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September 1, 2010

Frank Spaziani

THE MODERATOR: We are now joined by Coach Frank Spaziani of Boston College, and with that we will bring in Coach and ask for a brief opening statement and then go to questions.
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, we are in our last few practices obviously for preseason, and I don't know whether we are ready for the opener, but it's time to open up and find out what kind of football team we have. So, we're ready to go.

Q. Seems odd to have you late in the afternoon.
COACH SPAZIANI: Yeah, I know. I'm an early bird.

Q. But is Mark ready to go in how has he looked in practice? What's the situation there?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, he's not ready to go. That's the first thing. He just started practicing. You know, he was cleared, you know, from his medical doctors from his Ewing's sarcoma to go this spring, he started working out -- not this spring, this summer, working out. He was ready to start fall preseason camp and he had a little broken bone in his foot, which set him back, and set him back a little bit longer than we would have liked and he would have liked.
Now, he has decided that he is going to push on with it and he just started out there Saturday for the first time, and Sunday a little bit, and then of course, we were off Monday, and yesterday he was out there, did a little bit more, and as you would imagine, not having played football in I don't know how many days, I think somebody wrote about it, quite a while, and then coming back from the cancer and then a broken bone.
So rusty is not the right adjective, but he's working hard and never put anything past him. Hopefully we can get him in the game this week.

Q. So best case is get him in for a few plays for a series or two or something like that?
COACH SPAZIANI: Yeah. And once again, this is day-to-day. He came off the practice field exhausted yesterday and tired, as he should be, and I haven't seen him yet today. You know, we'll go out there today and see what he can do. We're not going to push him but we are going to try to get him so that being get in the game and do something.
And then, if he can't, we'll hold off and we'll do it again next week.

Q. Can you just talk about Dave Shinskie, with him being obviously a lot older than your typical sophomores, is the learning curve different from his freshman to sophomore year? Is he able to grasp a lot more as you head into his sophomore season?
COACH SPAZIANI: You know, I said this last year, and I'll say it again; his age, you know, I haven't seen that be a positive or a negative as far as the learning goes. He's a true freshman last year, and he did a very commendable job to say the least. He's had a very productive off-season from the winter through the spring, through the summer. He's had a good camp and he's shown a lot of improvement. He's done a lot of things better, and he needed a lot of improvement.
Now, what we need to see, is that improvement translating to the game. So that's the next steps for Dave, because we have competition there, also. It's interesting to say the least.

Q. Are you going to try to work in one of the younger guys?
COACH SPAZIANI: No, the situation is not -- it's a lot different than last year, but it's not much different, and by that I mean, you know, Dave is the incumbent and has the job and he's been named that. But we have Mike Marscovetra has done a good job and he's been around. We think we can -- he's pushing for some competition, and as I said, you know, Dave needs to show the improvement in the game. He needs to pick up, and he's done the other stuff as Mike has, but now we need to see it in the game, and some of the pitfalls that he was subject to last year need to be eradicated, and we need to move forward in the games.

Q. With your receiving core losing Colin, obviously a big blow, how does this affect Dave and the entire offense? Does it have any effect on the play-calling and the strategy going into this game?
COACH SPAZIANI: Well, it doesn't have an effect on the play calling and the strategy. We have other guys that have to step up and we feel very bad for Colin, as he does, and certainly it was a blow to our team.
You know, teams have injuries, and Colin, we wish him a speedy recovery and hopefully he'll be back next year, and this year we have to move on. Hopefully some of the other receivers have to step up and we have got great coaches on offense, headed by Gary Tranquill . Gary has got a plan. We'll be fine.

Q. Can you tell those of us who are not aware of how this game with Weaver State came about, is this a one shot deal or are they coming back?
COACH SPAZIANI: We had scheduled Hofstra in the opening game, and I'm not sure how many years we had Hofstra, what it was, you would have to check with our AD on that. We had Hofstra and they dropped football last spring or whatever it was, and then we had to go on the open market and find a game. The ADs got together and lo and behold, Weaver State is coming out here.

Q. You've obviously been around this game a while and you've seen schedules that have to be changed. Have you ever seen one that had to be changed at that late a date or for that reason?
COACH SPAZIANI: Not really, no, no. I guess the closest we came is years ago when I was at Navy, we were playing Villanova and they dropped football the year after we played them. We were supposed to play them, but I think we were in the midseason, it wasn't like an opener, etc., etc. So it's happened, but very infrequently, obviously.
THE MODERATOR: Coach, thanks for being with us, good luck this weekend and we'll talk to you next week.

End of FastScripts

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