Saturday, May 31, 2014

Video Game Settlement: one step closer to paying players?

EA Sports settled their class action lawsuit with former college players. Ed O'Bannon was the named plaintiff and there wasn't a high-profile BC athlete attached, but this should impact BC sports. This pretty much ends any chance of future NCAA video games. But it also sets a precedent for former players to recoup revenue from their likenesses.

I'm not a lawyer, but I think something like this has more legs than Northwestern players unionizing. The unionizing will take multiple teams joining in and could get caught up in courts. This settlement will put a check (albeit a small one) in the hands of former players.

Who knows how this will all play out? My only real prediction is that we will follow the lead of the schools we want to be associated with (like Duke and Notre Dame). But what the means or when change happens is a mystery.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Recruiting roundup

Addazio is not wasting time on 2016 prospects. BC just offered rising Junior Running Back Moe Neal. Neal already has offers from Mississippi State and Syracuse. I expect the North Carolina product to get more ACC attention this fall.  BC also offered 2016 WR Nate Craig.

BC's top QB target for 2015 Hampton McConnell will visit this weekend.

Florida LB Carson Lyndon picked Virginia Tech over BC.

BC lost out on Ohio QB prospect Joe Burrow. He's staying home and headed to Ohio State.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Alumni Stadium updates

Practice is over. Graduation is over. Teams are gone for a bit, so it is time to tweak Alumni Stadium. The major project this summer is new video boards.

The space allotted for the new boards shows that we are avoiding the video board arms race. Half of the video boards in the SEC wouldn't even fit in Alumni. But this is a good start and should make for a better gameday experience for ticket holders. (HT EO message boards.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Experts already forgetting about BC

Bowl Projections are easy offseason filler...and so is critiquing them. I try to ignore the projections, but felt ESPN's first lists were worth noting because they left out BC.

ESPN posted Brett McMurphy and Mark Schlabach's picks and 10 ACC teams (plus Notre Dame) were slotted. What surprised me is that they don't account for BC getting an at large bid. As we've seen over the years, if a major conference team gets to six wins, they will end up in a bowl. BC's TV ratings in low-level bowls also lead to us backfilling open slots. It could be that neither McMurphy or Schlaback don't think BC will get to six wins. But most of the early previews have the Eagles in that neighborhood. CBS's early projections had BC going to Detroit.

I will make my predictions later this summer, but I am not worried about BC staying home. As usual, if we get eligible, it will all work itself out.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Demko at NHL Combine and other links

There were 11 goaltenders invited to the NHL Combine in Toronto. Most scouts consider BC's Thatcher Demko the top prospect at the position.

Rettig is one of many undrafted players trying to make the Packers. But given the Packers' history with  QB development and their willingness to carry four QBs during the offseason, Rettig will have plenty of time to impress.

The Women's Sailing team is ready for Nationals.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Herzlich excerpt and other links

Mark Herzlich's new book is about to be released and with it comes a timely excerpt in the New York Post. I know we feel like we all know Mark's story, but in the excerpt he starts to get more personal and share more of the fear that he and his family hid so well during his fight. I look forward to reading more.

Former Eagle Eric Campbell is making the most of his time with the Mets.

The Chargers cut Ian White already.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Assessing Mike Gambino and the 2014 baseball season

BC just finished another disappointing Baseball season and yet there doesn't seem to be much talk about the future of Head Coach Mike Gambino. After four seasons the team remains one of the worst in the ACC and failed to qualify for the ACC Tournament. While the showed signs of improvement this season and there is renewed hope about facilities, we have to continue to ask if we have the right staff in place. I am an outside observer so I asked Brian Foley from College Baseball Daily for his opinion. My questions and his answers follow.

1. BC looked better and was more competitive but still had a terrible record. Was the improvement real? 

Foley: The improvement was far from real. They played several of the have-nots this year with NC State being a complete failure while they still ended up losing a series to old friend Mik Aoki’s Notre Dame squad which finished with a 9-21 record.

2. Who or what was the biggest surprise of the season and biggest disappointment? 

Foley: The biggest surprise to me was the development of Chris Shaw into an upper echelon ACC player. He finished the year with a .329 average and a team high six homers which was the same amount that the rest of the team combined for. Shaw was a disaster as a freshman when he hit .165 with six homers and 19 RBI.

The biggest disappointment continues to be the pitching staff which had a 4.27 ERA which is high seeing as about half BC’s games are against weak northern competition in midweek play and on the Spring Trip.

3. Would you fire Gambino? If no, what are the expectations for next year. If yes, who are potential replacements?

Foley: Would I fire Gambino? I don’t know if the school cares enough to actually fire him. I was attending the America East Tournament this week when one of his former players in Anthony Italiano got a key double to lead the Seawolves to a victory. This was a kid that was not good enough to play at BC but has had a solid little career at the Long Island school.

My first phone call would be to Justin Blood at Hartford. He has made that program into a respectable team which plays hard throughout the game. There were trailing a game by nine runs but wouldn’t give up in the ninth inning when they ended up losing only by four. This is the toughness that is missing right now with the BC program.

My second phone call after Blood would be to Steve Owens at Bryant. He made the NCAA tournament last year for the Smithfield RI school and had a successful run at Lemoyne before heading to the Bulldogs. Lemoyne would be an absolute pain back in the day for schools and Bryant is becoming a new Lemoyne.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A BC angle to the World Cup

I love the World Cup. For me it is the perfect sporting event in that the sport is played at a high level, there are multiple, easy to follow storylines, and best of all it comes during one of the traditional slow times in the sports calendar. But despite being the most popular sporting event in the world, there are still plenty of Americans who don't "get" it or worse don't care. If you are BC fan, I offer another reason to get on the World Cup bandwagon: Alejandro Bedoya. The former Eagle just made the final roster for the U.S. Men's Team and should be a critical contributor to the team.

Just by making the team, Bedoya fans can now claim he's BC's all-time greatest soccer player. Charlie Davies' was an exciting USMT player, but his car accident stunted his career and kept him out of any Cup. Other BC guys have had solid professional careers in the U.S. and abroad, but none has made such and deep or talented World Cup roster.

The U.S. received a brutal draw for the Cup, so this whole thing could be over before it even starts. But if the U.S. advances to the knock out stage, it will need Bedoya to have the tournament of his life. He's an Eagle so he knows about excelling at the right time.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Seguin joins Athletic Department and other links

Brad Bates hired BC grad Jamie Seguin as Deputy Athletics Director. In her role, Seguin will focus on internal operations.

As expected, the USC game will be on national television and in prime time on one of the ESPN/ABC networks.

Pennsylvania WR Prospect Amechie Walker plans to camp at BC this summer.

ESPN confused KPL with the other KPL.

Johnny Gaudreau keeps making the highlight reels for Team USA.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Batten to play 5th year at BC

Jim Christian is putting another one of his scholarships to good use, by bringing in Old Dominion transfer Dimitri Batten. Batten is eligible to play immediately.

Batten is another wing, but with Hanlan as the primary point, some of Rahon's old minutes will go to perimeter players. Batten also has a chance to earn playing time with his defense.

While we all wanted a big 2014 recruit, a fifth year is a win-win. Like football, it represents a low risk, mature player.

Now that Christian's got a 2014 recruit and a fifth year, I expect the next scholarship to go to a true transfer.

Boston Politics get involved in college sports

With Former athletes suing the NCAA and Northwestern players exploring labor options, it is open season on taking on the hypocrisy of the NCAA. Now Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim wants to impose a “College Athlete Bill of Rights" on NCAA athletes that play within the city limits of Boston. His laws would apply to all schools but would have the biggest impact on BC since we host some of the most high-profile college teams in the country due to the ACC schedules. While I am for paying athletes and potentially disbanding the NCAA, I don't have much faith in Zakim's intentions or his motivation.

The issues that he's attacking are not really relevant to the current situation. Most athletes have plenty of time to graduate. A fifth year for players who don't work out on the field, is a small, small issue. Medically most of these guys are essentially covered year round. The head trauma debate is relevant, but I would say the NCAA and the teams in Boston are relatively ahead of the game. BC has been granting full medical waivers to head injury victims for two decades (think of Jim Unis). Why isn't Zakim mandating head injury policies for Massachusetts High School sports, the NHL, MLS, and NFL?

I don't mind attacking the system. But the real issue isn't health. It isn't safety. It's money. When Zakim figures out a way to mandate payment for players, then he will have my attention. Right now he just feels like someone trying to make a name for himself.

BC has a lot at risk in this process, but I predict these laws are a long way from being passed and then enforced.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Congratulation Graduates

Congratulations to Boston College's newest Alumni, the Class of 2014. Enjoy the day and be sure to thank your parents and loved ones.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Another 5th year transfer and other links

BC continues to leverage the NCAA 5th year rule, this time with former UConn DB Ty-Meer Brown. He brings immediate depth and a familiarity with Don Brown's schemes. Brown has a spinal condition that gave UConn pause, but I assume BC felt he could still be of use. Either way, 5th years are such low risk, high reward propositions, that I am glad to have Brown on the roster.

Women's Lacrosse lost a close game to Syracuse in the NCAA Quarterfinals.

You've got to love that KPL wore a suit and tie to his NFL Combine interviews.

Matt Patchan scored a 42 on his NFL Wonderlic.

Baseball lost their series to Clemson.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Don't get worked up about Terrell

On Friday Jared Terrell announced his commitment to URI. While most BC fans were level-headed, there was a vocal group that freaked out. I understand the frustration, but there is no reason to get upset over missing out on Terrell...even to a a midmajor like URI.

Terrell committed to Rhode Island after dealing with their program for nearly two years. He was familiar with Hurley and the team. He's been interacting with Jim Christian and BC for a few weeks. Despite being a bigger program, that lack of familiarity is tough to overcome. Plus our roster situation was not as friendly. We have Hanlan returning and he'll play 35+ minutes a game, be the primary ball handler and the leading scorer. And BC has decent depth at wing. Terrell would have come in immediately and played, but the minutes and scoring weren't as clear cut. The situation was much more inviting for a big man like Diallo.

Terrell would have been a huge boost and a great start for Christian, but it is not fair to hold it against the new staff. They scrambled the best they could, but the kid went elsewhere. It will happen again. The key to long-term success is just winning more of these battles than you lose.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Obama honors Crowther and other links

Welles Crowther's story reached a new audience Thursday when President Obama mentioned him at the 9/11 Memorial.

KPL's preDraft workouts in Florida helped him impress during the draft process.

Donahue commit Jeremy Miller still names BC among his top choices.

Baseball lost to Clemson.

Softball placed three players on the NFCA All-Region Team.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Opponent Previews for UMass and Wake Forest

Every year Paul Myerberg writes individual team previews worthy of any magazine preview. Fortunately for us, he has already started rolling them out. He posts them by his predicted ranking and starts with the worst first. The two bottom dwellers that Myerberg already posted are Wake and UMass.

Even as Grobe's Wake teams slid back to their historical norm, they still gave BC tough games. The only reason so little is expected of them this season is due to the wholesale changes made by the new staff. Myerberg predicts a season where they still struggle offensively.

UMass is a trainwreck and one of the worst teams in FBS. Mark Whipple won't change that overnight. Myerberg knows that if they are going to have a miracle season, they need to upset BC in the opener.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The 8+1 schedule is great for BC

The ACC announced that they would move to a new scheduling format that mandates eight ACC conferences games and one non-conference game against a team from one of the Five Power conferences. This is the same format as the SEC and avoids the nine-game schedule used by the Pac 12, Big Ten and Big XII. The ACC move was ultimately about protecting non-conference rivalries like Florida-Florida State or Clemson-Georgia Tech, but what I think it works out best for a program like BC.

Under the new Notre Dame agreement we will play the Irish less (basically six out of ten years). While we've done a good job of finding like-minded or traditional powers to fill the void on non-ND years, there is always a temptation to find a nice win to pad the records. But cupcake opponents don't drive ticket demand and don't bring much national respect. Now regardless of who the coach is or what our AD wants to do, we know that BC will always have one good non-conference game annually.

Finally this move accelerates the idea of BC playing more games out west. The Alumni population in California is growing and the response to the USC game was impressive. We already reach the South through our ACC schedule and the Midwest with our frequent Notre Dame and MAC games. Plus the Pac 12 tend to be the most aggressive schedulers of the major conferences. I think most would gladly sign up for a two-game series with BC.  

The ACC is doing this to appease its members, appease its TV partners and strengthen its positioning for the playoff committee. It is not about BC. But it adds stability to our conference and good games to our schedule. That's good for BC fans.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Former Eagles settling into their new teams

With ten players signing deals this past weekend, plenty of BC guys made news in their hometowns or with their new teams. Here are just a few of the articles.

As we've been saying, the Packers viewed Rettig's multiple OCs as a positive. He's knows how to learn a new offense quickly.

Nate Freese was the first kicker drafted by the Lions since 1992. Detroit is hoping he's a long-term solution.

People back in Pennsylvania were happy for Andre Williams.

Divitto hopes to make the Jets' roster.

Patchan wasn't the only Tampa native the Bucs signed as undrafted free agents.

Ian White's hometown wrote a long feature on him prior to getting drafted. The San Diego deal will be a nice post script.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Christian lands Diallo

Jim Christian received his first BC commitment when California big man Idrissa Diallo committed Saturday. Although I think the staff would have taken a commitment from one of several different players, Diallo represents such a change in approach, that it is fitting he was first. While not as polished offensively as most of our current guys, Diallo has two things this roster was lacking: size and defensive prowess.

Diallo originally committed to Cal, but got out of his LOI during their coaching change. With Diallo alone, we are a better team. I hope though that Christian is not done with this recruiting class. We have a few offers out and will hopefully land at least one more player in the coming weeks. 

NFL Draft ends with a run on BC players

No one really knew where Andre Williams was headed, but in the end if was very predictable. The Giants -- a team with a rich BC tradition -- took Williams in the Fourth Round. The Giants are changing their offense, but I don't think they are going to ask Andre to be a pass catcher. He's going to be about pounding the ball and establishing play action for Eli. I don't think Andre is a fit everywhere, so I am glad he went to a team that will use him well and be patient.

Williams got things started and then what could have been a slow day, quickly became a great day for Eagles. The Seahawks took KPL in the Fourth Round. I think that's a great fit for him as they like to use players in multiple roles, and he has the speed to play a small end but also cover TEs and RBs. The Lions drafted Freese in the Seventh Round and the 49ers used their last pick on Kaleb Ramsey. Freese should be a sure thing for Detroit. If Ramsey can stay healthy, he should also make the 49ers roster.

After the Draft ended, the undrafted guys quickly found teams. Divitto signed with the Jets, Edebali signed with the Saints, Sinkovec signed with the Ravens, White signed with the Chargers, and Rettig signed with the Packers. The Packer-Rettig situation reminded me so much of Matt Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck went through multiple coaches and coordinators and dealt with a lot of losses while at BC. But the Packers proved to be the perfect situation to become an NFL QB. Rettig has the same chance now.

The one surprise is that Matt Patchan has not signed with any team yet. Given the number of private workouts Patchan had, I think he'll catch on with some team soon, unless there is an issue we are not aware off. UPDATE: Patchan signed with Tampa.

I don't know if any of these guys will be stars, but they are all getting a chance. That's what matters.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Why the NFL Draft still matters to BC

Selling the NFL to any high school prospect is pretty disingenuous. Even the majority of recruits at Alabama and Florida State will not play at the next level. For a long time, BC's pitch to potential players has been about more than football. We sell the BC experience, the education, the city, and getting your degree. Our appeal is about life off the field and life after football. Yet we still need the NFL.

Without the carrot of playing at the highest level, BC wouldn't be BC. As much as we push education, there are plenty of places where a kid can get a great education. Just like there are plenty of places where a guy can just play and focus on football. Our mix of elite football and elite education is a pitch only a few schools can offer. And to effectively sell it, we need to send guys to the NFL. We need the NFL Draft to showcase our best players and validate our process.

The media created the "Harvard during the week, Alabama on the weekend" cliche to mock BC's divided priorities, but the reality is that split is a great position. We should embrace it. There are certain players who want both. And those types of guys who want both, have been the foundation for our past success.

It is unlikely that any BC guys will get drafted Thursday night. By Sunday though there should be a new batch of our guys headed to new NFL teams. And with each selection our staff will be texting and tweeting those Draft updates to a new batch of potential BC guys.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Quigley sells to Vick and other links

Former Eagle Ryan Quigley made headlines for the right reasons when he sold his jersey number to Michael Vick. Quigley is donating Vick's payment to a South Carolina charity that helps troubled teens.

Rutgers brought more embarrassment upon themselves and the Big Ten this week. The Big Lead wondered if we were one of the schools the Big Ten should have selected in the past.

Once again BC teams performed very well on the APR.

Some Lacrosse experts think BC is most likely to get upset in the opening of the NCAA Tournament. Our draw involves three conference champions.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Narrative changed?

We are days away from the NFL Draft and Mike Mamula is nowhere to be found. Usually this time of year articles and blogposts are filled with references to the former Combine wunderkind. In many of these posts, he is wrongly labeled as a bust and as someone who only got drafted because of his NFL Combine performance. As any BC fan knows, neither is the case. Mamula's final college season was dominant. He was going to be a first day draft pick before the Combine. The great workout only elevated him that much more.

I don't know why there are fewer stories this year. My Bing alert only mentions him six times in the last seven days. Maybe writers are moving on. Or perhaps there are just new targets. Either way, I hope he starts getting the credit he finally deserves for both his college and NFL career.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Always be closing

I know it is early but this is a huge week for Jim Christian. First he hosted Jared Terrell Monday. Terrell is the shooting guard who committed to OK State and now wants to stay closer to home. He's elite and he's local. He also sort of fell into our lap when he decided to back out of his Oklahoma State commitment. If we get Terrell, it provides a real shot in the arm. The team will get a player who can replace some of Rahon's offense and Christian will get a player he can build future recruiting classes around.

But the sales push for the 2014 recruiting class doesn't end with Terrell. California big man Idrissa Diallo will be on campus this week too. He might not be as important locally as Terrell, but he would still be a huge addition to a team desperate for size.

Christian's reputation prior to BC was that he was a hoops lifer and a gym rat. He wasn't considered a silver-tongued recruiter. But if he gets these two guys, especially given the timing and circumstances, then we might be in for a big surprise on his future recruiting.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

William Green's story and other links

This feature on William Green is making the rounds and worth the read. As we know, Green washed out with Browns due to his off the field distractions and not his ability on the field. It seems like he has his life together now.

Baseball lost their series finale to Pitt. The team is now 9-18 in ACC play and only has one ACC series -- against Clemson -- left.

Remember former basketball player Dallas Elmore? His BC career was never what he thought it would be and neither has his post-BC career. I hope after the article, someone from BC reconnects with him and helps him finish his degree. 

Women's Lacrosse beat BU.

Softball closed their season with a loss to Notre Dame. They finished the season 30-22 and 12-14 in the ACC.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

Baseball's streak snapped by Pitt

After rattling off six-straight wins, the Baseball team's win-streak came to an end Saturday. Pitt handed BC a 5-4 loss. The teams play the rubber match of the series Sunday. BC currently sits at 9-17 in ACC play and 20-28 overall.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Tweets of the Week

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Basketball recruiting roundup

The basketball coaches have been very active on the road, scouting and recruiting players. The first need is the 2014 class, but they are also building their pipeline for the 2015 and 2016 classes. Here are some of the most important names and what's going on with their respective recruiting.

California wing Elijah Stewart is a 2014 recruits and uncommitted. He's also a Top 100 player.

Supposedly Stewart will visit BC next week.

Local 2014 prospect Jared Terrell is also visiting. He had a previous relationship with Preston Murphy and is probably our best chance at an elite recruit in this first class.
As for 2014, Terrace Mann remains the centerpiece of the 2015 recruiting class.

Terance Mann remains the centerpiece of the 2015 class. Virginia Tech just offered him too.

BC is also involved with transfer Tevon Saddler.
Christian and company are also sending out their first offers for the 2017 class. It's never too early.