by Dave Miller
May 03, 02012
There are a lot of hot seats across the college football coaching landscape, but none may be warmer than Boston College's Frank Spaziani.
On Tuesday, the school announced that running back Montel Harris, who is BC's all-time leader in rushing yards, carries and 100-yard games, was dismissed from the program due to a repeated violation of team rules.
So the Eagles will now turn to Deuce Finch, Andre Williams and Tahj Kimble to assume the rushing responsibilities, something they are used to after filling in for Harris during the team's awful 4-8 campaign in 2011.
Just another hit taken for a program in disarray.
Frank Spaziani is 20–19 in his three seasons at Boston College.
Quite frankly, the football program has slowly been crumbling under Spaziani's leadership, whether it's been trouble keeping a staff together or making any significant progress on the field. The team enters the 2012 season trying to replace the heart and soul of the defense -- and possibly the entire team -- in Luke Kuechly, who left early for the NFL Draft after becoming the ACC's single-season and career tackles leader. And now Harris, the team's best offensive player, is gone.
Granted, keeping Harris healthy would have been a challenge. After missing the first three games of 2011 following a procedure on his left knee, the 5-10, 207-pounder returned to action for two contests before reinjuring the knee and missing the rest of the season. But many thought that he would arrive at spring practice ready to once again be a workhorse back. However, he couldn't make it through the first week of drills without being sidelined again.
While counting on Harris to be a No. 1 back again may have been futile, losing the possibility of his production is just another step in the wrong direction for this program. Especially because later Tuesday there were rumblings that there may have been a rift between Harris and Spaziani. And although college sports is supposed to be about much more than winning, in reality it is not. How will it look if Harris, who is rumored to be interested in Temple, lands in Philadelphia with the Owls where a couple of ex-BC assistants now coach?
Former BC coaches Kevin Rogers and Ryan Day are now on the Owls staff after both went through rather odd exits from the Eagles. While Rogers took a leave of absence from his OC role for health reasons, we never really heard an update from Rogers or Spaziani. Instead, Spaziani brought in Doug Martin as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in late December. Clearly Rogers is healthy enough to work, which is great news, but his exit from Boston seemed odd. Martin, meanwhile, will be the Eagles’ fifth offensive coordinator in five seasons.
BC also lost offensive assistants Dave Brock, Ben Sirmans and Ryan Day to Rutgers this offseason after Kyle Flood took over the Scarlet Knights from Greg Schiano. With so much fluidity on the coaching staff, can Spaziani piece together a cohesive staff and get better results on the field?
Regarding the dismissal of Harris, whoever was right or wrong in a reported riff does not matter. What matters is wins and losses.
For BC, the team has been on the wrong side of the ledger too many times under Spaz. After an 8-5 mark in 2009, the team has gone 7-6 and 4-8 the last two seasons. And taking a glance at the 2012 Eagles schedule, other than a contest against Maine, there's not a lot of easy matchups for a squad trending in the wrong direction.
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