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These are turbulent times at The Heights in athletics.

Oh, you can't see anything that is visible, but that's the way they like to do things at Boston College, the less people know about their business the better.

And it is early May, when tranquility usually prevails.

On the surface, life as a now fully vested member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, is pretty good--financially.

Aside from the affects of the pandemic, which everyone felt, the money flow is returning to normal for the athletic department, which means it is in the neighborhood of $35 million dollars annually, which is almost 7 times as much as BC was bringing in when it bolted the Big East for the ACC in 2005.

What is missing and has never really been part of BC's  athletic DNA in the ACC is any sense of relevancy.

In 17 years as a full time member of the conference, in the revenue producing sports, BC has barely left a  footprint.

There are a lot of  reasons for that with a search for the Eagles' fourth athletic director in the last 10 years a good place to start.

Throw in sub par athletic facilities, poor decisions in coaching  hires and you can come up with ample reasons for failure.

There has been one constant through this period.

The man sitting in the President's office, Rev. William Leahy, whose power remains solid and almost unquestioned.

I have known Father Leahy since he became the 25th President of BC in July of 1996.

We have often jousted--although seldom directly--with the outcome being Father Leahy shaking his head in dismay as I  have often challenged.  or at least questioned, the decisions BC has made.

I remember sitting in the Charlotte, NC. airport one day in  2005 when BC was formally introduced as a new ACC member and seeing Father Leahy approaching the gate for a return to Boston.

We had been on the same flight to Charlotte that morning and Father Leahy, smiled and  said, " You are everywhere, aren't you?''

In pure Jersey Guy fashion, I said, "Father I'm like gum on your shoes.''

Father Leahy nodded his head and said, "I'm beginning to believe that.''

Father Leahy's interest in athletics is minimal--most of the time.

But when it comes to hiring coaches the landscape changes.

With the departure of athletic director  Patrick Kraft to Penn State, a scant two years after pronouncing it his "dream'' job, BC is on another search mission 

And Father Leahy again holds veto power over the choice.

That's the way it should be, but at BC that meeting between coach or AD and President has a different vibe.

What BC wants and what Father Leahy expects is a sense of gratitude for being offered the job.

And that is part of BC's overall problem.

 It is simply not a destination move for most coaches or administrators.

"Kissing the ring'' is not a literal requirement of respect, but at BC and with Father Leahy it's damn close.

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And don't have the audacity to turn down or question an offer--that is almost an immediate  disqualification for any future consideration.

Ask Harvard coach Tommy Amaker about that

When BC hired Earl Grant from the College of Charleston to replace Jim Christian as its men's basketball coach at the end of the 2021 season, the parameters of the search made it clear that hiring a minority coach was a top priority.

Grant may indeed be a  solid choice, but what was mind-boggling to some was that Amaker, whose credentials were better than Grant, was interested in the job and just across the Charles River, but was not even interviewed by Kraft.

No official reasons were given, but Amaker had turned down BC overtures when the job was open 5 years earlier because  he didn't like the process.

Sometimes Father Leahy's influence is less than subtle.

When Steve Donahue's future as men's basketball coach was in question, he endured a few days of uncertainty before being assured he  was being retained.

That was on a Friday.

Over the weekend, Father Leahy attended an alumni function and was told by some major donors that a change needed to be made.

Donahue was fired on Monday.

BC must also find a hockey coach to replace Hall of Fame mentor Jerry York, who announced  his retirement last month.

It is an elite job which should bring a large elite response of candidates.

But the Father Leahy potential road block remains in place.

BC can make do with its direction because it is financially successful and the benefits are substantial.

But the BC culture is unique and with Father Leahy in charge very little is likely to change.

He was scheduled to retire 6 years ago, but changed his mind. There are rumblings again that he will step down within the next 18 months.

BC could have avoided the changes at the top 10 years --and three athletic directors--ago if it had hired Boo Corrigan from Army.

Corrigan's family pedigree--his father Gene was a former AD at Notre Dame and Virginia and the commissioner of the ACC--was impressive.

But Corrigan, who is now at North Carolina State and one of the next generation of superior administrators, didn't show enough reverence and had too many questions about facilities and direction of the programs.

Now BC faces its biggest challenge since joining the ACC.

Many names will be considered, two perhaps long shots with BC connections may emerge.

Mike Mayock, recently fired as the general manager of the Las Vegas Raiders, is a BC graduate, and was part of the shadow athletic leadership when Brad Bates was athletic director 4 years ago, is available and could fit into the BC mold.

An outside the box choice is a former BC football player named Quentin Williams.

 A candidate 10 years ago when Gene DeFilippo resigned., Wlliams' credentials also include being a former FBI agent and federal prosecutor and NFL and NBA executive.

One trend does seem clear, if BC expects to move to a different status, it must change its leadership at the very top of the pile.

Sooner rather than later.