Boston College Club Sports news: all coaching contracts not renewed Monday for 20/21

This is very disappointing news: on Monday all Club Sports (26 teams representing 960 rostered BC undergrads - as of March 2020) learned their fall semester season canceled. Even more distressing: they were told none of their coaches contracts would be renewed. Following this Zoom call with Club Officers, BC Campus Recreation had a Zoom call with the 100 or so paid coaches to let them know their contracts were not renewing.

I don’t think any Club Sport athlete expected to be practicing with their teammates next week, or even in September. But the feeling has been that the Football team’s success managing almost zero positive cases was a template for Club Sports to resume in a month or 2. And I don’t believe any Club Sports team expected to compete anywhere this fall (travel not happening), but the ability to meet and practice was something these 1000 or so undergrads wanted in some shape/form. In fact, I know my son’s team had plans to practice in small groups of 8 men only. These student athletes take the Covid threat to heart, and had spent significant time this summer drafting good plans to work out together - in small groups. The staffer who delivered this news also made no promises for spring semester.

Canceling coaches contracts (again 100 or more professionals who are not BC staffers, but are paid by BC on an annual basis) puts the entire year in limbo as many of these women and men will seek work elsewhere… now, of course, they may not find coaching gigs right now, but who knows?

The Connell Rec Center is open for workouts, but capped at only 200 or so users at a time. Students must make appointments in advance. And the new green space (site of the old Plex) is fenced off from use, so students can’t access the fresh air space of this large Lower Campus footprint for frisbee or any fun socially distant activity.

It all feels like a bait & switch because First Year Experience and Campus Recreation had each Club Sport spend time this summer presenting their team to incoming students via Zoom and Instagram. They were told to recruit first year students. Also, each Officer group had to submit budgets, chartering documents, and other work that really should have been postponed if BC was planning to pull the plug. Way to waste people’s time!

FYI, Club Sports charge fees to rostered athletes to help pay for some of the costs of the program. Financial Aid to cover these fees has always been available, so no BC student is ever in a position to not join a Club Sports team if they didn’t have the $ to do so. Also, many of these teams have organized sport specific alumni associations that give back and help defer costs too. These donors can be quite generous: in fact, here in Houston, one of my fellow BC alums gives only to his Club Sport Rugby alumni association to the tune of 5 figures annually.

What really bugs me as a parent of a Club Sports athlete is the lack of creativity here: if Campus Recreation (falls under Athletics) knew they did not have $ for coaches in late August, they probably knew this in June… and the Athletics Development/Advancement team (a well staffed group that saw no layoffs) might have considered reaching out to Alums and parents to specifically fund stipends for these Club Sports coaches for 20/21. Many of us would have contributed - to keep these trained pros ready to coach when Club Sports resumed.

It just isn’t healthy to cut off these teams like this - we all know exercise is good for the mind and body - and attending college during a pandemic requires good health & healthy habits.

Here is a link outlining BC’s Club Sports programs:

I don’t think many schools are doing things like they planned to do them in June. In June, the NCAA hadn’t cancelled fall championships and athletes were on campus and working out.

Why would they pay contract coaches when there isn’t going to be any benefit to the school - they can’t practice! There won’t be any games, there won’t be uniforms, or fields set aside, or referees to pay. I don’t think club athletes would be happy to pay a fee for something that isn’t happening, just to have small groups of 8 practicing together (which they can do anyway, just not with a paid coach leading them).

I sympathize. My brothers work as referees and coaches. Even my 14 year old nephews have lost a lot of money as soccer refs and baseball umpires since March; they were planning on making $3000 this summer (each!) but they get no unemployment, no extra $600 per week. because it is seasonal work (and they are 14).

yes, it is unfortunate, but it makes no financial sense to keep paying people to not work. COVID is not going away, and it will take a miracle to make Spring any better than Fall. Have Intramurals been cancelled too?

A lot of colleges who are online have just started announcing staff furloughs – with online they need a whole lot less support staff. I’m sure that the colleges all hoped that things would work out and that they could keep those folks employed, but now the worst is obvious, so they have to cut cafeteria workers, security, maintenance, shuttle bus drivers, et al. And close gyms, eliminate trainers…

Hi @bluebayou - no, Intramurals have not been canceled - signups for teams happening now - so, for now, these teams like Softball okay to meet & mingle up close.
And there have been no layoffs in Athletics or any area of BC (in fact, the University continues to post new listings).
My son remains hopeful for a spring Rowing season . Meanwhile, he has heard University of Michigan men’s 8 is on the water practicing now - the BC team competes against Michigan in the May ACRAs.

The cuts are unfortunate but understandable. I agree though that with additional notice, teams could have fundraised to try to keep their coaches. A good club coach is hard to find.

But the club teams are not competing this year. I doubt the schools are letting them practice, as not all varsity sports are training. The individual students can sign up for intramurals if they want to play. Even if the club ‘team’ (which is just a group this year) did raise the money to pay the coach, it’s unlikely the school would let them use the equipment or practice space. Those things require money and insurance and they school isn’t paying for club teams this year.

@twoinanddone My D is a club sport athlete at a state flagship and her team is training - all outdoors and no contact, reduced practice schedule. Their budget got cut to account for lack of travel and no games. Don’t assume club sports teams aren’t training just because they aren’t competing.

OP said BC club teams weren’t competing or practicing.

I read the link and it doesn’t say BC club teams are under the athletic department and talked more about the recreation department. If they are under recreation rather than D1 athletic department, the funds would be more limited. It may have come down to the recreation department deciding to pay the club coaches or opening the rec center for all students to use. They may have decided to spend their money to benefit the most students.

Hi, @twoinanddone : Club Sports and Intramurals fall under Campus Recreation, a division of BC Athletics. All report to the Athletic Director.

But they might be funded by student fees and activities, not athletics.