• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

Comments & Discussion

Boston University moderates comments to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, self-promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Moderators are staffed during regular business hours (EST) and can only accept comments written in English. Statistics or facts must include a citation or a link to the citation.

There are 23 comments on BU Athletes Ask America East to Rethink Ban

  1. The presidents and “poor sports” of the America East colleges that voted for the ban have demonstrated a level of immaturity reminiscent of a classic child’s response: “If you won’t let me play quarterback, I’m going to take the ball and go home”. Anyone of these colleges would jump at the chance to jump conferences… if they could. So it is a bit disingenuous for them to “punish” BU. And, in the end, their punishment misses the mark by chastising the student athletes rather than the BU officials that made the decision. This is comparable to not tipping the waitress because the chef overcooked your steak.

    However, these same college presidents will NEVER recant. Anyone who would make the decision they did – to target the student athletes for self-serving retribution – certainly doesn’t have it in them to admit an error. And there is a valuable lesson to be learned from this event: Maturity and good judgement are not necessarily attributes of the over-50 set, whether a college president or the “town drunk”.

    1. Oh really, everyone should have thought about the consequences? How about the student athletes who had no choice in the matter in the first place? It really is a shame that they didn’t get their voices heard in this decision because not only did they not have a say in the conference switches, they had no say in the leagues penalties. Every single student athlete thought about the consequences of leaving the conference, but it doesn’t matter because it wasn’t their decision. It sickens me that higher-ups would willingly vote to ban these student athletes, who have stayed committed to their sport for their entire lives and came to BU to compete for four short years.

      1. And it doesn’t sicken you that BU higher-ups thought of this move and didn’t think of how it would affect student-athletes in the short-term, only thought of the $$$ consequences?

        1. Yes it definitely makes me very upset that BU higher-ups knew that this was a possibility and it didn’t matter to them enough how it would affect the student-athletes. I know that the move is supposed to put BU in an academically similar conference, so I can understand the long term goals President Brown has in mind. I just wish this didn’t have to affect the student athletes how it does. And yes, I am very mad that presidents at the other AE schools willingly decided to punish the defenseless athletes. A simple fine to BU would have done the move justice and we could all move on and compete for a championship.

    2. The athletes have no choice in the switch. The Big East is punishing the people who made the decision to leave the conference with fines, they are not punishing the athletes and the Big East stands to lose tons more TV money than the AE, but apparently, protecting student althetes is not important to AE presidents. In the article AE spokesman says that the other AE schools should have a right to play for a championship. Does that mean the rest of the schools in the conference are saying their teams are not good enough to win against BU athletics? Is that what this is really all about? If the rest of the schools do not want to have to play BU, then why care if they leave?

  2. I agree with CryMeARiver – BU should have thought of the consequences of their league-switching actions on those affected, namely the student-athletes, before switching. It’s a classic money move that in the short term adversely affects the athletes, who had no control over this situation.

    1. Oh, please. I’m sure they knew it was a possibility that this might happen…but they probably thought that maybe the other conference presidents were going to be reasonable and not perpetrate such a childish response. Obviously that assumption turned out to be wrong. But the fact that the conference has the power to do this doesn’t make it right, and you know that. So stop trying to impress people by pretending to be the voice of reason, you know this was wrong.

      1. LOL! A money move? You must be kidding. BU athletics loses money on every single sport they operate in except hockey (which isn’t even in America East).

        The fact is that BU will probably lose as much, if not more, money in the Patriot League because they added another sport that will have almost $0 in revenue – Lacrosse.

        The Patriot League is just a better fit due to the league’s stronger academic focus, and slightly better athletics. BU was THE best of one of the worst leagues in NCAA division 1. It was time to move on.

        I do feel bad for the student athletes but BU had to think about the long-term direction of the university and what was best for the 300k+ living alumni as well as future students.

        A lot of people are quick to judge the BU administration, but considering their small per student endowment and operating in a city that has little interest in college sports, I think the current administration is doing a surprisingly good job. As an alumni, I fully support a move away from America East.

  3. The effects short term on the student athletes are very frustrating, especially for seniors who must have been looking forward to this last chance to compete for championships. Although the other university presidents/ADs likely won’t budge on this issue, they would have been much better off letting this happen quietly. No need to have another program hating you when you could have been good out of conference matchups.

  4. Unfortunately, we are in no position to argue with the decision of America East. As the article says, BU was a founding member of the conference an was fully aware that a playoff ban could be a possible consequence of our switch to the Patriot League. My only problem with this decision is that it punishes the student athletes who had no say in the matter. The decision to move to the Patriot League was made in the administrative offices of BU and not by the athletic department. As a result, I personally believe that we should be able to compete. However, as a member of AE we agreed to a set of by-laws and we must abide by them even when they don’t work in our favor.

  5. Well, it just looks like our basketball team is going to have to actually be decent this year if they want to make the march madness tourney (hah, yea right)

    For the rest of the student athletes it’s a shame that they have to be penalized for something that they have no say in, but does this really surprise you? This is BU, not some public state school. They can do whatever they want, and WILL do whatever they want. The only people they are trying to help is themselves. They do not care about the student athletes at all, they only care about the money they will recieve in the long term.

  6. Don’t try to be a diplomat, Mr. McKetchnie. You were right the first time… it IS “childish,” and swallowing your pride and pretending the conference presidents are being reasonable when you know they’re not isn’t going to change their minds. They’re not going to allow BU to compete no matter what, so you might as well just be honest and call it what it is.

  7. The provision allowing the America East’s presidents to ban a school’s student-athletes from championship play is not in the Conference by-laws, but in its Constitution — the same Constitution that contains a “mission statement” promising that America East is “committed” to holding “a broad based program of championships”, that America East’s “purpose” is to allow student-athletes to compete “in championship programs that are . . equitable” and states that its’ members’ responsibilities require “administrators to behave as role models for students.” The provision to bar students from championships is not mandatory, but only allows the presidents discretion to do so. One would think and hope that such discretion would not be abused in the manner it was.
    To those whose comments suggest that BU student-athletes (who had no say in this but are the sole target of the Conference’s reprisal) “should have seen it coming”, I would respond that they should not have expected it, but rather should have expected a more reasoned and compassionate response, and a response more in keeping with the Conference’s stated goals, from eight men into whose care we have all entrusted our children.

  8. I highly doubt the other AE Presidents will change their vote. It would be a PR disaster if BU knocked out their team from a tournament after being allowed to participate. Their student-athletes come first and I don’t blame them for this mindset.

    It’s too bad because I like the move to the PL. If this was a one-time only invite then I can understand why AD Lynch and the BU Admin would jump on it. But if not, and they were hoping the other AE Presidents would be accommodating, they made their bed…

    I feel bad for the seniors, but there is still plenty to play for.

    1. plenty to play for? whatever do you mean? I’d love to hear your explanation

      you let me know what it feels like to begin a season, already knowing how limited you will be. NO BU TEAMS in the conference have a chance at advancing to any post-season championship, no NCAA tournament participation, etc.

      I’ve devoted three years to the America East.. I won’t even be around when BU joins the Patriot League. My season is cut short this year.. and you say there’s PLENTY TO PLAY FOR? I think you should maybe rethink that statement.

      1. At-large bid.

        BU teams are only barred from the AE tournament, and a shot at the conference’s auto-bid, but can still get an NCAA, NIT, etc. invite with an impressive regular season. I know this is a tall task but it’s something to play for.

  9. This is greatly affecting the students mostly but also the parents, grandparents,friends, and their opponents.Please reconsider to allow them to compete as usual. They are not in the other league this year. They are America East.

Post a comment.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *