Friday, May 31, 2013

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Desperate times: Different ways to watch BC's game on the Pac 12 Network

I and most of you won't be able to watch BC's game against USC in our homes. If this were 1978 I'd understand, but inexplicably this is an issue in 2013. We have a million channels and a million ways to watch a game, yet this likely prime time game against a traditional power will be very hard to see. And it is all because of the stupid Pac 12 Network is carrying the game. These conference networks might be cash cows and security for the conferences, but the pissing matches they go through to get carriage is painful to fans like me. I am willing to pay to watch this game, but likely won't have that option. So what is real BC fan to do?

Fly to the game
Although I wanted to see BC in the L.A. Coliseum, I hadn't planned on going. As those of you with young kids understand, time and money is always an issue for indulgent trips. But when the TV schedule came out, I felt differently. Maybe I should go! I don't care if both teams suck, this is a chance to see USC in the Coliseum live. If your schedule and commitments are a little more flexible, I would recommend going. This is a rare opponent and a cool road trip. Use the Pac 12 Network as an excuse and enjoy yourself. As for myself...maybe I can sell some blood or pawn my Spaz memorabilia collection. How much do you think a game used Spaz yellow towel is going for on eBay?

Go to a GameWatch
I am the ultimate hypocrite when it comes to GameWatches. I post the Watch list every week but never go to the Atlanta ones. The kids are my current excuse, but I wasn't all that fun to watch a game with before I had children. I am really bad in sports bars, because I don't want to small talk and I hate not hearing what is going on in the game. I am tense during any BC game (less so during the Spaz years) and often pace. That's harder to pull off in a crowded bar. Walking around in front of fellow BC fans muttering to myself would just confirm to most of you that I am a lunatic. If I have to resort to a bar this fall, I will try to be on my best behavior.

Use someone else's cable/internet login
This game will not be accessible online to just anyone. Instead it will only be available through providers that have a deal with the Pac 12 network. Most of you know someone on the West Coast. Now you just need to lay the groundwork over the next two months so when you pop the "can I use your login" question it doesn't seem weird or out of the blue. My grandmother lives in California and has cable. She doesn't understand the blog or how half of this stuff works. I may be crazy but I think I can conference her in on a call to her cable company and figure out how to get the game online in her name.

Listen to Meter's radio call online
That would be real desperation.*

Kidnapping TV execs or even just your local DirecTV installer
Find someone tied to your TV provider and hold them hostage. Don't demand money. Don't demand leniency. Just ask for the ability to watch the game. Don't hurt anyone and turn yourself in after the game. If you behave in jail, you can probably get out by the time Addazio has the team bowl eligible.

*Meter does call a good game. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

New commitment and other links

The top player in Massachusetts James Hendren committed to Addazio Wednesday. Hendren's offer list is decent, but what he's local and an Olineman. Those elements are the foundation of our past success and return to what we've been historically.

As speculated by many, Jerry York hired Mike Ayers as his new assistant. Ayers comes to BC from USA Hockey.

I don't think it surprises anyone that the Patriots have drafted more BC players than from any other school. I was a little surprised we didn't crack anyone else's Top 4.

Montel Harris is headed to the CFL.

Future baseball Eagle Mike King is Rhode Island's player of the year.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

You've got to watch Addazio's C21 talk

In April, Addazio took part in BC's Agape Latte series that is part of the school's Church in the 21st Century movement. He touches on all sorts of issues of his faith and how faith and Catholicism is so intertwined into the Boston College community. But that's not what makes the lecture a must see.

What I found fascinating starts a little after the 11:00 mark. For the first time Addazio confirms that he was scheduled to interview at BC until his knee infection kept him from getting to Boston. As we know, Gene promoted Spaz and wasted everyone's time for the next four seasons. Spaz taking over always seemed fait accompli, but Addazio's missed interview will remain a big "what if" moment for BC fans. If he got the job then, Addazio probably keeps Tuggle at QB and runs a spread offense from Day 1. Our offensive line probably would have maintained its tradition of excellence. I think it is safe to say recruiting would have been better. I don't know what we would have done on Defense. Even if Addazio had wowed Gene in a face-to-face interview, I bet keeping Spaz would have been a condition of the job. Think of how differently things would be now if we were in Year 5 of Addazio and not coming off back to back losing seasons. Addazio might not turn out to be our savior now, but I think he would have outperformed Spaz.

So enjoy the lecture. Addazio is good in this setting and you can see how his personality connects with people. Even if you are not interested in his faith, the football aspects and the BC aspects are still worth your time.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Recruiting stuff and other links

Another aspect of Addazio's recruiting that shows promise is his long-term outlook. BC is already in play with 2015 prospects. While that is pretty standard at most schools, it hasn't been with BC the past few years. Jags wasn't around long enough to look too far into the future. Spaz's staff did, but rarely did we connect and it often felt like we didn't look at enough guys early and where left to scramble or go to Plan C late in the game.

Here is a scouting report on incoming Hockey freshman Ryan Fitzgerald.

Finally as a reminder in honor of Memorial Day, is be sure to visit the Boston College Veterans Memorial next time you are on campus.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The perfect time capsule: The Heights archives

Long before social media, blogs, and message boards started tracking every aspect of BC sports, there was The Heights. The student reporters captured some of the smaller stories that the Globe and Herald ignored and the writing always had a tinge of fandom that any BC SuperFan could appreciate. That's why when an Eagle Outsider poster linked to the Heights Archives, I dug into the old stories. Personally I enjoyed rereading the editions from my time on campus, but there are literally thousands of articles to read. Enjoy, but don't blame me when you find yourself searching old stuff much longer than you planned.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Previews rolling out and other links

This is the time of year when sites start releasing their team previews. Often they are done worst to first. Given how BC finished and what's returning, Rant Sports ranked BC at 98th overall. They expect a 5-7 finish, which seems fair. They also need to update the write up now that Coleman is gone.

Women's sailing finished fourth at Nationals.

Soaring to Glory is posting their numeric themed countdown to the season.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Latest recruit joins the growing list of Eagles in Atlanta

Atlanta athlete Cameron Seward committed to BC Friday. Al Washington was just in Atlanta, so I assume he was locking the commitment down. Seward is listed as an "athlete" and could play multiple positions for BC. My guess is they won't push him in any direction until the class is a filled. Seward attends Westminster -- an academically rigorous school -- so I assume BC's pitch of "academics and athletics" carried some weight with him.

For Addazio this commitment helps on two fronts. First it bumps up our ranking even further. It also shows he can win the head-to-head battles with other BCS programs with kids from outside our usual recruiting areas.

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Early game confirmed and other links

The ACC officially announced the starting times and broadcast partners for the first two weeks of the season (all other games will be determined on a week-to-week basis once play begins). The Villanova game will have a noon kickoff and will be shown on ESPN3. The Wake Forest game will be a Friday September 6 on ESPN 2.

Hoffses reported that Johnathan Coleman decided to bypass his final year of eligibility. He graduated earlier this week. Coleman was a better off the field story than on the field. He never became an elite receiver but with Amidon stepping up and our offense constantly evolving, very few players could reach their potential. This sort of attrition is also to be expected. It doesn't do Addazio much good though since Coleman's scholarship was coming off the books this year anyway.

Momah is doing well in Philadelphia and taking advice from an Eagles legend.

BC commit throws perfect game and other links

Is help on the way for BC baseball? BC commit Michael Strem threw a perfect game during the California Central Coast playoffs. The incredible thing about the game is that he only needed to throw 66 pitches.

Steve Addazio went back to visit his old high school. It is one thing to visit high school prospects, but Addizio talked to regular students at this event. He doesn't have to do that but it shows that Addazio likes young kids and is willing to spread the word on BC football.

The Broncos are putting Tom Nalen in their Ring of Fame.

Thursday is an important day for the legal dispute between the ACC and Maryland.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Share your BC story with Mike Shoule

Mike Shoule, the author of My Daddy Loves Boston College Football, has a new project that enables other BC fans to contribute. His company is taking submissions from BC fans regarding their BC memories. As you can see, many parents of BC football players have already posted. Shoule welcomes you to post too. It is a cool feature and a great way to share what is special about BC.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Guest Blogger: Brian Foley from College Baseball Daily

My challenge with commenting on BC baseball is perspective. I know a little about BC baseball but not much about college baseball in general. The record and the stats show that BC is terrible, but I wanted a more informed opinion. You can't get more informed than Brian Foley. He's a BC grad and the editor and founder of College Baseball Daily. My questions and his answers follow.

1. When we last did this, you thought Gambino would get another year. Do you still feel that way? 

Brian Foley: The last time we did this was before the team started playing up north against some of the mid-week opponents. I thought that maybe the team would have to get used to playing outdoors and the underclassmen that were playing would come around. After starting to play up North (March 26th), they went 5-6 in games. Is that respectable? Not for an ACC team. BC went 8-15 OOC with an extremely weak OOC schedule with losses to Ohio (14-39) and UMass (14-31).

 2. As I mentioned over the weekend, we cannot build a new field in one year. You can't turn the roster. You can't change the weather. What are some immediate things BC can do to improve the baseball program? 

Brian Foley: You can't build a field in one year? I know there is an athletic department in Providence that played an entire season in an arena that was getting construction done on it and the renovations will be done in time to start the season in October. BC "could" build a field in a year but the extra stuff wouldn't be able to be done. But the main issue is, how long can a coach continue to lie to his players that they are getting a new stadium. Tony Sanchez was told he would be playing on the new field and ground was never broken and still isn't.

3. This season was a mess, but did anything give you hope or optimism? 

Brian Foley: Andrew Chin is the only positive but he only has one more season left at BC since he is going to be a draft eligible redshirt sophomore and wouldn't have been at BC if he didn't have Tommy John surgery near the end of his senior year.

4. If BC makes a change, when will it happen and who are some potential replacements?

Brian Foley: If BC makes a change, it needs to happen right now. Cincinnati let go Brian Cleary last Thursday and David Perno was let go on Sunday by Georgia. The longer they wait, the less likely they are going to get a legit candidate with head coaching experience.

Here is my top five
1. Rob Cooper (Wright State)
2. Jim Foster (Rhode Island)
3. Jayson King (Franklin Pierce)
4. Joe Sottalano (Army)- No chance he ever leaves Army...continues to win there.
5. Dave Perno (Former Georgia Coach)- No chance in the monetary range though as he made 450k last season and is due that for the 2014 season.

Monday, May 20, 2013

More moves: BC changes student ticket packages

First the Game Day tents, now Brad Bates changing in the student season ticket packages. Like the Game Day pregame facilities, I have no idea if this will work, but I applaud the action. Empty student seats were an embarrassment  Maybe this will change things.

Austin Tedesco broke the news and highlighted how the program will work.

All undergraduate students will be eligible to purchase the pass, and there will not be a limit on the number of passes sold. Once purchased, the pass will be loaded onto a student’s Eagle-One Card. Students will then be able to swipe their IDs for entrance to all football, men’s and women’s basketball, and men’s hockey games.

Swiping a card instead of a paper ticket is hardly revolutionary. BC is playing catch up there. The bigger change is the bundling of all the tickets at a reduced cost and available to all students. Two of the biggest complaints students have had (going back to my days) is lack of tickets and the cost. Now both have been addressed. The best part of the plan is bundling football with the other sports. Even the least interested BC student tends to buy football tickets. The casual Superfan was only committing to a few games and the cost was relatively cheap. Now those passive fans will have access to more events. I don't think they will suddenly become die hards and attend every basketball and hockey game, but it should create a marginal increase in attendance.

 Based on just his recent announcements, I am becoming very optimistic about the plan Bates is unveiling this summer. His early moves have shown a willingness to address long-neglected issues. If we keep heading down this path being a BC fan might be a totally new experience in five years.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Divitto on watch list and other weekend news

The organizers of the Lott award named Steele Divitto to their watch list. Many of these early watch lists are generated by the schools themselves pushing candidates. Divitto has been solid so far in his BC career but far from a standout. Maybe the new defense and a little more physical maturity will see his career blossom. I do think he'll be good in more of an attack mode under Brown.

Soaring to Glory is posting a nice Year in Review series.

More on former BC assistant Pat Duquette's rise to UMass-Lowell.

BC's hoops schedule is nearly full.

Baseball loses finale, no easy answers ahead

Baseball dropped their final game of the season, concluding the worst year BC Baseball has had as a member of a conference (Big East and ACC). They finished 12-40 overall and 4-25 in the ACC. Being competitive in the ACC will always be a challenge, but I think the cause for concern was how much BC struggled outside of the conference. Given all of our advantages just from a talent perspective we should not struggle against other New England and northern teams.

We all know the structural issues around the program. But we won't build a new field overnight. We cannot change the climate. And although the roster under-performed given their stats in high school and AAU, we cannot drastically change much about that in one season. Fair or not, the thing Bates can do is change the coaching. He has two options: fire Gambino or give Gambino more money to address his assistants situation. I don't know which direction he will take. Bates fired Spaz, but that was nearly predetermined for any AD prospect. Gambino was probably not on his radar when Bates interviewed last fall. This will be a tough call. Do you get rid of a young alum or do you give him one more season?

I am not a BC baseball expert. But those who do follow it closely like Brian Foley from College Baseball Daily think Gambino needs to go. Statistically we were a mess. Our record was pitiful and our players did not scratch the surface of their potential.

We will have obstacles in building an elite baseball program. But there are no obstacles to building a competitive one. Bates needs to figure out how to become competitive and then make the tough decisions to get us there.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Strachan commits

Addazio picked up another commitment Friday. The newest member of the recruiting class is Mass LB Connor Strachan. The St. Sebastian's product is one of the top players in the state. He has offers from most of the programs in the Northeast and interest from bigger players outside the region.

Nine committments at this stage keeps BC high in the national rankings. The number of early commitments also leaves me to speculate that this will be a big recruiting class (close to 25 recruits). The scholarships aren't there yet, but I think you'll see more attrition of current players over the summer and next fall. I actually welcome attrition since Addazio has proven that he can close on the guys he wants.

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, May 16, 2013

BC basketball's influence spreads all over New England

UMass-Lowell hired former BC assistant Pat Duquette as their new coach. I am happy for Pat as he was another in a long-line of quality Al Skinner assistants. Duquette getting the job was a reminder that while the local media might not always pay attention to BC sports, the other New England Athletic Departments do. And hiring yet another BC assistant shows that people in college athletics appreciate our approach to basketball.

Of all the college sports, men's college basketball might be the most exploitative of the student athletes. It starts before they even step on campus with the corrupt AAU circuit and then continues as men's hoops has an intensive travel schedule that really makes it hard to be a student and it all wraps up with a multi-billion dollar tournament that underwrites the NCAA. BC has done basketball the right way for a long time, but really became a program to emulate under Skinner and continues now under Donahue. Other ADs recognize that and so you now find BC guys leading Providence, Northeastern, BU, UMass-Lowell, and Bryant. (It should also be noted that former BC coach Jim O'Brien is at Emerson.)

Ironically while his former assistants flourish, Al Skinner was passed over for another local job. UMass-Lowell hinted at what might have been the problem -- "our discussions with Al didn’t go quite in a direction that would work as well for Al." I can only speculate on what was said, but it reads like Al wants to do things his way. I applaud him for demanding his way when he returns. One day soon an AD is going to let Skinner do things his way and won't regret it. Just ask all of Al's guys who are now leading New England basketball.

BC fans are not teaching our children well

I've read "My Dad Loves Boston College Football" hundreds of times. Any time my son brings it over, I am helpless to resist. Yet today was the first time I realized what a dangerous book it was and how it captures all that is wrong with BC fandom. This cute little children's book is proof that BC's fan issues are "nurture" not nature. Don't believe me? It is right there on the pages. Take a look:

For those who can see the text, it reads: "Before the game starts we set up the tailgate. When I'm cooking with Daddy everything is just great." Harmless, right? Now look closer. If you look at the Upper Deck in the background, you will see that the Alumni is full (or nearly full). And this dad is still out at his tailgate throwing the football around and eating. He doesn't care if he is in the stadium at kickoff and he is teaching his son the same thing.

Now if you think I am overthinking this, check out the next page:

This time the text reads: "We look for our seats with the rest of the crowd. Inside Alumni Stadium it gets really loud." Once again look at the picture. Does it look like most of the crowd is looking for their seats? No, the stadium is full and this Father of the Year is just getting inside. Plus, look at the food and drinks he picked up. That easily delayed him getting to his seats. I am betting it is the Second Quarter by the time he finally sits down. And little Junior is going to think this is how BC fans support their team.

I've been preaching that if we are ever going to change the fan culture around BC it will start with the young SuperFans. Now I've lost hope. If this is what we are reading to them now, I don't know if they will ever learn.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The benefits of an eight-game ACC schedule

The ACC has gone back and forth on the issue, but it seems like now there is a consensus that the conference should stick to an eight-game football schedule. This makes the most sense for the ACC from a standpoint of history, money and football.

The driving force behind the initial flirtation with nine games was leveraging that extra game as a tool to get more money out of ESPN. But Notre Dame, the Grant of Rights and the ACC Network have given the conference multiple triggers to expand the TV deal. Adding another game now doesn't make sense. It is one of the conference's last cards to play, so it should be saved for when there might be another need to re-open the TV deal.

Although BC doesn't benefit directly from this, I like that the eight-game schedule allows ACC teams to keep their non-conference rivalries. Games like Louisville-Kentucky, Georgia-Georgia Tech and Florida State-Florida would be less likely if the ACC only had three non-conference games a season. Those games could still be in jeopardy if the SEC expands to nine-conference games, but for now those intersectional games are safe. And playing those games is good for the conference. It gets fans excited and allows us to change the perception of the league (assuming we start winning some of the contests).

Finally this is good for BC football (and the ACC). We know games against the FCS are not going away. We also know that schedule fodder like New Mexico State is not going away. Those games are too important financially and those two wins are critical to perception and bowl eligibility. A ninth ACC game would have left BC with just one non-conference game of note. Eight games allow us to play at least two interesting games. My preferred mix is one peer school (Northwestern, Vanderbilt, etc) and one traditional power (Ohio State, USC, etc.). With eight games that can still happen.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My takeaway on takeaways

Pete Roussel posted a story on the importance of takeaways in college football and how some programs emphasize them more than others. This isn't really a surprise to most BC fans since we were at our best when forcing a lot of turnovers. I don't know why the number of turnovers declined as Spaz moved from DC to Head Coach. I imagine talent was a factor as was the changing offenses in college football.

If takeaways have such a strong correlation to winning, I hope Addazio figures out how to improve BC's.
While at Temple his 2011 team had 21 takeaways (64th nationally). His 2012 team only had 17 (good for 99th nationally). Last season Don Brown's UConn Defense only grabbed 12, which was 118th nationally. As a reference point BC had 16  in 2011 (101st ) and 19 in 2012 (85th).

Addazio has some good pieces but not a complete team. If we get back to a bowl it will take a lot of luck and as the stats show, a lot of takeaways.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Men's Lacrosse loses in playoffs but sets path for future

After going undefeated in the regular season, the Men's Lacrosse team lost their first round game of the MCLA Tournament. There are no moral victories in club sports either, but the team's success this year shows they are doing the right things.

As I wrote at the beginning of Spring, I am basically neutral on Men's Lax returning as a varsity sport. But as I said at the time, the team's primary goal should not be varsity status. In my opinion, becoming a club level power would be more effective path to scholarship status than any politicking or fundraising. Going undefeated shows that BC can be dominant in club lacrosse. Losing the tourney opener is a setback but only a small one. Next year I expect the guys to get back in the Tournament and go deep.

Brad Bates is on record as having watched the club team. He also says all sports and their varsity status will be reviewed and addressed. I don't expect he will fund the team this year. Maybe it will happen next year, maybe it won't. But this season finally showed that the Men's Lacrosse team is taking its destiny to the field.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Amidon's NFL prospects and other links

As I've noted before, it has been more than 25 years since a BC Wide Receiver was selected in the NFL Draft. If NFL scouting gurus really do have Amidon in their Top 5 for the position, maybe the streak will finally end. But my fear is this season's shift to a ground attack might limit Amidon's catches. 

Al Skinner's name keeps coming up for the UMass-Lowell job. As I say anytime he is rumored for a position, UMass-Lowell would be lucky to have him.

The Women's Lacrosse team lost in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. 

The son of former BC assistant Bonzi Colson is getting a lot of recruiting attention. Although he is local, I don't BC will get involved given how his dad's tenure ended. 

This is from earlier in the week, but it is nice to read about Nick Clancy's excitement over playing with the Falcons and Matt Ryan. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Advice to Seniors regarding their graduation speaker

Every time I dip my toe into political posts around here, it sets off a debate in the comments section and I take my fair share of criticism. But this controversy over Cardinal O'Malley's boycott of next week's commencement sparked me to write my occasional advice to current students post. Take it all for what it is worth.

Dear current students:

If you care one way or the other about your commencement speaker, something is wrong. The only people you should care about attending your graduation are friends and family. Any other person you don't know -- whether they be famous and powerful or a nobody -- doesn't matter. What you should care about is getting through Senior Week in one piece, getting up Graduation morning and getting your cap and gown on. Getting across the stage and not making an ass out of your self in front of your parents and family is probably a good goal. They want to be proud and don't want to know what happened during Senior Week. Smile for their pictures. Give them plenty of thanks and let them know you appreciate all they have done to get you across that stage.

I am thankful that most BC students and family couldn't pick Edna Kenny out of a line up and would not recognize Cardinal O'Malley out of his robes. This day is not really about them. There will be plenty of time in your future to be political and take sides on important issues. This is not one of them. Just enjoy your graduation. Odds are it will be lousy weather (either really hot or really rainy) and you would want any speaker to keep his or her speech short. The only thing more rare than perfect weather on a BC Graduation Day is a BC commencement speaker who hits a home run with his or her speech. Most are forgettable. But Graduation Day itself is not forgettable.

Senior Week lives up to the hype, so you'll probably be exhausted by Graduation. Have fun, make memories and let Graduation be about friends, families and accomplishments, not politics.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, May 09, 2013

The challenge with any chat with a BC AD

Wednesday BC Alumni held a Q&A with Brad Bates. It was a great idea and holding it via Twitter was a new and welcome wrinkle. The issue with these sorts of chats is the predictability of the questions and the inability of any BC official to give candid answers. The questions are so repetitive, they have become a running joke among the most engaged BC fans. The BC Alumni Chat hosts understood that but still had to make sure that Bates did answer the men's lacrosse question or the one about tailgating. To Bates' credit, he did seem to enjoy the process (his predecessor often seemed exasperated answering questions regarding DBS or the air conditioning at Conte).

Of the most pressing issues regarding facilities Bates did reveal that a new master plan would be announced this summer. In my opinion this is most critical as it will hopefully address baseball/softball, the Plex, a football practice facility and enhancements to Alumni and Conte. Regardless of what happens on the field while he is AD, the facilities enhancements will probably be Bates' legacy. 

I  am encouraged by Bates' energy and hope he stays engaged with fans and alumni once the honeymoon is over.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

The new football staff's social media strategy

A college football coach joining Twitter is nothing new. Spaz had a twitter account...which he used one time. But like texting before it, social media is where the recruits connect and any staff that is serious about recruiting has to be on Twitter and Facebook. Someone in the Yawkey football offices agrees with me because just recently a bunch of the new staffers joined twitter.

Addazio is leading the way, but Don Brown, Sean McGowan, Kevin Lempa, Justin Frye, Benjamin Albert, and Todd Fitch are all now on Twitter. Al Washington -- who is very active on Facebook -- doesn't seem to have a Twitter account. Neither do Ryan Day, Frank Leonard or Sean McGowan. Given Addazio's lead, I expect that to change soon. I don't think any of these guys are going to become Twitter celebs and post great stuff all the time, but it will be interesting to follow them and who they follow.

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Cavanaugh to UConn

Long-time BC Hockey assistant Mike Cavanaugh is set to become UConn's new head coach. This is great personal news for Cavanaugh as he finally gets his chance to run his own program. For BC, it is a different issue.

Jerry York is the man and mind behind BC's sustained excellence the past 20 years. But his assistants were a critical component. Cavanaugh came to BC after spending a year with York at Bowling Green. He has been here for the rise and sustaining BC's dominance. Because he and Greg Brown have been so integrated into BC's decisions, recruiting and scouting, the program was able to continue relatively smoothly when York missed time with his eye issues.

Now York will have to find a new assistant to replace Cavanaugh. I am sure some of his areas of responsibility will shift to Brown and fellow assistant Jim Logue. Others will go to the new guy. Coaching under York is a dream job for any young hockey staffer, so Jerry will have his pick.

Long-term this is probably a good issue for BC. It makes Brown the clear in-house heir apparent when York retires. It also gives Cavanaugh some valuable experience running a team away from BC. Both Brown and Cavanaugh would have been favorites to be the next BC head coach. What might have been a coin-flip decision given their similarities now has real differentiation.

I don't think UConn is an easy college hockey job, so if Cavanaugh does succeed, that will speak to his abilities running a program. I wish him luck except for when he plays BC.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Addazio surprising national recruitniks and other links

As Addazio piles up commitments, the national recruiting writers are starting to take notice. New coaches obviously have a natural momentum to their early classes, but I think Addazio deserves credit for what he's pulled in so far. None of this means these guys will be any good, but I think your player development starts from a better place when you get your first choices into the program.

Congratulations to the Women's Lacrosse team for their NCAA tournament bid.

Sports Business Daily thinks real movement on the ACC Network will begin soon.

Here are the ACC's bowl affiliations for this season.

The Orlando Sentinel doesn't expect much of us this fall.

Here is the highlight video from the basketball banquet.

In case you missed it, this is Maria Pandolfo's catch from Sunday that went viral on Monday.

Sunday, May 05, 2013

I look at Swofford's dealmaking and other links

John Swofford is a pretty polarizing figure among ACC fans and media. Some consider him a good ol' boy who gets pushed around by ESPN and the bigger conferences. Others refer to him as Ninja Swofford. This article goes in-depth about how the new ACC Grant of Rights deal came about. I think it shows both sides of Swofford. He was able to cajole a deal but only after getting blindsided by Maryland. I am not a fan of Swofford. While I will be forever grateful for BC joining the ACC, I think he's screwed up repeatedly in this process which is why the ACC often seems to be scrambling.

Pennsylvania Linebacker Christian Lezzer committed to BC this weekend.

Baseball beat Virginia Tech on Sunday for their third ACC win.

Olivier Hanlan earned team MVP honors at the annual Basketball awards dinner.

Softball lost to Georgia Tech.

Men's Lacrosse finished their regular season undefeated.

BC grad student Brittany Loring is sharing her story for the first time since being injured in the Marathon Bombing.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Athletes of the Year and other links

Jillian King and Pat Mullane received BC's highest Athletic honor -- being named Eagle of the Year. Mullane is well known to most for his work on the ice. King is a runner on both the Cross Country and track teams.  Congrats to both.

Baseball lost to Virginia Tech in extra innings on Friday and then followed it with another loss on Saturday.

BC's own Warren Zola is writing often about the future of the NCAA.

Friday, May 03, 2013

Are Hospitality Venues the answer to BC's gameday problems?

To his credit, Brad Bates introduced a new concept for Boston College home football games. This fall, BC will have three Hospitality Venues where fans can eat, drink and watch other games prior to our kickoff. It is like the Plex pregame only in more spaces and with a bigger emphasis on food and drinks. The price will be vary by location and range from $150 to $180 for the season. This is a nice effort, but is it enough?

The good news about all of this is Bates championing new ideas and new approaches. These venues might not catch on, but at least he is trying something. I also like the varied locations. Having options in different parts of campus enables more people to attend and spreads the pregame crowds out a bit. They currently tend to congregate on the tradition areas on Lower Campus (Mods, Shea, Garages,etc). I also think the pricing is fair. $30 a head (plus drinks) is close to what you would pay for a share of a parking spot and food at a full tailgate.

But the challenge with the idea and my fear as to whether or not it will catch on is demand. Currently a large portion of our season ticket holders want better tailgating and have tailgating options. Because this is a season pass concept, this is competing with those tailgating experiences. I am not on campus much for gamedays but I've never gotten the sense that the Plex pregame was so popular that it needed three similar set ups. The other aspect that might pose a challenge is the season pass concept. This sort of venue seems ideal for the casual fan or once a year fan who doesn't have a regular tailgate. I imagine they can adjust and offer one-time passes if that demand arises.

I don't know if this idea will catch on but I applaud the approach and effort. BC needs to try something new and Bates approach seems to be one of listening and adjusting. With this approach, we will eventually fix gamedays.

Tweets of the Week

These tweets are all linking or praising the Dick Kelley story. I'm sure most of you have read it by now, but I wanted to post the tweets so you could see how many people beyond the usual BC folks appreciate Dick, his work and his love for BC.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

What the SEC Network means for the ACC

ESPN and the SEC announced the SEC Network Thursday. None of it was a surprise as the SEC has publicly stated a desire for their own network after the success of the Big Ten and Pac 12 Networks. Due to the ACC's relationship with ESPN, whatever happens with the SEC will probably be duplicated in the following years with the ACC. Some of the SEC's plans will translate immediately to the ACC. Other issues raise questions.

Production. The SEC Network will come from the heart of the ACC in North Carolina. ESPN has used a production facility outside of Charlotte for ESPN U for years. The SEC Network is just an expansion of that. There is a good deal of ACC production already based in Charlotte via Raycom and ESPN U. When the ACC Network moves from internet channel to true cable network, you can predict the production will be based in North Carolina.

Content. ESPN needs to fill all of their current platforms (ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN U and ESPN 3) yet feels there is enough room and games for the SEC to sustain its own network. The ACC has more teams and therefore more games. Currently we supply a disproportionate amount of games (among the major conferences) to ESPN U and ESPN 3. If the ACC becomes a true network like the SEC, how will ESPN backfill those programming slots that used to be SEC and ACC games?

Cable Households. This will be the trickiest issue for ESPN. They will ask for huge premiums for the SEC Network in SEC markets. Can those markets with ACC schools also sustain another push from ESPN in a few years for the ACC Network? The ACC's geography is different enough that ESPN could still generate revenue even if it had to take less in places like Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.

ESPN and the ACC just announced a new deal with the Grant of Rights signing. There won't be a formal ACC Network announcement for at least a year. In the mean time, the ACC needs to press ESPN for revenue parity and scheduling parity. With or without a cable network, those issues are critical if the ACC is ever going to catch up to the SEC on the football field.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Rettig a rarity and other links

Deadspin posted an article on how rare it is for an elite QB recruit to play all four years at the school for which he first signed. The recruiting class they use as a microcosm was 2010. Of the top ten QB recruits, only three -- including Rettig is still playing for his school. What's crazy about Rettig's situation is how chaotic his time at BC has been and yet he still hung around. I hope things turn around for him this year, because the guy has paid his dues.

BC like everyone else has interest in Texas Tight End Koda Martin. BC also offered Ohio running back CJ Hilliard.

Vega wrote a story about Donahue's recruiting class.

Dick Kelley featured in SI

As some of you may know Dick Kelley was very hesitant to share his battle with ALS publicly. I am glad he now is letting others capture his meaning to the BC sports community and the college sports media world. SI's Pete Thamel wrote a great feature on Dick and it is a must read for all BC fans.