Monday afternoon the bomb dropped on embittered Eagle faithful when Boston College announced a 2-year contract extension for head coach Frank Spaziani. The move comes after a less than inspiring regular season including a 5-game slide against ACC opponents and Notre Dame. Following an announcement full of hope and reassurance the question remains: what the heck was AD Gene DeFelippo thinking?
Let's get one thing straight. I am not a Spaz hater. Truth be told, if pressed, I would consider myself a Spaz supporter. I have loved his stout defenses as much as the next fan. I like his demeanor and the respect and admiration he seems to command from his players. He's not the most exciting head coach but I wasn't unhappy about his hiring.
With that out of the way let me say Frank Spaziani should not have been offered a 2-year extension after the lackluster play we saw this year. Granted, much of this year's struggles can be attributed to offensive coordinator Gary Tranquil. Even so, The Stache is not exonerated.To my understanding (and I welcome new insight) there are 3 possible reasons for the Spaz extension and none of them are good. The first is obvious-performance. That is Spaz has done such a good job we extend his contract to reward him and keep him from being plucked away by another program. If you think any of this sounds like the situation we Eagles fans find ourselves in then you need more help than I can supply. A waste of a potentially very special season, tearing through starting quarterbacks, disappointing play from a very talented Oline, and coming out flat in big games at home are not to be rewarded. Further, the last time I checked there wasn't exactly a long line of suitors for The Stache. Lastly, Spaz has made it clear in Monday's announcement (and countless times before) that he's a BC guy and has no desire to go anywhere else. So okay, it's not performance driven.
The second reason proposed for the extension is that it was part of a deal between GDF and Spaz for the forced retirement of Gary Tranquil. I'm not buying this one either. Even if Gene offered Spaz the extension under the condition Boston College have an offensive coordinator next season with a name not rhyming with a sedative cold medicine, the deal is not justified. From where I'm sitting the athletic director should not have to throw around a contract extension to get a new OC especially after the lack of performance we have gotten from Tranquil over the last two seasons. If Genes' bargaining power is in fact this low the least of our worries is the Tranquil's "dive offense."
The last reason being given for Monday's bombshell is the extension was simply a way of appealing to recruits and alleviating their fears of major staff changes. With 3 years left on the contract as it stood this seems skeptical at best. If Spaz were trying to ring in this year's class with only one or two years left on his contract the extension might have been more defensible. The fact is there are far bigger concerns in the minds of kids who have said they're coming to play on the heights than what the Stache will be doing in 2015. the last point I'd like to make is addressing stance that some have taken suggesting the contract extension is a way of appeasing recruits' fears without making it more difficult for Boston College to fire Spaz (let's hope that day need not come). This argument simply won't hold. Either the extension makes it harder to fire Spaz and therefore supposedly eases recruits' objections or even with the extension it would be easy to fire Spaz and therefore does little to persuade this year's recruits. It's one or the other. You can't have it both ways.
We may look back in a couple years and be thankful we've got The Stache still under contract. I sincerely hope that day comes. Still it would not justify this decision, nor would it answer the question what was Gene thinking?