to Father Leahy to help resolve the longtime feud between BC and his homestate's University of Connecticut. Malloy claims he wants the two schools to start playing each other again. Because of our expanded ACC schedule, there just aren't that many opportunities for the two schools to play. BC knows this. UConn knows this. Malloy is a smart guy (obviously!). He must realize that the schedules are crowded. Given he's smart guy and all that's happened in college sports the past few months, I think Malloy's olive branch is less about scheduling and more about future ACC expansion.

The ACC is saving a spot for Notre Dame. IF the Irish ever come to the ACC, the conference would need one more team for scheduling purposes. On paper the most likely candidates for the last spot are UConn and Rutgers. Rutgers has the better recruiting and marketing demographics. UConn has the better athletic tradition...and more enemies. Their biggest enemy has been Gene and BC. If UConn ever wants to get into the ACC, they need to turn BC from an enemy to an advocate.

I am sure Malloy loves both schools, but this isn't about good games. It's about protecting UConn's athletic future and Malloy is probably just thinking ahead.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kuechly signs, Pats promotions and other links

Carolina signed Luke Kuechly to a four-year contract worth $12.58 million.

The Patriots promoted a bunch of current staffers. This relates to BC because we will be making a coaching change in the near future. BC alum Brian Flores is now the Safeties coach. He's still way too raw to be a Spaz replacement in 2013, but I wouldn't mind him as an defensive staffer with an associate Head Coach title. Also important is George Godsey. He's an interesting fit because he's played at an ACC school and was a recruiting coordinator at UCF. He could also be a good fit at BC in some capacity.

BC has more competition for Florida athlete Marcus Davis. BC is still well positioned for CT QB Tim Doyle.

The Sporting News' coaching rankings put Spaz at No. 110.

CFN ranked BC 79th overall.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

What the ACC's new TV deal means

The ACC and ESPN announced a revised TV deal today. It extends and enriches the current deal until 2027. This was overdue since the market has shifted in the two years since the ACC and ESPN last signed. In 2010, the ACC's deal was second only to the SEC. Since then the Big Ten and Pac 12 received monster deals and the Big 12 is also expected to sign a huge deal. One of the big reasons the Conference added Syracuse and Pitt was to trigger a clause that allowed for renegotiation. Under the new deal each team will receive $17 million annually. Here are the big (and somewhat expected) changes:

Friday Night Lights I've been saying for a long time that this was coming. Not only will the ACC be playing on Friday nights, but BC will be at the center piece of this. Why? Because it makes too much sense not to play in those games. The WAC and Big East have been playing on Fridays for at least five years now and getting big ratings. With the NFL invading Thursdays and with the Pac 12 and SEC willing to play on Thursdays, Friday is now one of the lone spots where the ACC can get true national attention. The argument against playing Fridays is that the coaches lose a chance to watch high school games and that it is tough to fill your stadiums. I think the branding tradeoff is worth it for BC. Maybe we can even turn Friday nights into events and extend tailgating hours.

Under the deal, BC will host a game annually on a Friday. Syracuse will also host a annual Friday game too. Plus the conference committed an annual game on the Friday after Thanksgiving. So in some years BC could be playing in as many as three Friday games (at home, at Syracuse and at another ACC team on Thanksgiving weekend).

18-game basketball schedule The ACC already announced this plan, but now ESPN is officially paying a premium for the extra two conference games. The extra games help our wallet and RPI ratings but hurt scheduling flexibility. We will see fewer non-conference games.

A place at the table This is not in the contract but implied in the deal. Right now the ACC is the only major conference that has all of its media rights tied to ESPN. ESPN will be a driving factor in the evolving bowl and playoff scenarios. There is no way they are going to devalue all this ACC inventory by have the ACC shunned from the championships. If automatic qualifiers are part of the playoff, the ACC will be included.

I would prefer that the ACC had its own outlet like the other conferences. Being so aligned with ESPN limits some cool opportunities, but it is a great insurance policy. This deal offers short-term cash and stability and will probably be adjusted within the next five years.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Under Armour overlooking BC in new t-shirt rollout

I hoped that when BC signed with Under Armour that it would mean more aggressive merchandising and licensing. Based on Under Armour's own website, BC is either old news or undesired.

Now these t-shirts aren't my tastes and BC's doesn't have the fanbases of some UA schools, but there is no reason they couldn't produce a BC version. UA is selling Loyola, USF, Temple and Marquette and not selling a BC version of this t-shirt. Why? Have BC sales been so poor that we are no longer part of design rollouts?

Because most of the college licensing products are made in batches, a manufacturer is taking a risk any time they make a bunch. But there is also a chicken and an egg element to the sales. How are they going to sell any BC gear if they don't make BC gear?

I love my BC Under Armour fleece and my BC Under Armour sweatshirt. But that doesn't excuse UA from leaving BC off of their own website. One of the reasons we selected Under Armour as our partner was so we would be one of their few colleges instead of one of many Nike schools. UA needs to promote and include BC in all of their releases and BC needs to stay on top of the relationship so that we are not ignored.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Checking in on Mass prospects

With the commitment of Mackay Lowrie and the Massachusetts High School FCA Combine over the weekend, I thought it might be a good time to check BC's status with the top players in Massachusetts. Spaz has found it increasingly difficult to keep the best local players in state. If he is going to turn things around, it will be with a foundation of Massachusetts talent. Rivals gave the following members of the 2013 recruiting class ratings and rankings.

1. Maurice Hurst Jr. He's at a BC friendly program and in a position of need. Yet he barely mentioned BC in the ESPN article. He's got offers from everyone. BC will have to really start selling to get among his finalists.

2. John Montelus. Already committed to Notre Dame. Maybe if Brian Kelly has a terrible season and Notre Dame makes another coaching change, we can poach him. For now I would assume he's solidly Irish.

3. Tevin Montgomery. Another DT from a local private school. The elite programs have not offered yet so I think BC has a real chance. Hopefully BC can close him before he attracts attention from other schools.

This list is short. I imagine that as Rivals ranks more Mass players BC will be on their lists. Keep track of where Rivals ranks Lowrie. The unheralded ISL prospect may get a boost now that he's headed to BC.

Appropriate end for Lou Montgomery's story

Based on the media coverage, I assume I am one of many BC outlets who were pitched by supporters of Lou Montgomery. They initially reached out to me in April. I avoided the issue and story altogether because they wanted my support in renaming Alumni Stadium after Montgomery. While Montgomery certainly blazed trails, I didn't think BC should or needed to rename Alumni. In fact I've always liked the idea of "Alumni" being the name of our largest gathering place and high-profile building. Now I am in agreement with BCI in that retiring Montgomery's number is a nice conclusion to this recent attention. It's something BC has reserved for only a few football players and it ensures that Montgomery's legacy will never be overlooked. Hopefully the BC fans and students will give the Montgomery family an appreciative standing ovation when Lou is honored this fall.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Can Martin make Chase Rettig better?

I don't blame Chase Rettig for our offensive problems. Behind a better offensive line or with consistency from his offensive coordinator, the results could be very different for him. I predict that Rettig will make significant progress this year under Doug Martin. But how much progress should we expect? To get a better understanding I tried to measure that last two times Martin took over an offense as an offensive coordinator/play caller. The most recent example was last season at New Mexico State. Prior to that, Martin's last Year 1 rebuilding job was as offensive coordinator under Dean Pees at Kent State in 2003. I didn't get into Martin's years at ECU because Steve Logan was calling the plays and I didn't consider Martin's time as Head Coach at Kent State as he was recruiting to his own system, not trying to make an inherited player better.

New Mexico State 2011 After seven seasons as Head Coach in Kent State, Martin did not waste any time getting back into football. He took the OC job at New Mexico State last year with the hope of sparking their offense. He inherited Matt Christian as quarterback. A Senior, Christian started as a JR after transferring from Junior College. As a JUCO Christian completed 58% of his passes. In his Junior year at NMSU, he completed just 49.6% of his passes and threw 7 TDs and 6 INTs. Under Martin, Christian showed solid improvement. His accuracy improved to 52.3% and he also improved his TD/INT ratio to 15/8. That seems pretty mundane, but when you consider a 5.44% improvement in accuracy and a 114% improvement in TDs, that sort of spike could help Rettig.

Kent State 2003 Josh Cribbs was a phenom before Doug Martin got to Kent State. But entering his JR year (2003) Cribbs needed to bounce back from a sophomore slump (48.9% completion percentage, 4 TD/14 INT). Under Martin's tutelage Cribbs improved his efficiency and productivity even though his completion percentage remained flat. He completed 48.9% in 2003 but improved his yardage by 1410 yards and his TD/INT ration to 14/9. But even though it wasn't in Martin's first year, Cribbs also showed that an inaccurate passer can improve dramatically as he completed 64.5% of his passes as a senior.

Regardless of the coaching Rettig should get better next year. Most of our playmakers returns and the offensive line can't get much worse. Martin might not be a miracle worker, but there's nothing to suggest he's going to screw Rettig up. At this point all we are asking for his some excitement and a little hope.

Baseball loses to UNC and other links

After sitting through a long rain delay, baseball lost to North Carolina. The teams finish their series Sunday at noon.

BC offered a scholarship to California OL Alex Redmond.

Softball earned their first win over UNC in 17 games.

Do you remember Graham Stewart. He committed to BC last year and then switched to Florida. Now he is coming back to New England to play for UConn.

From a few days ago: time running out for Spaz. And the Sporting News thinks he's the worst coach in the ACC. Our recruits understand that Spaz is under pressure.

This is not BC specific, but read this on Manny Diaz. It shows how the bend but don't break philosophy works well in the modern game.

For any of you who tweet with potential prospects, this Ohio State situation shows how it can turn badly.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Lowrie commits to BC

Spaz added a QB to his 2013 recruiting class. Roxbury Latin's Mackay Lowrie committed to Boston College Friday. Mackay is under the radar nationally, but has been in touch with our coaching staff since at least last season. He's got the right size to play the position. The biggest question is his ability to play in the ACC. Roxbury Latin is not an elite program and no other FBS school has offered him a scholarship. Supposedly we will take multiple quarterbacks in this class, but this will not excite the recruiting gurus. Regardless, it's always nice to get a local kid on board. Best of luck to Mackay.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Scholarships and Spaz

Maryland is currently under NCAA sanction due to their failing APR score. They are only allowed 82 scholarships this season. Urban Meyer is designing his entire recruiting plan and rebuilding plan around the Buckeyes' five scholarship penalty. Scholarships are precious commodity in college sports as they represent the lifeblood of a program. As of today BC has 82 scholarship football players. Given historical attrition we will probably be down to 80 scholarship players by our season opener. Why other schools are fighting penalties and scholarship limitations, we are essentially penalizing ourselves. Of all the complaints about Spaz, this might be the most overlooked and the most inexplicable.

I know I've complained about this idea many times, but that is because four years into the Spaz era I still don't understand it. BC prides itself on graduation rates. That means you honor scholarships for four years and you find guys who can hack it in the classroom. Because of that we cannot be as cavalier with scholarships as some football factories might. But "banking" scholarships was never as prevalent under Coughlin, Henning, TOB or Jags and we still managed to graduate kids and honor four-year commitments. Spaz has said he likes the buffer because it allows him to reward walk-ons and accept transfers. But even those justifications don't hold up under scrutiny. In his four years we only accepted two transfers (Parsons** and Grant). Banking also allowed us to have a space for Dave Shinskie. But those rare occasions amount to less than one scholarship a year. Why not use the other three or four annually?

Rewarding walk-ons has its place. When a guy contributes significantly he deserves the same privileges as the scholarship players. But like transfers, we just haven't had that many. Since Spaz took over, Hampton Hughes and Mike Morrissey were promoted from walk-on to full-time scholarships.

In my opinion the mistake Spaz makes is planning on those opportunities. Attrition is so common in college football that you don't need to plan on those two transfter/walk-on spots. It is highly likely that during the course of any season you will have an opening or two. Holding those spots open means that when attrition does occur, you start to see your head count drop to 80 or less.

This might seem like nitpicking, but that one extra player could be your next star. Guys like Montel Harris and Jamie Silva were offered with our last scholarships. Saying that you cannot find enough prospect in each recruiting class is pathetic. These scholarships are lottery tickets to players. There are thousands of players who would want the chance to play in the ACC and get a free ride to a world class university. And Spaz can't find enough players he likes that reciprocate? That's pathetic.

Spaz defenders will say he is only down to 82 because of bad luck with Momah and Harris. But both were iffy. We should have factored their issues into recruiting. But we didn't.

The only silver lining to this policy is that it will give our next coach more scholarships to work with immediately. But still this idea is just another example of where Spaz is out of sync with modern college football. While the other coaches are doing everything they can to find scholarships we are letting ours rot away in the bank.

CORRECTION: I've been corrected that Parsons transferred as a walk-on. Spaz has also promoted Sean Flaherty and Gerald Levano to scholarship status. So congrats to those guys.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Dragicevich undecided and other links

The Heights retracted their earlier report regarding pending basketball transfer Alex Dragicevich. There is still a chance he could end up at BC. Many of his other rumored destinations no longer have scholarships available. Regardless, I expect Donahue to use this scholarship on Dragicevich or another transfer.

The national media has been much more critical of BC football than the Boston media.

Mark Spinney signed a free agent deal with the Redskins. Good luck to him.

The Sailing team qualified for the National Championship.

Softball beat Providence with their final at bat.

Spaz & Gene: perfecting pettiness

Spaz and Gene deserve each other. The BC community deserves better. I would say the Montel Harris story broke the camel's back, but the camel gave up long ago. We like to joke about Spaz's game management skills, but his people skills are the real problem. He's run off loyal long-time staffers and thrown multiple players under the bus. It was so predictable that he would run off at least one formerly loyal role model player, that Eagle Outsider posters created a pool about the topic back in March. This is supposed to the head coach that values loyalty. But loyalty is subjective. If Spaz was so loyal wouldn't he have followed TOB to NC State? Wouldn't he have been loyal to Jags? Or was his loyalty really just to Gene (which is all that mattered to Gene)? Montel kept our offense afloat during Spaz's first two winning seasons and what did he get for it? An overworked bum knee and a kissoff from BC.

We like to think that BC is better than this. We're not. Spaz's mismanagement is not all that different from his boss's. Instead of being straight forward or better yet taking the high road, Gene can't let anything happen without getting the last word. The list of smear victims is long. Tom O'Brien, Jeff Jagodzinski, Al Skinner, Steve Lively, Cathy Inglese, Mik Aoki, Kevin Rogers, Ryan Day, Gary Tranquill, and Dana Bible have all been on the receiving end of whisper campaigns from BC. Gene can disavow this because it is rarely a direct, on the record quote to the media, but it does come from friendly media and message board posters. I know from experience that BC keeps close tabs on every story, every rumor and every leak. If Gene didn't approve of the smearing he could have it shutdown. When you fire someone or they leave, why can't we just let it go? Take the high road and move on. By making everything personal -- whether it is UConn, Lively or Spaz -- you lose sight of what makes the most sense for Boston College. In 99% of cases in business and in life taking the high road is the better move.

It had long been rumored that Montel Harris wasn't going to subject his knee to another season under Spaz. If that was the case, why not talk to him? Agree to a mutual release, watch him graduate and let him play somewhere else. Instead you have the school's all-time leading rusher and a guy who will graduate in days, being "dismissed from the team." Is Spaz that worried about Montel lighting it up at another school, that he feels he needs the upperhand?

Spaz is a lame duck. I have little faith that he can win enough to keep his job. He'll leave the program in much worse shape than he found it. The question now becomes does Gene get to hire his replacement. My fear is that Gene will repeat the same mistakes, hire a bad coach and continue to alienate our fans and players.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Donahue picks up transfer and other links

The Heights reported that Alex Dragicevich will transfer to BC. Originally from Illinois, Dragicevich played his first two seasons at Notre Dame. He's a 6'7 wing player that can shoot. He'll have to sit out next season and then have two years of eligibility thereafter. I like the addition and think he'll help. My only concern is that it adds to an already crowded graduating class in 2015. The scholarships need to even out eventually or Donahue will have massive rebuilding jobs every four years.

Ryan Quigley signed a free agent deal with the Bears. He will be given the chance to compete for the starting punter position.

BC named Pat Mullane the new Captain of the Hockey team.

Montel Harris kicked off of team

Spaz kicked the school's all-time leading rusher off the team. This is actually not a surprise as there has been rumored discontent between the two sides for some time. Spaz's quote:

"Montel Harris has been permanently dismissed from our football team due to a repeated violation of team rules," Spaziani said. "We are grateful for his contributions the past four seasons and will support him in completing his degree requirements and in his future pursuits."

There are two sides to every story, but is anyone stepping back to look at the big picture? Even if Montel was a problem to the extent he had to be dismissed but allowed to remain in school, why did it get to this point?

He was a really fun guy to watch play and exceeded all expectations while he was on campus. Because of his lingering knee injury, I don't know what the future holds. I wish him the best of luck. The Spaz tenure can't end soon enough.

"The Man In The Red Bandanna" wins Sports Emmy

Monday night at the Sports Emmys, ESPN's "Outside the Lines" team won the Emmy for Long Feature for their story on "The Man Behind the Red Bandanna." A special thanks should go to the Crowther family for sharing their story with the world. I also think we should thank ESPN Producer Drew Gallagher (BC '99) for his work on the project. Drew advocated Welles's story for many years and then brought it to air last fall.