It has not been since my first year doing this site that I have used this space to react to things other BC bloggers wrote (mainly so one would notice me), but I think the potential hiring of only the second Boston College athletic director I’ve ever known qualifies as a time to bust it out again.
Sure, I could have left a comment there, but there was a lot to pick apart in that little post and I have one of these here blog thingies, so I might as well use it.
Last night, Bill (ATLEagle), the patriarch of Boston College blogging, posted an article about Boston College’s AD search about “filling in the gaps” of information that Mark Blaudschun doesn’t know (since he hedged his bets on Frazier getting hired). This is all in reference to Sean Frazier, deputy athletic director at Wisconsin, who is believed to be the front-runner to replace Gene DeFilippo as athletic director. For the full post and comments, please visit ATL’s blog.
BC has a Board of Trustees meeting on September 28
Better known to you and me as next Friday. This could be decision day for the new AD hire, so if something is going to happen before Gene DeFilippo officially retires, circle that date. This is important because…
[Boston College President Fr. William Leahy and V.P. for Human Resources Leo Sullivan] explained [to Flynn Fund reps] that they want a new AD in place soon, so that he or she can make a full evaluation of the football program. Even if someone is not named October 1, the process will not drag on much longer.
If this is the case, this is outstanding. Just the fact that they would say something to the effect of “make a full evaluation of the football program” shows that these guys maybe, just maybe, are looking to take revitalizing this seriously. Our bloggers have already outlined a hundred reasons why a successful football program is an across-the-board benefit for a university, even with regards to academics. Hopefully, Father Leahy and Company get it. My optimism in that department is bolstered by the next point:
Leahy and Sullivan also told the Flynn Fund that the new AD will be from the Athletic Department world and have football experience. We won’t be following the recent steps of Michigan, Notre Dame and USC by hiring a high-profile alum that doesn’t have hands on Athletic Department experience.
This sort of stuff makes me want to high-five all of you, because it’s exactly what I want to hear, assuming all of this comes to pass. There are two good parts of this: (1) Boston College is not looking to hire an alum just for the sake of hiring an alum, which would be a huge missed opportunity for us, and (2) again, they are looking squarely at the football program. Putting the puzzle together is easy when the president and his HR point-man want someone to “make a full evaluation of the football program” and state that this hire will have “football experience.” It could be that the higher-ups now realize where Gene DeFilippo let Frank Spaziani take the football program for roughly the last four years and they want to fix it. If that is so, I’m very pleased that their heads are in the right place.
Of course, the athletic director will have oversight in all programs, but football is the big cash cow and they appear to know that this program has been decimated by rank incompetence and putting loyalty over actual results, amongst other things.
I do agree with Blauds that this process will be over soon.
This is good news as well, and I’ll tell you why: Let’s say it’s Sean Frazier, and let’s say they bring him in shortly after Gene leaves. Remember, they want him to “make a full evaluation of the football program,” and since they’re looking to expedite the process, that means they want him to do it soon. They aren’t referring to months down the road — they want our new AD to see Boston College football as it is now, in-season. When a guy like Frazier witnesses Florida State nuking our defense back to the Stone Age while playing close games with teams like Army and Maryland, it is almost guaranteed that he will not like what he sees.
And that’s when he starts to swing the hammer.
Operating under the assumption that those bullet points are an accurate representation of what’s going on in Leahy’s head, you can translate this another way: “the administration wants a new AD who is going to take a wrecking ball to the football program ASAP.” Maybe I’m not reading this right, but that is the logical conclusion given the information we have at hand. Think about it:
• Football team stinks and remains in apparent decline.
• Donors and fans getting angry; Athletic Director all but flips them the bird. (“It doesn’t matter.”)
• Athletic Director retires; some believe he was gently pushed towards the exit.
• Leahy/Sullivan tell Flynn Fund that they want a football guy from outside the school who can “make a full evaluation” of the program.
• They ostensibly want this hire in place immediately or almost immediately, in time for the new AD to witness over half the season and such potential catastrophes as Florida State, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Notre Dame.
I don’t know if Leahy and Company necessarily realize how bad some of these particular games could get, or what our schedule is at all, but I would like to believe he comprehends the basics: BC football is bad, the donors/fans are in revolt, and something has to be done about it. Now, if BC loses the Whalepants Super Bowl for the fourth-straight year, you bet they’ll know all about that. The timing of all of this could be a coincidence, but if the AD is in place during the season, he is going to see how we roll. They’re getting him in place very soon to witness it and then figure out what to do about it.
It’s good news for us because it’s bad news for poor Spaz. I can’t imagine that any outside hire is going to come in, watch this team play flat, fundamentally-poor football and say “this is my guy going forward.” He is much more likely to hand Spaz his walking papers, perhaps sooner rather than later so he can dispense with the drama and begin searching for a new coach while retaining an interim. That last part is just my hope, but it’s a tantalizing possibility. Either way, Spaz is going to be dismissed — the only question is when Frazier (if it is him) will have had enough.
The only part I’ll downplay here is that of Frazier’s picture with the BC hockey team and Jerry York. We all know by now that that’s his Twitter picture, and some think it could be a sign. It might not be: for all we know, it could have been there for five months and he uses it to proclaim to the world “hey, I was on ESPN.” You never know but in fairness, it could mean anything.