When discussing the present and future of the Boston College Eagles basketball program, we'd be remiss if we didn't spend a decent amount of time on head coach Steve Donahue. Donahue is entering his third season with the Eagles and is finally getting to see his own recruits mature and grow a little bit. Based on yesterday's article when we talked about future March Madness appearances, the fans seem pretty patient and understand that this is a process. However, there's a new athletic director on campus and while we assume that Brad Bates will be looking for a new football coach -- is it possible that he could be looking to replace the basketball coach as well? The BC Interruption gang weighs in.
Is there any reasonable situation you could foresee that ends in Steve Donahue's firing this season?
Grant: There isn't a chance in hell. He has at least a couple years to show progress before people start grumbling.
Brian: Given the fact that Dr. Bates didn't fire Frank Spaziani the day he was hired (ok, well ... the day after), none. Zero. Zip. Nada. There is absolutely no chance that Donahue is fired after this season. BC could probably even go 1-30 and the Don would get another season or two to turn things around. The timing of DeFilippo's retirement and the Bates hire more or less assures that Donahue is safe for a few more years.
AJ: He punches Dennis Clifford? No, the Don has a few more years to prove himself.
Joe: If BC goes backwards this year and there's very little sign of improvement on the recruiting front, I could see BradBates (one word. let's make this catch on?) wanting to put his own stamp on the program. That said, I don't see any chance of that happening.
My take: In a word, no. In a few more words, I'd have to agree with Joe and Brian's sentiments. That is to say, I think Donahue is almost certainly safe under any condition and that includes if BC is absolutely horrible this year. Going off of what Brian said, it does seem like Bates is the kind of guy who will take his time with these programs. Obviously football needs to be killed with fire and rebuilt, but the basketball program isn't nearly that bad. If we had hired an athletic director with a big time basketball background and big connections at basketball powerhouses, then Donahue could be worried. But that's not the case and it seems like he'll get ample time to see his process through.
All of that said, when do we start questioning if Donahue's job is in jeopardy? He's only had one bad season thus far and seems to have the groundwork in place for significant improvement. This probably relates to yesterday's discussion about the NCAA Tournament. If the Eagles aren't in serious discussion for March Madness by 2013-14, then maybe Donahue needs to be looked at closer. A five year drought is pretty long for a school like BC.
Others have touched on Donahue's recruiting abilities and it's certainly something to consider. He hasn't produced a bluechip prospect (I didn't really expect him to) and Ryan Anderson is the only one who was in ESPN's Top 100. I don't necessarily think it's a problem because he has shown that he is able to have success with his style of recruits in the past. If he fails to produce results, however, his recruiting will be the first thing to look at.
What do you think? How much time should Steve Donahue get to rebuild this program? Could Brad Bates can him at the end of the season?
Tomorrow's questions: Will you personally attend a BC basketball game this year? If you don't necessarily care about BC Hoops as much as other BC sports, what would the team have to do to really make you pay attention?