The rumors started circulating on Saturday and gathered strength over the next few days.
On Monday, following an Easter weekend of reflection, Boston College President Father William Leahy reportedly was leaning towards former Red Sox executive Mike Dee as the Eagles’ next athletic director. Sources at BC say that if there are no snags an announcement could be made as soon as Wednesday.
But on Tuesday afternon, Dee responded to TMG Sports with an email and issued the following statement. “I was honored to take part in the Boston College AD search process but recently informed the school that I was withdrawing to pursue another opportunity in the world of sports. I have long respected the school and Fr.Leahy’s leadership and wish them the best.””
Also taking himself out of consideration was Seton Hall athletic director Pat Lyons, another candidate who was under serious consideration.
Of the three finalists that Leahy was presented by the BC search committee, Dee was the “outside the box” candidate, with no experience in college athletics.
But the overall management portion of his resume is impressive with two stints with the San Diego Padres, as well as the Red Sox and the Miami Dolphins. Dee was also President of the Fenway Sports Group, which has had considerable dealings with BC. His dealings with the Fenway group and a familiarity with Father Leahy were regarded as major assets.
Another huge plus was that Dee has extensive fund raising experience, something regarded as essential for a new BC AD.
Dee was fired as the CEO of the Padres last year and when the BC athletic director position opened with the resignation of Brad Bates, Dee expressed an interest and interviewed for the job.
He was always a wild card choice because of his absence of any experience as a college administrator. As the list of candidates was trimmed down, Dee remained in the mix. His statement on Tuesday puts the search back into the category of candidates with college experience.