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Heights of frustration

Posted by Charles P. Pierce  April 7, 2010 07:54 PM

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Welcome to town, Steve Donahue.

Now, don't lose.

It should have told something to the various delusional factions in and around Boston College that the basketball coach at Richmond used the BC job to leverage more money out of Richmond. Alas, apparently, it didn't, because Donahue's introductory press conference occasioned a musing from AD Gene DeFilippo that, because Butler and George Mason made the Final Four over the past decade, there's no reason the Eagles can't. Left unsaid, of course, is that one of the reasons that Butler and George Mason could do that is because neither school is simultaneously trying to make the Fiesta Bowl. Football is the great drag on BC basketball, and it always will be.

There's a reason why there are very few private schools that try to compete at the upper levels of football and basketball. Stanford is one of them, and Notre Dame is another, and you may have noticed that neither school is very close to the top in either sport. The perennial futility of Duke football does not distress Mike Krzyzewski at all. The huge, land-grant public universities are always going to have an advantage in this regard; that's part of the reason Steve Donahue had an Ivy League in which to coach his Cornell guys this year in the first place. BC can make the NCAA tournament, especially if the noxious expansion of the field occurs. It can also play in all the Dec. 27th bowls that it wants. But to argue that it "should" be able to make the Final Four because smaller schools have, without mentioning the impact of football, is to be more than a little disingenuous.
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