Tommy Amaker, Harvard’s Win, and Boston College Hoops Bashing


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Who said Boston College had no part in this year’s NCAA Tournament?

Well, they don’t, but after the Harvard Crimson pulled this year’s first 12-5 upset in the dance, their coach, Tommy Amaker, became the subject of barbs directed at the Eagles hoops program.

Granted, Katz has had very few nice things to say about Boston College basketball since Al Skinner got fired, and he’s not necessarily wrong with his implication — being that the Eagles job stinks right now. It was repeated by Jeff Borzello, another national media figure who has not had nice things to say about the program in general:

This is a guy who, last week when it looked like Steve Donahue would be kept, said that it’s just “not that easy to win” at a place like Boston College, as though the pre-Donahue era (ten NCAA Tournament appearances from 1994 to 2009) never happened and we’ve always been as bad as we were under Don. You’d expect that sort of uninformed statement from folks who don’t normally follow this program. Finally, I don’t know what Finkelstein’s deal is, nor am I going to attempt to find out.

These guys were not the only ones to sandbag Boston College hoops, suggesting that Amaker would be crazy for coming here. Maybe he would: it’s going to be a fairly lengthy rebuild (again) and we all know it. Whomever replaces Donahue is going to have to commit to that.

It bothers me that we are in such a position that people think an Ivy League job is better than an ACC one. That should never be the case, ever. It just might be, but that doesn’t mean it’s alright.

My other problem is that people assume that Tommy Amaker is our consensus choice to replace Donahue. For one thing, I am extremely confident in saying that media reports like those from WBZ 1030AM this morning and Dan Shaughnessy in the Globe are baseless. Those reports, of course, strongly implied that Amaker would be on his way to the Heights in short order and is the frontrunner for the job. Have they learned nothing from the football search in 2012 that resulted in Steve Addazio, a candidate they virtually ignored? Unlike our previous athletic director, this one doesn’t spill his guts to the media every chance he gets. Bates is going to conduct a deliberate search and is not necessarily going to leave clues as to what he’s thinking. Those who are saying he’s the leader in the clubhouse know as much about what’s actually going on as we do.

Second, they act as though we should be upset that Amaker shouldn’t want to come here. I wouldn’t be. He has done a fine job at Harvard and nobody will take that away from him, but given that he has only had sustained success at a lower-level school during his career, and that he seems like the kind of coach who might have the Eagles “OK” but never great, he would be an average and fairly bland hire. Staff writer Andrew DeStefano will have more to say on the matter, but it would be a mistake to think most of us are dying to get this guy.

Eagles hoops is, however, in a position to be bashed, and that is the worst part. These last few years set the program back, and Boston College needs to find a coach who can restore its credibility.