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Sports woes at BC - Globe article

Posted by billhoward 
Sports woes at BC - Globe article
Posted by: billhoward (
Date: April 25, 2016 04:46PM

BC’s big revenue sports hit bottom, stirring scrutiny

Tough love (mostly tough) story in the Boston Globe from last month on the depths to which Boston College sports have sunk. Only men's and women's hockey bestow glory on the Eagles.

Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
More than a year has passed since BC won an ACC football or basketball contest, a record 27-game losing streak. Home football attendance has dropped to its lowest point in 25 years, largely because season ticket sales have plummeted by more than 60 percent since BC joined the ACC.

[About current BC president the Rev. William P. Leahy] ... unlike his predecessor, the Rev. J. Donald Monan, who was widely credited with leading the school out of its financial crisis by enthusiastically promoting both academics and athletics, Leahy is seen by many alumni as less exuberant about building elite sports programs than advancing the school’s academic excellence.

Leahy’s supporters credit him and former athletic director Gene DeFilippo with spearheading BC’s shift from the Big East to the ACC, a move many universities envy. No matter how BC’s teams fare competitively, the school receives a rich annual payout from the conference: more than $20 million last year and more than $140 million in total since BC joined the league. The windfall helps BC fund one of the nation’s most comprehensive athletic programs, with 31 teams competing in sports ranging from fencing to sailing. The school’s $69 million operating budget for sports last year far outpaced the likes of UMass Amherst ($33 million) and Harvard ($24 million). And no ACC school reported granting more than BC’s $18.6 million in athletic scholarships.

The university also faces a diversity problem. Every head coach of BC’s 31 sports teams is white, and the university’s 51-member board of trustees does not include any African-Americans.

Big time sports programs operating within the reach of the Boston Globe, which takes sports seriously, get scrutiny a lot of other programs don't. It's uncomfortable when you're in the spotlight. It makes for better programs over the long haul. Not that BC's athletic director, president, or trustees are feeling that way right now.

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