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.


EL MIZ said...

i nominate this for post of the year. this is the most objective and obvious critique of spaz's ability as a head coach. thank you for posting how the math breaks down. we are under self-imposed "spaz-tions" -- not NCAA sanctions, but Spaz Sanctions for being too inept to actually find players to come play at a division 1 football program that plays on national TV basically every weekend. as you said, pathetic and a glaring indictment of a rudderless and leaderless program. say what you want about the wisdom of taking a knee to close out every half, or not centering the ball to line up a potentially game winning field goal from the, there is no good reason to NOT use all your schollies. EVERY other team in the NCAA tries to find ways to abuse the rules and we have a guy that actually can't find ways to use them all! it is insane.

there are no excuses. i have been encouraged with what i've read about al washington and am happy we can get a former BC guy on the staff. hopefully he can be a bright spot on what is already shaping up to be another dismal, excuse-filled season.

Erik said...

Safe to see less than 1% of BC fan know what a gray shirt is.

mod10aeagle said...

The proper term, MIZ, is "Spanctions".

JBO, said...

Good points ATL, very good. Why is Spaz doing this? It is such a part of his character to rely of lame excuses and to obfuscate, you really can't take him at his word (if he actually addresses a point and if you can actually understand his utterances)

You mention "Spaz defenders will say" but who exactly are these Spaz defenders?

I do not think there are any, even GDF. I think you might be confusing those who tire of your incessant Spaz bashing with those who are Spaz apologists. People who do not care for relentless Spaz bashing are not Spaz supporters.

So who supports Spaz? Really, no one except maybe this guy who posts here named Walter. GDF does not support him, so much as uses him for GDF's purposes.

Andrew said...

I agree with Gothamist. Who are the "Spaz defenders"? I've never met one. Apart from GDF and a few people in the media I honestly don't think there are more than a handful of "Spaz defenders".

Galvin said...

I believe Gene's contract with BC extends through May 2014 and Spaziani has a contract through the end of the 2015 season.

I honestly believe that if Spaziani gets at least 6 wins, Gene keeps him another year. I really don't want Gene picking the next coach either. We have to hope that the Board of Trustees gets involved and somehow boots Gene. Unlikely. Bah.

Big Jack Krack said...

That was a big issue for me - GDF extending Spaziani through 2015 when it was not warranted at the time.

I might understand the philosophy, but that was not a prudent move by our Hall of Fame Athletic Director.

Galvin - I hope GDF is gone at the end of his contract for sure, if not sooner.

Knucklehead said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Knucklehead said...

Spaz does not use all the scholarships for two reasons: 1) it saves the school money and 2)he cannot find enough D1 talent to play for him.

The selling point that Boston College is on TV every weekend means nothing these days. Every BCS school is on TV. The selling point Spaz should be using with 3-4star recruits is playing time. If the player is good he is will not have to wait two years to get on the field like some other schools.

If we had a coach with a normal personality and knowledge of game strategy the selling points would be: 1)proximity to Boston, 2)current NFL players, 3)football alumni professional success rate on Wall Street and TV/Radio(Huckaby, David Emma, Scott Mutryn, Mike Mayock, Tom Waddle and Tom McManus). The school sells itself to recruits under NORMAL circumstances.

Hire Tim Murphy from Harvard. Family guy, relatively inexpensive, also has recruited coached NFL players(Matt Birk, Ryan Fitzgerald), understands how to get good players while maintaining academic integrity.

Big Jack Krack said...

So in the meantime I am looking forward to discussing our players in a positive fashion - and talking about our chances, etc.

We are fans, and we are BC. I do not have on rose colored glasses. This is supposed to be enjoyment for me - and unfortunately right now there is a lot of negativity. I am as guilty as the next guy.

But we do have some very good players, and they are trying hard. I am going to support them and ultimately they are our representatives more so than the AD and HC.

I'm going to focus on that, and some of our other coaches and their efforts, rather than the ones we have been screaming about.

Go BC - beat Miami - again!

Galvin said...

BJK, great comment and a sentiment we should all try to remember. I think this will get better and hope to see the players improve this year. Go BC.

canttakeit said...

Former BC commit Stewart is leaving Florida to be closer to home. The ultimate insult is that I hear that Temple has a good chance of landing him