It doesn't matter if Jeff Jagodzinski is a good man or even a great coach. Job-swapping coaches in college sports, specifically football but also basketball, have been too skanky for too long, and it was time for a school to take a stand.
Boston College took the stand.
Jeff Jagodzinski took the fall.
|Jeff Jagodzinski called Boston College's bluff -- and the school fired him. Good call. (Getty Images)|
So stop the bellyaching about civil liberties and Boston College's intolerance and poor little Jagodzinski's rights and boo and hoo. Stop it right now. If you've already bitched to someone, you sound ridiculous. Shut your mouth and don't make that mistake again. If you've not bitched about it, consider yourself fortunate. It's not too late to change your mind, or in lieu of that, it's not too late to just sit this one out. Shut up. Keep your opinion to yourself.
Because you're wrong.
Jagodzinski was wrong.
Boston College was right. Boston College was as right as any school has ever been right about any coaching move in my lifetime. This was a brilliant move, a shocking demonstration of toughness in an era where schools bend over and take it, and take it, and take it, every time their football or basketball coach catches the sweet scent of another job.
Florida bent over while Billy Donovan flirted with NBA jobs, took the Orlando Magic job, and then changed his mind and came back to school. Apparently he had it pretty good in a beautiful college town where he had won back-to-back national championships. Who knew?
Louisville bent over while Bobby Petrino batted eyes at every school that could find his phone number -- and then, after redoing his contract and giving him every little thing his heart could desire, Louisville watched him leave for the Atlanta Falcons.
That could have been Boston College. Jagodzinski has an NFL background, and judging from his success in two years at BC, he has an NFL future. The man clearly can coach, and the NFL is desperate for new faces with new ideas. How else do recycled tomato cans like Wade Phillips and Norv Turner continue to get and keep jobs in that league? Because there aren't enough rising young stars like Jeff Jagodzinski. I get it.
But Boston College has a mission statement, and nowhere on that mission statement does it say, "Serve as a springboard for Jeff Jagodzinski."
Nowhere does it say that.
Boston College warned Jagodzinski what would happen if he interviewed with an NFL team so soon -- two years -- after being given the biggest break of his coaching life, the top job at an ACC school. Boston College told Jags that if he interviewed with anyone generally, and the New York Jets specifically, he would be fired.
Jagodzinski called that bluff.
Boston College fired him.
This wasn't cruel. This wasn't unexpected. This was swift justice, and if it's shocking, that's because hardly anybody does this sort of stuff anymore. In my mind, over the last decade the only thing that compares happened in 2001, when North Carolina State basketball coach Herb Sendek ran out of patience with malcontent Damien Wilkins -- his best player on a fringe NCAA Tournament team -- and Wilkins' obnoxious father, Gerald, and boldly told Damien not to bother coming back if he wanted to flirt pointlessly with the NBA Draft. Wilkins entered the draft anyway. Sendek pulled his scholarship. Wilkins transferred to Georgia.
And N.C. State got better because of it.
That was beautiful. And so is this. This is tough love Boston College just showed -- not for Jagodzinski, but for itself. Boston College had the self-esteem to look in the mirror and say: You know what? No. You can't treat us this way. We're better than that.
Whoever you are, whatever you do for a living, don't compare Jagodzinski's situation to yours. There is no comparison. You work in an office or in sales doing whatever it is you do. He's a football coach. You can be replaced tomorrow, at almost 100 percent efficiency. Jagodzinski cannot, not unless he is replaced by someone on his staff, and even then he can't be replaced at anywhere near the efficiency level.
Jagodzinski wasn't just working a job. He was building a program, a program based on loyalty and contacts and stability. By interviewing for another job, he was sending the message to recruits that he's just biding time. He's waiting for something better. Boston College isn't really the place for him.
That's crippling. That's why, after flirting with any job after spending just two years on this one, he had to go.
Going forward, are there coaches out there who would be scared to work at Boston College after what happened to Jagodzinski? Sure there are. So don't apply. You aren't welcome there anyway.
Boston College doesn't employ weasels.