Newly named Boston College athletic director Brad Bates joined Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday, a day after his introductory press conference.
Bates still is working as AD at Miami (Ohio), but he said he scheduled a meeting for Thursday to discuss his departure date from the Mid-American Conference school, and he noted that he will have an eye on Chestnut Hill. One of the things he'll be watching is the struggling BC football team and coach Frank Spaziani. Following the Eagles' loss to Army on Saturday, Spaziani's future with the Eagles has been called into question.
"It's something that's an ongoing assessment, just like it would be in terms of any sport," Bates said. "You're going to evaluate a body of work over the course of the season. Then you're going to sit down with the coach -- you're going to have rigorous communication throughout the season, but you're going to sit down at the end of the year and make a decision that's in the best interest of the program."
Asked if he would consider making a coaching change during the season, Bates implied that it's unlikely.
"I don't know that I would pin myself into saying never. At the same time, very seldom do I see those situations work out relative to the students in the program," he said. "When you have a shift in leadership midstream, I think it creates even greater disarray. There may be an immediate emotional response that you see a positive blip, but in the long term, there are very few situations where I've seen that work productively for the program or for the students."
Looking at the overall responsibility of his duties, Bates said he understands the challenge at a school like BC, where academics are valued more than many others. He indicated that this approach will not change.
Said Bates: "Do the coaches at Boston College have a much more challenging job because they have a smaller pool of students to recruit? Absolutely. But why would you compromise one of the great aspects of your institution that distinguishes you against the other school. … You absolutely have to win, but again, I think in a lot of ways that's an excuse. Coaches definitely have a smaller pool they can identify that are going to succeed academically at the institution. But why would you ever bring someone to an institution and exploit them for their athletic abilities, particularly if they're not going to be able to graduate from the institution. And while I realize that takes place nationally at certain places, to me that is one of the real crimes of intercollegiate athletics."
Added Bates: "If we're going to combine [athletics] with our educational system, we absolutely should have at least some semblance of integrity in our education."
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