BC needs to do a better job selling itself

We have no idea who the person will be–yet. But we are pretty sure when the final one, two or three candidates to be the next athletic director meets with Boston College officials–led by VP Leo Sullivan, who is again the point guy on the search for a new coach/administrator, that the topics will be about (not in order of importance):

1. the state of the football program

2. how to raise money

3. how to bring a shrinking fan base back into the fold.

4. how to fit into the BC mold of quality people doing quality jobs

Added to that list should be what we feel is one of BC’s strongest assets: the kids who play for the Eagles.

All are linked to a very basic fact: win games. Win and the people–even the notoriously front-running Boston (and we don’t mean just BC fans) who are with you (at least in person) win or, well, win.

Then the money will come.

And then things will get better.

Or at least that’s the way BC hopes it turns out.

BC hasn’t done a lot of that in football and basketball the last few years. Or not enough of it. There is unrest among the fans who are feeling they are paying too much for too little.

The other issue will be taken care of starting next year. BC officials can talk all they want about how great the move to the Atlantic Coast Conference was for the Eagles. Financially, there is no debating that. And outgoing AD Gene DeFilippo was more than the point man for that move. He took tons of hits over it, for the most part kept his mouth shut about it and did his job, which was to get BC into a place where its athletic financial future was secure.

What was missing and still is missing is a northern-based rival. And please, spare us Maryland. And the Clemson rivalry in football is nice, but it’s not natural.

Rivalries in sports are based on hatred. That is why UConn was such a good rival for BC.

With Pittsburgh and Syracuse coming into the ACC next season, the Eagles can rebuild the rivalries with people in the “neighborhood. That will be good.

But the key issue will be to get the people back in the stands. If the BC football team can turn 4-8 into 8-4 (and yes that is possible) then Coach Frank Spaziani should get a lot of coach of the year support and the program can move back into the good graces of the fans, which might bring them back into the mix.

If that doesn’t happen, however, the new AD will have to deal with bigger issues, which will cause more turmoil.

BC doesn’t need that right now.

The football season is a week away from starting.

A new AD should be ready to go by Oct. 1.

Things will move quickly once we hit Labor Day and the summer season is unofficially over.

What BC needs to do right now and what it needs to more of is sell what it has more of than most schools.

Its student-athletes.’

Forget the coaches, forget the administrators.

BC’s best product is the athletes who compete at the highest level and for the most part conduct themselves in the classic sense of student athletes.

Sell that better and great things can happen no matter who is in charge.

© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.

  5 comments for “BC needs to do a better job selling itself

  1. Jamie
    August 24, 2012 at 3:54 am

    First things first – great blog and keep up the great work! Didn’t know you had it in you and its clear to see the coverage problem wasn’t you, it was the Globe.

    As for this post, I agree that a rival would be awesome. But a rivalry with Connecticut does noting for BC. I don’t even think people in CT care about UConn. What BC needs is a rivalry with Rutgers, a fertile recruiting state filled with a small army of alumni, Catholic schools and a stone’s throw from NYC.

    One thing people from Boston will get behind is hatred of Jersey. Just look at the Jets…

    • Mark
      August 24, 2012 at 8:02 am

      I agree. Rutgers would be a good rival

  2. Dennis
    August 23, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I agree with most except that I think Spaz should be gone, barring an Orange Bowl bid. BC needs a major shot in the arm and the new AD has to make a statement. Keeping Spaz as Head coach is telling everyone that the status quo is OK. It is not OK. The program is the face of BC Athletics and Spaz was never the guy who should have been given the job of leading that. Now the program has been diminished and the program has been reduced to apathy, the worst thing that can happen to a college sports program.

    If the new AD’s first action is inaction, then he/she will lay an egg and may never get the support they will need to move the program forward. BC is a stepping stone job. If the administration accepts that, hires a young gun to come in and step up the program and then allow them to move on rather than firing them, and then go out and get the next young gun, BC will be OK. Let’s not make the same mistake again.

  3. David
    August 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    Couldn’t agree more! As a Boston non alum fan of BC Footbal that is what draws me to the football fan. The hard working, tough, and intelligent nature of the BC football player is a great sell. I understand how a lot of Bostonians don’t like BC alums as they tend to be a bit stuck-up and elitist. However, the disposition of the BC football team is a perfect match for Boston- blue collar and tough! BC needs to sell that.

    • DGF
      August 24, 2012 at 10:29 am

      BC alums are no more stuck-up and elitist than those of other private schools in the area. The difference is that coverage of the athletics programs has a side-effect of putting BC alumns on trial. I’m sure there are a fair number of elitists sitting in Harvard Stadium on Saturdays in autumn, but Bostonians don’t sit at the bar judging them because they are irrelevant on the sports scene.

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