Metro this week reached out to several former members of the once-proud Boston College athletic community following Monday’s report regarding the decline of BC athletics.
Metro’s original report, which included quotes from former athletic department staff, doners and alumni, detailed the downward trend of the men’s basketball and football programs, in particular.
Former Boston College head football coach Tom O’Brien, who guided the Eagles to six straight postseason bowl wins, a 75-45 record in his tenure and had BC ranked as the 18th winningest football program of the 21st century when he left for ACC-rival North Carolina State in 2006, spoke with Metro regarding the decline of his former school.
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“I don’t have a good look at the thing because I’ve been gone for five years now and am looking from the outside in,” O’Brien said. “The story was sent to me and I think obviously the numbers support what you wrote.”
O’Brien also spoke of his departure from the school in 2006.
“That’s not my decision, that’s their choice,” O’Brien said. “They’re capable of making those types of choices to put them in a position to be better. But I thought we left the program in great shape.”
O’Brien said that he is happy with the way things have worked out at NC State.
“The last two years have started to show some of the fruition of the work we’ve done,” O’Brien said. “In the last two years, there are only two teams that have won more games than us in the ACC (Virginia Tech and Florida State). So are we on the right path? I’d say we are.”
Bags speaks out
John Bagley, a star point guard for Boston College in the 1980s, also spoke with Metro regarding the downfall of the two revenue programs.
“Things should not be going in the direction they’re going,” Bagley said. “Going to a prestigious college like Boston College that’s built up a great legacy of athletics and memories, it’s hard to believe that that doesn’t exist anymore.”
Bagley, who will make a rare appearance as a BC representative this weekend at the ACC men’s basketball tournament in Atlanta, said that he wished he and more alumni could be more involved with the current direction of the program.
“My (affiliation with BC) today is very limited,” Bagley said. “I don’t know why things have changed in any capacity. I don’t know if it was the players and I don’t know what the cause of (the downward trend) is.”
BC badmouthing ex-employees?
Sources close to the athletic department allege that current athletic director Gene DeFilippo “badmouthed” former men’s basketball coach Al Skinner and former football coach O’Brien to other Div. 1 athletic departments in recent years.
“I know (DeFilippo) called over to St. John’s and badmouthed (Skinner) and his staff. He certainly didn’t make it easy for (Skinner) to get another job,” one source said. “Gene has a lot of power. But you have an individual here where that power corrupted him. All of his hires have been disastrous.”
Metro asked O’Brien to comment on negative phone calls placed to NC State.
“I have no comment. None,” O’Brien said.
Skinner had three years remaining on his contract when he left Boston College and was reportedly owed $3 million.
Skinner was the winningest coach in school history, with seven NCAA tournament berths since the 2001 season and owned a 247-165 record.
Despite multiple efforts, DeFilippo’s office again declined to speak with Metro regarding this story.
Former BC guard Tyrese Rice tweeted the following:
ReseRice4: I probably won't ever step foot on BC campus again. So much going on up there that outsiders don't see. ( What's goin on?)