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· The Invisible Iron Fist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this article amusing, and sad all at the same time:
The Angry White Boys
Lynching BU athletics
Josh Lerner and Chris Pasquale
Posted: 4/4/06
Sometimes it's hard to understand what the Boston University athletic department is thinking. We hoped to interview Athletic Director Mike Lynch and other members of the department for this column so that we could provide you, our faithful fans, with a great piece of journalism, but the entire department was in Indianapolis at the men's basketball Final Four this week -- I guess they didn't get the memo that in order to go to the Final Four, you have to have a better record than 12-18.

They also apparently didn't realize the women's Final Four was right here in Boston, with the championship game tonight. Why not go to the championship event held in your own city? It would have certainly eliminated some heavy travel costs, and the money could've been spent on, oh, we don't know, maybe getting BU a football team? Since they were out of town, we decided to take our best guess at how they came to several interesting decisions over the past months.

The following is an imagined conversation between two employees of the BU athletic department, "Mr. Misguided," a highly ranked executive, and "Mr. Normal," an intern. This was not an actual conversation that took place in the athletic department, but we assume it must be pretty close. Neither of the characters depicted here are meant to represent any specific individuals. It is just a parody meant for entertainment purposes only.

Mr. Misguided: I wonder what unique innovations we can come up with this year to further promote BU athletics on the national scene?

Mr. Normal: We could make sure more basketball games are televised on local sports channels, organize some neat giveaways on campus to get more boisterous students in the stands at home games or coordinate trips for fans to attend road hockey and basketball games.

Mr. Misguided: Eh, those have all been done. I have an idea that's going to blow you away -- Podcasts! No other school in the country has done it! We're such a bunch of lazy corporate sellouts that we could expand our deal with Apple and put a few 30-second highlight clips from each game on the internet so that people with iTunes and video iPods can download them and watch them while they are on the T or in class!

Mr. Normal: Don't you think there might be a good reason no other school has done it? I mean, what's the point of having podcasts? Do enough people have the new video iPods to make this endeavor worthwhile? How many people are actually going to want to watch a couple of highlight clips on their iPod? And if anyone even wanted to do this, wouldn't he or she have been at the game to begin with, or at least watched it on television, and wouldn't need to see the highlights again?

Mr. Misguided: Let's not argue about semantics here. We're going to be the most technologically advanced athletic department in the country! This idea is going to make us stand out.

Mr. Normal: Stand out for being absolutely idiotic. No other school has a varsity biolab protesting team, should we add that?

Mr. Misguided: Biolab protesting? I don't even know how to spell that … hmmm … it's not bad, but one thing at a time! Let's stick with getting the podcasts up and running first.

Mr. Normal: But how much money would this waste? Shouldn't we use that money on something that would make our athletic teams better, such as a new, state-of-the-art home for our basketball team to play?

Mr. Misguided: That's not the issue, I don't care if people watch the clips or not. If I really wanted people to watch BU sports, I would make sure that all the games were televised. You don't see home softball, lacrosse, field hockey or soccer games on TV, do you? I mean, what else could the university do with that television station we just started? They barely have enough programming to fill up a couple hours a day.

Adding home games to the TV schedule would not only give the teams more exposure and satisfy the fans out there on campus, but it would also give the students who work for the station a little more experience, that would certainly be valuable when they graduate and enter the field. But no, I'm sticking with my podcasts. You know, I think this might be my best idea since I put the statue of Harry Agganis playing football in front of the hockey arena.

Mr. Normal: It was nice to give Harry Agganis his due, but I still don't understand why it had to be a statue of him playing football. If we still had a football team, it would make some sense, but now we have a statue of a legend playing a sport we don't even have!

Mr. Misguided: That was the genius of it. A nice little "screw you" to the students. It's a constant reminder that they don't have a football team to watch on Saturday afternoons like most other college students in the country. I wanted to add a plaque that reads, "Haha, we took away your football team!" but I was outvoted by that guy who really runs the athletic department -- what sport does he coach again? Men's field hockey? I forget.

Mr. Normal: Some athletic departments actually try to work with their students and consider it part of their job to please the student body.

Mr. Misguided: Haha, yeah, those crazy *******s. I bet some schools even would've accepted the CAA's invitation to join its conference! Wait … why did we turn them down again?

Mr. Normal: Well, Mr. Misguided, you were outraged that they had an Old Dominion but not a New Dominion. Now we seem kind of silly though, with George Mason University making the Final Four.

Mr. Misguided: George Mason … was he our first president or our fourth?
 

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i really didn't enjoy this article. the angry white boys, the pair of columnists who wrote this, usually make pretty decent points and observations but the last 2 weeks (last week was BU hockey lamentations/ruminations) have really missed the mark. i don't think this is anything lynch believes, from the times i've met him he seems very knowledgeable and as much as they said it's not based on any real people then why is the article titled lynching BU athletics? also the random barb of repeating the basketball record was unnecessary. just generally,for some reason when i was reading this it just really hit me the wrong way... def open to what other ppl think though
 

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Seth said:
They also apparently didn't realize the women's Final Four was right here in Boston, with the championship game tonight. Why not go to the championship event held in your own city? It would have certainly eliminated some heavy travel costs, and the money could've been spent on, oh, we don't know, maybe getting BU a football team?
Seth:

As an alumnus that got to see the BU football team back in the 1980's (I'm pretty much flagging my age here), I would love to see football back at Nickerson Field. Last Fall I attended an alumni event in downtown Dallas, where the new BU President, Dr. Robert Brown, was being introduced. As a UT-Austin graduate, he was waxing about his Longhorns being ranked #1 and the BU hockey team beating BC at Conte Forum.

During the Q & A session, I stood aside with him and asked him again the annoying question: "Will we ever see BU football again?"

His answer: "My friend, let's just stick to what we can do right. I know about football. Football is having 80,000 cheering, rowdy fans supporting your team in the stands. Even when BU was good at football (at 1-AA), we couldn't fill the stands. If we cannot bring football to its highest level, it's not worth talking about it."

That's from the horse's mouth. Forget about a football program at BU.

More encouraging was his take on basketball. "Coach Dennis Wolff has done a marvelous job with the basketball program (read: HIS JOB IS MORE THAN SECURE!). And Kelly Greenberg is doing the same with the women's program. Both the Big East and Conference USA are conferences too big to be manageable. The Big East agreement is for only two years, and individual schools are open to renew their membership or move on. I can see BU in a future playing in a newly-formed conference once these conferences fall on their own weight."

Again, from the horse's mouth.

The man spoke like he really knew his stuff. It means that the conversations at the Athletic Department have taken place, and the potential move of BU to a higher (or like Dr. Brown said, a newly-formed conference) has the support from the prez.

Let's see if things materialize that way.
 

· The Invisible Iron Fist
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
bu_bball_girl said:
i really didn't enjoy this article. the angry white boys, the pair of columnists who wrote this, usually make pretty decent points and observations but the last 2 weeks (last week was BU hockey lamentations/ruminations) have really missed the mark. i don't think this is anything lynch believes, from the times i've met him he seems very knowledgeable and as much as they said it's not based on any real people then why is the article titled lynching BU athletics? also the random barb of repeating the basketball record was unnecessary. just generally,for some reason when i was reading this it just really hit me the wrong way... def open to what other ppl think though
I think that it makes some valid points about the lack of communication between students and the athletics administration. I'm not saying I agree with all the points in this article, but I do think that the lack of communication and focus on getting butts in the seats is appalling, and shows a lack of the basic understanding. This is college athletics. College kids should be going to the games, particularly the basketball games. There are plenty of students on campus who love college basketball, but don't go to the BU games. Those marketing basketball should be out on campus, going to fitrec and getting every ball-playing student to the games. If they can get a good group of rowdy fans, those fans will have fun and get others to come (see the hockey team earlier this decade...I realize this is a tough comparison, because hockey is king, but the team was not great at all, but the experience kept the students coming). One way to find out how to get them to come is to talk to them. I don't see it happening.
 

· The Invisible Iron Fist
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
TheVelezes said:
Seth:

As an alumnus that got to see the BU football team back in the 1980's (I'm pretty much flagging my age here), I would love to see football back at Nickerson Field. Last Fall I attended an alumni event in downtown Dallas, where the new BU President, Dr. Robert Brown, was being introduced. As a UT-Austin graduate, he was waxing about his Longhorns being ranked #1 and the BU hockey team beating BC at Conte Forum.

During the Q & A session, I stood aside with him and asked him again the annoying question: "Will we ever see BU football again?"

His answer: "My friend, let's just stick to what we can do right. I know about football. Football is having 80,000 cheering, rowdy fans supporting your team in the stands. Even when BU was good at football (at 1-AA), we couldn't fill the stands. If we cannot bring football to its highest level, it's not worth talking about it."

That's from the horse's mouth. Forget about a football program at BU.

More encouraging was his take on basketball. "Coach Dennis Wolff has done a marvelous job with the basketball program (read: HIS JOB IS MORE THAN SECURE!). And Kelly Greenberg is doing the same with the women's program. Both the Big East and Conference USA are conferences too big to be manageable. The Big East agreement is for only two years, and individual schools are open to renew their membership or move on. I can see BU in a future playing in a newly-formed conference once these conferences fall on their own weight."

Again, from the horse's mouth.

The man spoke like he really knew his stuff. It means that the conversations at the Athletic Department have taken place, and the potential move of BU to a higher (or like Dr. Brown said, a newly-formed conference) has the support from the prez.

Let's see if things materialize that way.
Sr. Velez, thank you so much for posting your exchange with Dr. Brown. I've heard his thoughts on football, and as much as he makes sense regarding quality, it misses the point for me. I just love football at any level. I was around to see the last three years of football, when we went 3-8, 1-10, 1-10. I still loved it. Losing isn't fun, but the last team we beat (UMass) ended up winning I-AA the next year. College football isn't only about huge crowds. It's about a crisp, fall saturday, going outside and watching and cheering your school's team. For me, It's not about 80000 people doing it, it's just about people doing it. BC wouldn't draw 80,000 if they had the capacity, and I think his answer is a cop-out, stating the impossible (for this market) to be true in order to make it happen. This is a very disappointing, but not unexpect point of view.

I may miss it a ton, but I'm not delussional and I don't think football will happen soon, but money talks. If someone stepped up with a huge gift, it might get them thinking. Alas, I don't see that happening.

Regarding his thoughts on basketball, it's a shame he thinks that Wolff and Greenberg are in similar situations.

America East Women's basketball is in a much better position than Men's Basketball (as we all know), and while both BU teams finished third in the regular season, I don't feel like the programs are equivalent in any means.

Hopefully, Brown was referring to the strong record BU has had under Wolff's tenure, and not to the recent trends on the team. I would also suggest, though, that if Wolff's job ever is in jeopardy, it won't take the President of the university to get him out.
 

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Seth said:
I think that it makes some valid points about the lack of communication between students and the athletics administration. I'm not saying I agree with all the points in this article, but I do think that the lack of communication and focus on getting butts in the seats is appalling, and shows a lack of the basic understanding. This is college athletics. College kids should be going to the games, particularly the basketball games. There are plenty of students on campus who love college basketball, but don't go to the BU games. Those marketing basketball should be out on campus, going to fitrec and getting every ball-playing student to the games. If they can get a good group of rowdy fans, those fans will have fun and get others to come (see the hockey team earlier this decade...I realize this is a tough comparison, because hockey is king, but the team was not great at all, but the experience kept the students coming). One way to find out how to get them to come is to talk to them. I don't see it happening.

i believe your point to be completely valid, and that's not what i got from the article. it's true that the athletics administration does not try to get people to come to games, and the biggest crowds were when there were beanpot tix to be had, but the sense of the article that the athletics department is completely off base and not really trying at all to do anything for the university, isn't true either. there have been multiple articles to the point that student attendance at everything but hockey is appalling. students notice. granted the article in my mind was written by a women's soccer player whose sport got an attendance rise @ the AE tourney, but about half that increase was dedicated fans from the other team (maine and i think, unh? bball had scrimmages on those days, so i don't remember) who had traveled to see their team compete. still the point has been made, and i know people are aware. unfortunately this awareness has been put in sort of a joking manner, and when i asked people to come to games, it rarely worked, and often all i got was a weird look. i convinced a couple of my friends to come to a small number of games, and was happy they showed up and cheered. that point further validates the fact that although the Ath. Dept. is not totally out of touch with what is going on with the student fan base, i do see the point in the article, the one you reiterated, that the focus is sometimes misguided to podcasts, etc. hopefully something will be done in the near future to get those butts in the seats


Susan Marschall (weekly c 2/1/06
I was perusing the Boston University athletics website and decided to click on FAN ZONE. I was immediately brought to a brief overview of the history of the athletic department. I then decided to click on Dog Pound. I was curious as to what this might be.

I had always heard of this mysterious entity they call the Dog Pound but I had never really seen it up close. I thought it was an urban legend, one of those secret clubs that you could only join if you had some sort of legacy. It had piqued my interests and there was something alluring about it.

I was a little intimidated at first. I wasn't sure if I would fit the criteria of someone who was "unafraid to push the limits of loyalty on game day." But upon second glance, I decided that this could be a perfect fit. It turns out that all you have to do to join is email someone. I was ready to officially devote myself to the Dog Pound.

We had a lot in common. We both loved competition and we both wanted BU to win. We both liked basketball and hockey, although admittedly it liked hockey more than I do. It was a little more outgoing than I am, but I was willing to sacrifice. I had been wooed by the painted faces, the catchy cheers and the late nights down at West Campus.

But as I got to know the Dog Pound better, I found out we were not exactly a result of eharmony.com. Some of my friends had warned me, but I had been so smitten that I lost my common sense.

We had different priorities. All the Dog Pound cared about was hockey and basketball. I should have read the signs. After all, in the description it says, "whether it's Walter Brown Arena for ice hockey or 'The Roof' for basketball, the Dog Pound will be there."

But what about the other sports? The Dog Pound certainly wasn't at the women's soccer games. (Yes, as a former member of the team I'm biased, but the soccer team's biggest supporters were other athletes.)

When the soccer team needed supporters the most, lacrosse and softball drove to Connecticut to cheer us on in the freezing cold. The women's ice hockey team took time out of its own game warmup to cheer for us. The men's crew team watched our America East final, partly because it was required, but nevertheless the rowers were there. Field Hockey came when its schedule permitted, and a handful of men's soccer faithfuls attended the majority of our home games. But our matches always lacked the feeling that we were playing with a 12th man.
The Dog Pound lied to me. It said, "They make sure the Terriers, and the visiting team, know that they are playing in BU's house." Rarely did I feel that way.

The Dog Pound and I were growing apart. I did my best to attend every home game I could. We hung out occasionally at the men's basketball games, but it never fully showed up.

Here I was in Agganis Arena two Sundays ago, watching the men's basketball team play the University of Vermont. Yes, it was a terrible game. The Terriers had the ball for the entire second half and could only manage to score a few points. But it had a fantastic finish. Where was the Dog Pound to cheer on Corey Hassan as he hit the game-winning shot?

And even when coach Dennis Wolff got his 200th win, 'The Roof' wasn't packed. I was there with my fellow athletes - but I didn't hear the Dog Pound chanting, "Go BU."

The Dog Pound is too evasive for me. But maybe I'm not looking for it in the right places. Maybe it's only at the hockey games.

I'm not trying to rag on the Dog Pound and I may be a little bitter about the poor attendance of BU athletics, but hockey isn't our only sport and it certainly isn't our best team sport. The lacrosse team is ranked third in the nation in a preseason poll and it has a legitimate chance of winning a national championship.

All the teams at BU deserve the advantage of playing at home. But that advantage only works if the home team's fans outnumber and outcheer the visiting team's fans.

So, whether you've officially joined the Dog Pound or not, you should make an effort to attend the next home game regardless of the sport.
 

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I do agree that the Athletic Dept. has to do a better job of promoting BU athletics other then Hockey. There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to get 1800 butts in seats for a mens home basketball game. They really need to spend more time meeting with students and trying to get them hooked. The time to start is in there freshman year. Get them to the games and give them a reason to be excited about there teams. We have one of the premiere athletic facilities in the country in the Agganis Arena. It would be great to see that arena filled for more then just hockey games. We have the student body to fill it we just need the Athletic Dept.'s help in promoting the teams and getting the students excited about it. We need to make it more of a hands on social environment for the student body.
 

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In some way, I can understand the absence of a football team. It takes an awful lot of money and organization to keep that going.

But not having a baseball team is silly. It costs pennies and they could pay MIT to utilize their field.

For me - their lack of participation in America East Baseball is just nuts.
 

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bu_bball_girl said:
i really didn't enjoy this article. the angry white boys, the pair of columnists who wrote this, usually make pretty decent points and observations but the last 2 weeks (last week was BU hockey lamentations/ruminations) have really missed the mark. i don't think this is anything lynch believes, from the times i've met him he seems very knowledgeable and as much as they said it's not based on any real people then why is the article titled lynching BU athletics? also the random barb of repeating the basketball record was unnecessary. just generally,for some reason when i was reading this it just really hit me the wrong way... def open to what other ppl think though
If you don't like what they said, or have a differing view, you should write them an email. They're nice guys, and respond to everything they get. Their email addresses are included at the end of every column.

Also, to be fair, the editors create the headlines, so calling it Lynching BU Athletics, while a pretty catchy/funny title, isn't the Angry White Boys' fault.
 

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BU Fan 84 said:
If you don't like what they said, or have a differing view, you should write them an email. They're nice guys, and respond to everything they get. Their email addresses are included at the end of every column.

Also, to be fair, the editors create the headlines, so calling it Lynching BU Athletics, while a pretty catchy/funny title, isn't the Angry White Boys' fault.
very true on the latter. same thing happened w/ marschall's column 2 weeks ago.
as for the email i just couldn't word my dislike right, i definitely thought about the email or letter to the editor thing.

good call on both though
 

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The railing on and on about the podcast thing is ridiculous, and really shows that the writers didn't think about the target audience at all. The target for such a product is alumni, scattered all across the country, who would like a better way to follow BU sports. We can't be at games, we try to listen on the radio, but we'd still like to see our teams for more than the 4 or 5, mostly hockey, games that get picked up by ESPNU.

Also, BU isn't the first school to do this, more like the 50th. I'd look at iTunes and see the logos of all sorts of major programs and wonder if BU would ever get on board with such a plan. Most of these schools do way more than 3 minute clip shows as well... some have hour long radio programs, or half hour TV studio set ups on there, it's amazing. CSTV has even put up clips featuring D-III programs. Did these reporters not even to bother to take a look at iTunes? I'm guessing that they didn't.

As far as few people owning video iPods goes, you don't need it to watch the clips. I don't have any mp3 players, video or not, but I have iTunes on my PC, with a few dozen songs I got free off of Pepsi caps (which, if nothing has changed in the past few years, is more plentiful than water on Commonwealth Avenue), the episode of Lost I forgot to set my VCR for last week, and, yes, 2 clips from BU's hockey games against UMass-Amherst last month.
 

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Rhett1 said:
The railing on and on about the podcast thing is ridiculous, and really shows that the writers didn't think about the target audience at all. The target for such a product is alumni, scattered all across the country, who would like a better way to follow BU sports. We can't be at games, we try to listen on the radio, but we'd still like to see our teams for more than the 4 or 5, mostly hockey, games that get picked up by ESPNU.

Also, BU isn't the first school to do this, more like the 50th. I'd look at iTunes and see the logos of all sorts of major programs and wonder if BU would ever get on board with such a plan. Most of these schools do way more than 3 minute clip shows as well... some have hour long radio programs, or half hour TV studio set ups on there, it's amazing. CSTV has even put up clips featuring D-III programs. Did these reporters not even to bother to take a look at iTunes? I'm guessing that they didn't.

As far as few people owning video iPods goes, you don't need it to watch the clips. I don't have any mp3 players, video or not, but I have iTunes on my PC, with a few dozen songs I got free off of Pepsi caps (which, if nothing has changed in the past few years, is more plentiful than water on Commonwealth Avenue), the episode of Lost I forgot to set my VCR for last week, and, yes, 2 clips from BU's hockey games against UMass-Amherst last month.

Well first of all, they aren't reporters, they are columnists. They commentate and offer their insights. I think you missed the point of the column but Seth seems to have gotten it. There's no communication between the AD and the students, so the students (who actually care) are left wondering what exactly does the department do, because they certainly don't try to get students to care too much. And I'm guessing the thing about the podcasts wasn't meant to mean that they shouldn't have them but rather, that the podcasts is the best thing the department can lay claim to this year, and that's a huge problem. There are a lot of other things they could've been spending their time on money on to improve the athletics at BU, and podcasts definitely shouldn't be the priority, or even done at all in light of all the other things missing here on campus. I don't know, in my opinion this was really well done and accurately set the tone for how students perceive the athletic department and the problems on campus.
 

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BU Fan 84 said:
Well first of all, they aren't reporters, they are columnists. They commentate and offer their insights. I think you missed the point of the column but Seth seems to have gotten it. There's no communication between the AD and the students, so the students (who actually care) are left wondering what exactly does the department do, because they certainly don't try to get students to care too much. And I'm guessing the thing about the podcasts wasn't meant to mean that they shouldn't have them but rather, that the podcasts is the best thing the department can lay claim to this year, and that's a huge problem. There are a lot of other things they could've been spending their time on money on to improve the athletics at BU, and podcasts definitely shouldn't be the priority, or even done at all in light of all the other things missing here on campus. I don't know, in my opinion this was really well done and accurately set the tone for how students perceive the athletic department and the problems on campus.
You're giving them too much credit and putting words in their mouths. They recycled an annual, tired topic, and instead of a tone of exasperation or frustration, they took one of sarcasm and pettiness because they felt like taking potshots at someone this week. They are embarrassments to the university and you're making them out to be Peter King and Peter Gammons.
 

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just to let you guys know, this week the AWBs have "written a letter" to Patrick Kane, a BU hockey recruit, trying to convince him to come here. Of course, by convincing I mean bashing in comparison Ann Arbor/UMich and Canada (CHL amateur league). Being from right around Ann Arbor, I'm highly amused. Ended up sounding sort of along the same journalistic line as lynching... yesterday's freep is still up, i'll link to the article when it comes out

Dear Patrick Kane... Here are the reasons why BU is better than your other options
 

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bu_bball_girl said:
just to let you guys know, this week the AWBs have "written a letter" to Patrick Kane, a BU hockey recruit, trying to convince him to come here. Of course, by convincing I mean bashing in comparison Ann Arbor/UMich and Canada (CHL amateur league). Being from right around Ann Arbor, I'm highly amused. Ended up sounding sort of along the same journalistic line as lynching... yesterday's freep is still up, i'll link to the article when it comes out

Dear Patrick Kane... Here are the reasons why BU is better than your other options

Haha, yeah it was pretty funny. They did take some shots, but did you miss the parts where they talked about the great hockey tradition at BU and the advantages of playing in the Beanpot and in Agganis?
 

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BU Fan 84 said:
Haha, yeah it was pretty funny. They did take some shots, but did you miss the parts where they talked about the great hockey tradition at BU and the advantages of playing in the Beanpot and in Agganis?
nope definitely didn't miss that, and i agree with it wholeheartedly... of course, Michigan did win the first ever NCAA tournament, and has won the most...

but it's true, beanpot is unrivaled, and the argument for jack parker can absolutely be made, and in a direct competition btw the two, like the one that happened 2 seasons ago/the year before i came, it'd be BU for me all the way
 

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"Angry White Boys" interview Wolff in The Daily Free Press

The Angry White Boys
The big bad Wolff
Josh Lerner and Chris Pasquale
Posted: 4/18/06
The Angry White Boys doubleteam the angry man inside the Boston University

athletic department: men's

basketball coach Dennis Wolff.



On a sunny Monday afternoon, we strolled through the Boston University athletic department in search of Dennis Wolff's lair, afraid to see what we might find. Based on his sideline demeanor, we expected to find a fiery, screaming man with an intimidating presence. But instead, a gentle, kind man willing to bare his soul and his feet (Wolff chose a casual approach, wearing loafers with no socks) approached us, proclaiming, "You guys don't look that angry!"

Apparently both parties had come to the interview with similar expectations, and both were let down (to add insult to injury, we even spotted a pink, heart-shaped rock on the table in his office).

Instead of lingering on the "disappointing, disjointed" season, Wolff looked forward to next year with some optimism. He revealed to us the out-of-conference schedule that includes the Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden in New York City just after Christmas. There will be two first-round games, as well as a championship and consolation game. BU will play St. John's University (the host school) while Hofstra University and St. Joseph's University square off in the other first-round match-up. This holds special meaning for Wolff, as it was a tournament he went to every year as a kid. But that's not all Wolff has in store for next season.

"[George Washington University] and UMass are going to come here," Wolff said. "We're going to go to St. Joe's, we're going to play Northeastern again -- we're starting that series up, and we still need to get one more game."

Annual games against Holy Cross and Harvard University are also on tap. The games against GW and UMass, as well as the America East Conference Tournament, will be played in Agganis Arena.

The question still remains whether or not BU will play local rival Boston College, as BC has been rather difficult to schedule.

"We tried to get them to agree to play a game in Agganis, [but] they wouldn't, even if we went up there three times or four times," Wolff said. "I'm of a mindset that what we currently have [scheduled] is enough, whether we play them or not."

In the past, BU has played guarantee games at BC, which involve BC paying BU to come play at BC, but BC has balked at the suggestion to journey down Commonwealth Avenue for a return game. This has been a minor sticking point for Wolff, as he'd like to develop a rivalry between the basketball programs to go along with traditions in the other sports.

It seems obvious to us that BC coach Al Skinner is afraid to play at BU and risk losing a game to a minor conference opponent, especially after BU came within six points of upsetting the Eagles in 2004 at Conte Forum.

With the graduation of seniors Kevin Gardner and Shaun Wynn, as well as the departures of Tony Gaffney, Bryan Geffen and Brendan Sullivan, there are many holes to fill on the roster for next season.

"We've signed two already," Wolff said. "We signed a 6-foot, 9-inch Canadian, Scott Brittain, and we signed a kid from Maine whose team won the state championship, Carlos Strong. We are still actively recruiting two other guys and we'll have a third scholarship. I think what we'd like to do is have someone … transfer in and sit out a season."

Wolff ruled out the possibility of another junior college transfer for next season. But with Corey Hassan's contribution this year, we have high expectations for the incoming freshmen, though Wolff is slightly more reserved.

"I think we're going to have to expect them to play some," he said. "The recruiting is an inexact science -- you just don't know. Scott Brittain has played a lot of basketball and a lot of international-type stuff for the Canadian Junior Team -- he's going to be ready to contribute. Physically, Carlos Strong has some abilities that some of the other guys that we have in the program right now don't have."

Wolff is looking for major contributions from some key returning players.

"I think Corey Hassan is one of the better players in the league right now," he said. "Matt [Wolff] had proven himself to be someone that could've given us good minutes at the wing. We have some kids who have ability. Ben Coblyn had moments this year where he looked like a good player, but he also was in and out with injuries. He could never really get a roll going.

"Between Ben and [Ibrahim Konate] and Omari [Peterkin], we'll have some post presence," he added. "We'll have more depth on the perimeter; Marques Johnson's improved, [Brian] Macon can play and I think Tyler [Morris] can play. And then we have Matt, Corey and Carlos, and we'd still like to sign another step-out post player that can face the basket and shoot a little bit and another wing guard."

On the injury front, Matt Wolff has made significant progress in recovering from his partially torn ACL, as he has already begun running and shooting. Morris's injury, a broken bone in his foot, will take longer to heal, but Wolff expects him back on the court in June.

The news regarding recoveries and incoming players, as well as his expectations for returning players help explain Wolff's upbeat mood during the interview. This past season may have been very difficult but he doesn't let it show. Instead, he remains hopeful and anxiously awaiting next season, which will be a very exciting year for BU basketball.

"We're going to have a young team again," Wolff said, "but I think we're going to have a talented team."
 

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Wolffie can thank Chris Monasch for the invite to the Holiday Classic. It's no secret Monasch is a big fan of Wolffie.

BU isn't traveling at all this season - UMBC is the farthest road game, no? Could be a good thing.

There's no way BC will EVER play NU or BU anywhere but Conte.
 

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I think BU has a good chance to be better next year, and they finished 3rd despite all the crap that went on.

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Despite the criticism and the bumpy ride last year, BU is still a model of consistency in our league.

Sounds like they have some good opponents next year.
 
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