The Case to Fire Frank Spaziani Today



Frank Spaziani has failed as Boston College’s head coach.

That is not up for debate, nor is that an opinion. It is a fact.

What few Spaziani supporters who have not been smoked out of their hiding spots remain steadfast in support of BC’s coach. There are all sorts of far-reaching excuses made by these folks, but now, some have taken a different tack.

“He’ll get fired, but you can’t fire Spaz yet. Give him until the end of the season.”

There are several reasons why this line of thinking is wrong and will only perpetuate the damage being done to the Boston College football program.

It won’t get any worse, and in fact would send the right message. Spaziani supporters who acknowledge he will be fired say that he should not be fired now because there is “nothing to gain” by doing it. This is absolutely false, for reasons that will be outlined throughout this analysis. We can start with a question: What is there to lose? What irreplaceable quality does Frank Spaziani bring to this program that would be otherwise lacking in his absence?

The correct answer is nothing. In fact, almost every major problem in this program over the last several years can be traced back to him. The Eagles are 1-6; the season is all but over, anyway, and there is no point to keeping Spaziani around any longer. An interim head coach will not do any worse than Spaziani, who is doing about as badly as possible, but even if he does, what does it matter? What BC gets out of that exchange is a demonstration to the fans/donors and players that the school is taking steps to turn the ship around.

Firing Spaziani now has the potential of lifting the dark cloud over this team and motivating them to perform. It could give the seniors a fighting chance in their last few games and perhaps allow the Eagles to build some momentum going into next season. It is true that those things might not happen under an interim, but they are virtually guaranteed not to happen under Spaziani. If absolutely nothing else, it would improve morale across the board.

The sooner a new coach is in place, the sooner he can hit the recruiting trail. This sort of thing is overlooked, but must be taken into account. National Signing Day is on February 6. 2013 recruits are starting to lock in as we move through the fall. If Boston College does not have a head coach until sometime in January, those are precious months lost in trying to save or improve upon the class. If BC fires Spaziani now and can put someone new in place shortly after the season ends, that’s potentially an extra month or two that the new coach will have to sell his vision. Perhaps more importantly, it also buys him more time to set up for what will be a critical class in 2014.

Sure, there will be recruits determined to stay and some assistants working on the trail, but it’s doubtlessly hard to sell a program when you can’t even tell a recruit who the coach is. Keeping Spaziani until the end would delay the much-needed rebuilding of this program and put BC at a disadvantage in short-term recruiting.

The team is frustrated. You don’t need to know someone on the team to know that. They’re trying hard every week, but things are not going their way. Every week is the same as the last. Wouldn’t you be frustrated if in that situation? You can’t stop losing. You can’t get off the field. The other team always seems to make the big play. The fans are pissed off and seem like they’re ready to walk. One does not need to have been a college athlete to realize that there is a lot on their plates and the sum total of it all has to be a big weight on their shoulders.

Boston College alumni and fans do not want any of this for the kids who wear the maroon and gold. This goes back to the “morale booster” point earlier: get rid of Spaziani, who has run the program into the ground since taking over, and throw the players a bone. Show them that losing isn’t going to be tolerated any longer and that positive change is around the corner. They’re not having fun out there, and if you’ve seen Spaziani on the sidelines, neither is he. Fire him and give the players a psychological lift.

The football program is a national embarrassment. The longer this continues, the more donors and fans BC will shed, and the bigger the joke BC becomes. From recruits to potential replacement hires, every time this team stinks up the joint, Boston College lowers itself in the opinions of others. BC went from a team that won consecutive ACC Atlantic titles to a 1-6 doormat with one of the worst defenses in the country in just a few years.

Boston College’s decline is accelerating, and BC hasn’t so much as tied a towel around the wound to stop the bleeding. We may be a joke, but to us, it’s not funny. Responsibility must be taken immediately.

Spaziani does not deserve the luxury of coaching five more games. Those who oppose an immediate Spaziani firing say there is nothing to gain by it, which is not true. A better question: What is to be gained by keeping him? There is quite literally not one positive to be associated with retaining Spaziani until the end of the year. If you’re one who acknowledges that he will lose his job by the end of the year, anyway, then you’ve set yourself up for a losing argument. If you believe he’s done, then why delay the inevitable and kick the can down the road? Why put off the long rebuilding process longer than necessary?

The once-proud Boston College football program has been obliterated under his watch. Not one of Spaziani’s four teams was good on both sides of the football, but at least the 2009 and 2010 teams had some defense. This team basically doesn’t have much of anything going for it right now.

The fact of the matter is, we do not want to see Spaziani destroy this program any longer. His career as defensive coordinator was years ago and is not of relevance here. Spaziani is not “owed” anything in terms of allegiance due to nostalgia. He is the head coach now, and after four years, there is little remaining of the football team we once knew. BC is at its lowest point in decades, and that is not something that should be rewarded. It is a privilege to coach this team, not a right, and Spaziani’s body of work indicates someone whose job performance is dropping, not improving.

Nowhere in the real world would an employee of such caliber be tolerated for this long. Neither should Boston College continue to tolerate Spaziani’s inability to succeed. For the future of this program and the betterment of the donors, fans and players, he must be fired today.