By all accounts Boston College is thriving; applications, university rankings, and the endowment are all at strong levels. However, the failure to compete in two major athletic programs threatens not only the incredible accomplishments given to BC by all its past and current athletes, but BC’s future goals as well. While athletics is not the University’s primary mission, as Geoff Boisi stated so clearly at Fr. Monan’s funeral mass, “there is a vital symbiotic relationship between athletic and academic success.” We are writing to you as concerned alumni who see the University losing an important piece of its community. Athletics connect us to one another and our alma mater. With game attendance down, no energy in the stands, and a general malaise surrounding the athletic program, our school’s culture has been impaired. As an influential member of BC, you have a unique opportunity to help the new Athletic Director take corrective action and maintain the trajectory of the institution.
The new AD must be driven to competitiveness in the program’s conferences with the full backing of the administration and the Board of Trustees. The demands on this person will be substantial; including administrative oversight, fundraising, and marketing. But the first priority is to be competitive again. The failure of our athletic program to reach escape velocity over the last 20 years is an indication that the traditional metrics by which we evaluate athletic administration and coaching candidates is not working. Look outside the box and overcome institutional biases.
Once the new AD is in place, the real work begins. The entire administration must rededicate themselves to our student athletes, offering practical solutions to everyday issues. No athlete should leave school feeling that they didn’t have the institutional backing needed to balance their educational and athletic commitments. And no athlete should finish their time here with their best memory being going out to eat.
That’s just the beginning; foster a connection between current and past players. This will create a positive feedback loop which will enhance the nature of what it means to be an Eagle and play with that special BC grit and determination exhibited by the best of our athletes.
BC is at a major crossroad with critical risk of losing significant alumni support and future funding. To maintain our academic mission and commitment to excellence let us be reminded of the strategic moves that helped get us to where we are today. Fr. Monan understood the integral role that athletics could play in transforming BC from a small commuter school to one of national prominence. Seize this opportunity to honor his legacy and ensure the future success of BC.
Chris Broder BC ’97
Jason Browning BC ’97