Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Few More Details as We Wait

I expect an official announcement tomorrow of Al Bagnoli's hiring at Columbia with a news confernce set for Tuesday. But there's still a chance things might get pushed back a day. 

Here are some things to chew on until then:

1) Al Bagnoli visited with President Lee Bollinger Thursday night at the President's House on campus. That's when the deal was sealed. 

2) Multiple sources tell me the current relationship between Bagnoli, the Penn administration, and successor Ray Priore remain warm. I'm also told by two sources I trust that Bagnoli was not in any way "pushed out" as coach, and whatever issues he was not happy with arose after retirement. 

3) Bollinger deserves more credit than many of us realized for pulling this off. While he did not engineer the details by any means, he repeatedly green-lighted the funding and some of these unprecedented efforts. 

I do not believe this excuses the overall administration's poor communications through the almost 3 month period of total silence, and Bollinger's statements at that public event Wednesday were still inappropriate, (actually, the whole event was really bizarre in retrospect, but it doesn't matter now). BUT give the man credit: he is now looking like the first CU president in about a century to really take the leap for football. It was Nicholas Murray Butler who was president when Columbia famously almost pulled off hiring Knute Rockne from Notre Dame in 1930, so this is how long we've waited for this kind of bravado. 

4) There is a strong desire from Pillling's office to get Bagnoli's staff filled quickly. But this kind of hiring has to jump through some political hoops before it can be made official. That's why some of the news we had Friday about assistants possibly had to be walked back. Nevertheless, I doubt we'll have to wait long before the news on the assistant front becomes more solid. 

5) Columbia fans may hate Penn fans, but I think we should keep that to Saturday afternoons in the fall. Every Penn alum I've spoken to in the last four days is genuinely happy for Al, Columbia, and the league overall. Everyone believes the Ivies need Colimbia to be competitive and they recognize that New York is the central location for all Ivy alums worldwide. We all dream of a competitive Columbia with the home and away stands filled every game. 



Chick said...

The only thing I hate is the culture of losing that Bollinger promised to attack 13 years ago, but better late than never. Above all, sports are meant to be fun, a diversion, not a dreary punishment.
As mentioned, this is good for the league as well as Columbia. It would be nice to have Ivy fans in those visitors' seats across the field which have never felt a body in them. Maybe even Joe Biden will show up to feel some of the bodies.

oldlion said...

Well said Jake.

DOC said...

As far as the silence from administration goes, could it have been that Columbia kept this under wraps because they were concerned that someone else could get into a bidding war for Coach Bagnoli's services?

Jake said...

Doc: that's why no one ever demanded the administration give us specific details. All we needed was something more than nothing, which is what we got. But I'm not harping on that anymore. I am very happy with this real bold move.

Coach said...

Rick Flanders from Yale reported coming to Columbia, according to New Haven Register.