Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Orr/Christopher....one last time...

OK, I don't want to beat this to death any more than necessary, but there have been two major pieces of news for BG Athletics and I just wanted to take a second to tie them together.

Obviously, shortly after it was announced that Orr was staying, it was announced that Christopher was leaving.  A lot of conspiracy theories are flying around about that, which I'm not going into and which I don't put any stock in.

Here's what we can be pretty sure of.  The Xavier thing had to have been in the works for a while--certainly well before the decision to keep Orr was made.  In other words, when they decided to keep Orr, they had to, at a minimum, have believed that Christopher had a good shot at leaving.

I don't have any idea what was part of the Orr decision.  Whether it was just money, the perception of the money, or, even, the fact that you'd be hiring a Coach and then bringing in a new AD...I have no idea.

The ultimate point is that it worked out the right way, in retrospect.  The last thing you want is to bring in a coach on a multi-year contract and then a new AD...there was a new AD at Buffalo and Minnesota, and successful coaches were let go in both cases.  It is a far better decision to bring an AD in and then let him or her make the decision on what to do with Coach Orr and his replacement, if that is how it goes.

I do believe that it makes it a virtually 100% certainty that Coach Orr will not last past next season. The new AD will want to "make their mark" and this will be an early opportunity, though it is possible they would have hired a new football coach first.  Anyway, it was always an assumption that Coach Orr would not get a new contract, and now I think it is all but certain.

In turn, this magnifies the issue we all fear, which is maintaining interest in the program next season.

Lastly, I have heard from some people that Xavier might be a step down for Christopher.  Xavier is a much smaller college enrollment-wise with a high profile really only in one sport.  BG's athletic budget is $17.3 million and Xavier is $14.3 (based on Department of Education data).  I would assume Xavier's will go up with the Big East deal (men's basketball brought in $12M to the school) and BG has to support football and ice hockey out of the nominally higher amount.

So, you might have less revenue, but you also have a smaller set of obligations, giving you more "disposable" income for the stuff that's left.  Xavier will be high profile in the second highest profile sport and is charting a new path with a new conference and playing at that level for the first time, all of which makes it an appealing assignment.

You can decide if it is better or not on your own.  I am assuming he got a raise.

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