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Is Donahue Safe At Boston College?

Thursday, March 13, 2014 12:32pm
  • AP Photo - Chuck Burton
     AP Photo - Chuck Burton

Now that Boston College’s season is over, the wheels will start turning on coach Steve Donahue’s future. After posting one of the most disappointing seasons in ACC history, Donahue is, at minimum, sitting on a very hot seat.

Boston College athletic director Brad Bates took the job in 2012 and inherited Donahue, who just completed his fourth year with the Eagles. Here’s what will factor into Bates’ decision.

The case against Donahue: Boston College was full of potential this year and finished 8-24. The Eagles were absolutely atrocious on defense and, despite having a fairly impressive roster, never looked like a formidable team. Donahue’s recruiting has quickly tapered off, proved by one unranked commitment in the 2014 class and two three-star recruits in the 2013 class who were non-factors this year. The results just aren’t there. In his four years, he’s 54-76 (24-44 ACC), and his lone postseason appearance was the NIT in 2011.

The case for Donahue: Regardless of the Eagles’ shortcomings this year, Donahue performed a heck of a rebuild of the Boston College program. In his second year, only one scholarship player returned to the team. He put together a seven-player recruiting class that at least provided stability to Boston College at that time. The members of that class will be seniors this year, and it could be worth seeing what Donahue can get out of them. After essentially starting from scratch, this coming year will be the first season in which Dohanue has a legitimate senior class with depth beneath it. Also, three Boston College starters are considering jumps to the NBA or transfers, and keeping Donahue around would increase the Eagles’ chances of retaining those players.

The business: Donahue just completed the fourth year of a five-year deal. According to Boston College’s 2011 990 tax form, Donahue earned a base salary of $927, 541 with a total compensation slightly over $1 million. Boston College would likely owe Donahue at least $1 million to buy out his contract. In the past, Boston College hasn’t been a big-spending athletic department, but Bates could be looking to implement his own coach.