Bates, Addazio Outline Future For Eagles
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 28, 2013 01:02
The future of Boston College athletics will start to take shape in the next two months. Athletic director Brad Bates and the rest of the department are in the process of putting together a comprehensive strategic plan, Bates told students at Monday’s “State of the Heights,” sponsored by the Undergraduate Government of Boston College (UGBC).
“We’re in that process right now,” Bates said. “It’s going to define where we’re going and how we’re going to get there, with very clearly defined timelines and common goals in places along the way.”
The strategic plan will include an overall look at BC’s programs and facilities, both of which were common concerns among the students at the event.
“We’re in the process of identifying how we resource our programs,” Bates said when asked about the possibility of reinstating varsity men’s lacrosse. “If you think about this, athletics is, in so many ways, a marketing vehicle for the entire University. When you picked up the paper this morning you didn’t see a physics section. And so, whether it’s right or wrong, that’s the way our society is. We value sports, and so my responsibility, and the athletic department’s, is to take advantage of that social emphasis on athletics in ways that really expose Boston College to the country. So in our strategic planning process we are going to look at all programs and identify those that can be nationally competitive and nationally distinctive and figure out how we are going to resource those programs in ways that best serve the University.”
Bates was also asked about the department’s plans to build an indoor practice facility after the recent collapse of the bubble, and he said it will be a part of the discussion in the compiling of the strategic plan.
Even before the strategic plan is finalized, though, Bates was ready to commit one major change to students in hopes of fixing the attendance deficit at men’s basketball games throughout the past two years. The department is trying out new seating arrangements for next season that will put students closer to the action.
“If we give you those seats, we need you to show up, because we are going to do some things that are going to put you right on top of the court and we’re getting details of that next year,” Bates said. “We need to make basketball as intimidating of an environment as it can be.”
In attendance with Bates was new head football coach Steve Addazio, who talked about rebuilding a program that has missed out on a bowl game the past two seasons.
“What we want to do here, and I want to do with this football program, is build a program that you’re really proud of,” Addazio said. “I want to have a program that, when you walk into that stadium, you feel like this team is really going to play hard. They respect the game of football. They treat it like it’s a privilege and not a right.”
Addazio said that recruiting will be one of the biggest factors in making the program successful again, and described how he thinks BC will be appealing to the nation’s best high school players.
“First of all, you’re talking about one of the most beautiful campuses in the country,” he said. “This is what I say. You’re talking about an elite education and degree. You’re talking about playing in a BCS conference. You’re talking about going to school in what’s considered to be the most favorable place to go to college in America. You’re talking about, from a football standpoint—we have an unbelievable tradition here of first-rounders. We’re at a school where there’s a real family atmosphere. Really, what’s not to like? I told Brad Bates a few weeks back that I think this is a sleeping giant.”
He also told students that they will be a part of the rebuilding process as well.
“I want you guys to feel like you can watch practice,” Addazio said. “I want you guys to feel like a part of the program. I want you to be invested and I wanted you to be excited about it. I want you to be loyal to it. There’s not always great days on Saturday. That’s just not the way it is, but we’re all part of the same family. We’re trying to work hard and represent the University and represent Boston College. Obviously you’re here because you’re true, loyal fans, and you’ve been through some good times and some hard times, and my hope is that you’re going to be excited about the brand of football that we’re going to build and that you’re going to be those loyal fans that are with us in the good times and sometimes the hard times.”