OK. You conspiracy theory folks out there.
Let’s see what we have.
Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo announced his retirement on Friday afternoon, effective Sept. 30th.
Usually, when retirements are announced with people who have contributed greatly in their jobs a long farewell planned.
Normally this late in the summer, a retirement would be effective at the end of the year–meaning academic year, which would be next June.
That is not a hard and fast rule, but happens more often not when there is a mutual parting of the ways.
That did not happen with Gene D. Again. Health was an issue, which DeFilippo mentioned in his retirement statement–he has a melanoma on the nose that is being treated. Hopefully, DeFilippo’s health is not the issue here.
What is curious about this situation is that BC could be approaching a siege-mentality if the football team and fourth year coach Frank Spaziani stumble out of the gate, which means that a repeat of last year’s 4-8 season becomes more of a possibility.
If that happens, almost everyone concedes Spaziani’s job will be in more serious jeopardy.
If that happens, who makes the call on the next coach? A lame duck AD–sorry. That’s not going to happen, which then leads one to believe that the BC administration wants to have a new AD in place BEFORE the end of the football season so he or she can make the call on the direction of the football program.
And there will be a long list of candidates for the job–Tim Pernetti of Rutgers and John Currie of Kansas State might fit the mold of new wave of young, aggressive athletic directors that are currently in place in college athletics.
Currie, however, signed a contract with KState through the 2018 season, so he is probably out of the mix. Pernetti, who has guided Rutgers through a period of development, does not have a long term deal.
What adds to the intrigue is that DeFilippo had lunch last week with former Big East commissioner John Marinatto and gave no indication that retirement was on his radar screen–at least not for another few years
Now that has changed. Was DeFilippo nudged, pushed, guided to announce that he was leaving sooner rather than later? Was it his choice?
Lord knows DeFilippo had as many critics as he did supporters in the last several months. But with the backing of the administration his base seemed secure.
Connecting all the dots in these scenarios is always risky business.
But whatever conclusion you reach, it seems clear that BC wants to move to new leadership in the athletic department and it wants to do it quickly, which will increase the drama of what happens on the football field each Saturday dramatically.
And don’t be surprised if a new AD is in place by Halloween, if not sooner.
© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.