Saturday, March 26, 2011

Skinner Fires Back

If you haven't already, I encourage you to read the Boston Globe article on Al Skinner. For the first time since his firing last year, Skinner broke his silence. I was a little puzzled by his comments, because I thought Al was the type of guy who would just let it go and say all the "right" things. Instead, Skinner showed some bitterness towards Gene and BC. Let me break down some of his comments:

"I look at my résumé and the success I had at BC, and I look at the résumé of some coaches who are in the tournament now, and I look at my résumé and I think it compares favorably."

Yes, Al, you do have a good resume. You've won a Big East title, you've won National Coach of the Year, and you've had success in the tournament, but college basketball is a 'what have you done for me lately' business. And quite frankly, your last few years at BC sucked.

“I ran a good program, I graduated my kids. Everybody has problems, but we addressed them and handled them in a matter that satisfied every one."

You did graduate your kids, Al. You did run a good program. Your kids represented BC well. But there are other coaches who can do that and win basketball games. And you weren't doing that.

"I put the program in a good place. I raised the program to the level where we were always in the hunt.’’
Al left the program in a better place than when he arrived. I don't think anyone can disagree with that. But were we always in the hunt? Were we in the hunt last year? How about the year before that? I don't know how you define "in the hunt," but in my mind, BC hasn't been in the hunt since the Dudley-Smith-Williams years.

“I know the potential we had. We would have had a dog in this fight, and that we don’t bothers me.’’
Really, Al? He and anyone who thinks that this team would have been better with him coaching is crazy. If anything, this team is less talented than last year. If anyone watched a BC game this year, the difference between Skinner and Donahue couldn't be clearer. This year's team played harder, executed better, and won more games. This team wouldn't have won 16 games with Skinner.

“I was the second-winningest coach at URI, the winningest coach at BC. Does that lend itself to someone who doesn’t work? If I can do all of that and not work, then you should hire me anyway.’’

Some fighting words here from Skinner. I think Al may have gotten a bad rap on his work ethic. I don't think he was working 24/7, but I don't think he was as lazy as some people made him out to be. I understand his frustration, but there are guys who work much harder than Al.

No one is discounting what Al Skinner did for BC basketball. Like I said, he left BC basketball in a better place than when he got there. He is the winningest coach in BC history, but at the end of the day, his flex offense and "diamond in the rough recruiting" was just not working any more. I think Al will find a job somewhere. Maybe not this year, but Al Skinner will be coaching again.

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