Tonight I was able to attend UGBC's State of the Heights with AD Brad Bates and Football HC Steve Addazio. The theme of the event was an open forum for the Students to ask both Bates and Addazio any questions about the current state of BC Athletics and what the future holds for the program
After holding two Town Hall events for season ticket holders’ earlier this year, it appeared to be a finale of Bates’ attempt to reach out to his fan base and ask questions about how they would like to see the department improve while also sharing what is in the pipeline
My first reaction to the event is how much the department has moved away from the ideology of Gene. A UGBC Moderator mentioned afterwards that they had not been able to schedule a similar event with the Football Coach and AD in recent memory. In my eyes, I believe this is a positive sign of growth that both Bates and Addazio recognize there are issues within the athletic department and they are willing to make changes to strengthen athletics at BC as a whole.
Here are some of my highlights from the hour-long event:
- Seemed like the need to honor all of Spaz’s commits, plus difficult situation of being a new hire hurt recruiting class. Addazio has goal of bringing in one of the top ACC classes next year
- Addazio’s recruiting plan is erect a fence around Massachusetts and build out. He described his overall plan as dominating New England and the Mid Atlantic. Recruiting the Catholic leagues in places like Ohio and bringing in a sampling of Florida kids through his connections.
- He will not be standing on the sidelines with his arms crossed- went so far as to imitate the Spaz Stance.
- He is beyond excited to rebuild this program and is already committed to get started. He announced the spring game will be April 20th and hopes a large crowd of students and alumni will be in attendance.
- Believes the program is a, “Sleeping giant that is waiting to take off.”
- Wants balance in the OOC schedule. This means there may be an easier opponent to start the year but wants to continue to create contracts with schools like Ohio State, USC, etc.
- The New Mexico State game was addressed. ACC teams needed to add an additional OOC game. There were limited options; one was giving up a home game to play Duke as a “Non-Conference Matchup”. New Mexico State was the best option because it allowed the Eagles to establish a contract that gave them a home game the following season.
- BC will be returning to 7 home games each season.
- Was able to ask if he would be open to having a 2 QB system. Addazio said he does not like that scheme but going forward he most likely will favor the dual-threat QB. That’s his favorite type of QB.
- “If you can’t run, you can’t win. You need balance and you need to exploit what you do best.” -Addazio
- Addazio will not call the plays.
- On bringing the fans back to Alumni, “There’s only one way. Win! Win! Win!”
- He understands what it is like to play in the SEC and how crazy those fans are. The cowbells at Mississippi St were referenced. Addazio wants to create something unique for the fans at BC.
- There is currently an strategic plan being developed that will be published in about 2 months. It will outline specific goals of the department and provide timelines of how the goals will be accomplished.
- Items like adding and taking away sports was brought up (i.e. Men’s Lax). Bates mentioned that they need to assess how to best used the funding and resources they have and make sure that the money is spread two thin through having 31 varsity sports.
- Included in the strategic plan will be a master facility plan. This was addressed after the collapse of the bubble came up. It appears that a permanent indoor facility may be in the works.
- Bates attended the Beanpot and believed that the environment is one of the best student fan experiences he has seen. He wants to bring that to campus Hockey, Basketball and Football games.
- I was able to ask what Bates thoughts were on Conference realignment and his thoughts on the stability of the ACC. He sees the ACC as very stable but the future of realignment really depends on the outcome of Maryland’s court case. If the judge rules that Maryland must pay the $52 million exit fee the ACC will stay very stable. If it doesn’t, he said realignment in all of the NCAA would pick up dramatically, not just in the ACC.
- They are working on implementing a plan for next year where if you own a season ticket you will have a parking spot that allows you to walk to Alumni. I was actually very impressed by that statement. They are also working the Boston and Newton regarding Tailgating Hours.
- They are working to change student seating in Conte so that they are right on top of the court- think Cameron Indoor Stadium. He says they will only make the change if the Students are on board to attend all the games, however.
I was very impressed during my time at the meeting. It was a very well run event and both Brad Bates and Steve Addazio refused to sit behind a table and microphones and instead came out and stood in front of the collection of students. Overall, I think there is a lot in the pipeline for the Athletics Program as a whole and it will be very interesting to see what is released in the strategic plan in a few months.
For Football, Coach Addazio said that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It may take some time, but it appears he has the team on track (the Marcus Outlaw verbal is hopefully a positive sign of things to come).