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.
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.