If Boston College wanted to hire Harvard Coach Tommy Amaker as its next basketball coach, it could have simply picked up the phone and told Amaker that he was their first choice and work on a deal to get it done.
According to sources familiar with the process, BC didn’t do that and Amaker was considering withdrawing his name from consideration, rather than be part of a group process of interviewing several candidates and wait for a decision.
It is not a done deal in either instance on Amaker.
But there were also indications that BC officials made it clear to Amaker that he was their No. 1 choice and that the hiring of a search firm to find candidates was a precautionary measure in case a deal with Amaker could not be worked out.
If Amaker were to take the BC job, he could have made it clear that certain upgrades to the BC basketball program would to be made to keep it on pace with other schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which is moving steadily to become the best basketball conference in the country.
The resolution of the issues-is expected in the next few days.
Athletic director Brad Bates consulted several people, brought in a search firm headed by former South Carolina and Vanderbilt coach Eddie Fogler and compiled a list of candidates as replacements for Steve Donahue.
Amaker’s name may or may not have been on that list, but it was on a list.
Amaker reportedly was not pleased with that. His theory was that if someone wanted him to be their coach, it was a plain and simple deal. He didn’t mind the interview process, but he was not comfortable with the idea of being one of a group of candidates interviewed.
He felt that he was beyond the point of auditioning. If you wanted him, offer him the job. If you didn’t want him, don’t bother calling. He did that when he was hired by Seton Hall. He did that when he was hired by Michigan. He did that when Harvard hired him seven years ago.
Bates chose to go the traditional way, of putting a list of several candidates together.
Amaker, who has guided Harvard to 3 consecutive NCAA tournaments and won second round games the past two years, did not want to work under those parameters.
The hope here is that Amaker can be convinced that he is the best person to lead BC towards respectability and that the list of other candidates was a safety net only if Amaker and BC couldn’t come to an agreement.
No news coming out of the Heights on Tuesday night, nor any word from Amaker could mean that a period of negotiating a deal has begun.
Whether that deal can be worked out remains uncertain.
© 2014, Mark. All rights reserved.