Monday, April 23, 2012

weekend review

-- OK, the baseball team didn't get the needed sweep, but won the Duke series 2-1.  Bad game Friday, complete domination of doubleheader Saturday.  Wanted a sweep, whatever.  Moving on.

-- Lacrosse, big disappointment on Friday, watched Duke win ACC title on our home turf, that sucks too.  Got Penn next weekend in Denver as a tourney tuneup, probably going to own that game since Penn isn't half the team they were last year and anyway we beat that team 11-2.  Also, vote for Steele Stanwick. Moving on.

-- Jared Green.  We have to touch on this here for a bit.  You remember him: son of Darrell Green, blazing fast receiver we used to have, transferred out after Mike London's first season.  And apparently, trying to burn every bridge he ever had in Charlottesville.  I quote:
But after red-shirting as a freshman and beginning to show what he could do as a sophomore receiver at UVA under Al Groh and the coach’s son/assistant Mike, Jared suffered when that staff knew it was out the door midway through the 2009 season and even more so under new coach Mike London in 2010.
“His agenda was to play receivers from the Tidewater area because that’s where he recruits,” Jared explained. “I went home that summer and told my parents I wanted to transfer. My mom (Jewell) said, ‘No. You’ve got two more semesters. Graduate from UVA.’ I said, ‘OK. Who knows? This coach might be an awesome guy.’ He wasn’t. Coaches can manipulate your mind and tell lies. They can hide behind the program and make a kid look like an outcast. I’m so thankful I learned that at UVA. I’m on a path and I had to experience some adversity. I think that was God’s way of humbling me and keeping me hungry.”
Since the fawning fool of a reporter had no response to this but "awwww, poor Jared" I guess it's up to me.  It's interesting that Mike London gave so much preference to receivers from the 757 area in 2010.  We certainly had a lot of 'em.  Here's the full list:

Tim Smith

So that's interesting.  Green had only eight catches in 2010, which certainly does not amount to the kind of production he was probably hoping for.  And yet it was more than Smith's three.  London would've had a hard time finding Tidewater receivers to play, considering Smith spent most of the year injured.  Green transferred out after that year and immediately proved what a huge mistake it was to leave him on the bench, becoming the sixth-leading receiver for the Southern U. Jaguars of I-AA football, and leading them all the way to a 4-7 record.

If collecting butt splinters during 2010 was God's way of keeping Jared Green humble, it didn't work - the man is a legend in his own mind.  Alright moving on.

-- Anthony Gill: Will be a Hoo.  It didn't take him long at all after getting back from Columbus to decide on Virginia.  Gill is a slightly undersized power forward who put up solid numbers this year at South Carolina.  He can play in 2013-14, after sitting out a year to satisfy transfer rules.  At 6'8" he's not a big big, like, not ever going to be confused with a center, but depending on how Mike Tobey develops he's arguably now our best or second-best big-man scoring option starting in 2013.  We still need some action in that regard for next year, but Gill fits like a jigsaw piece into a just the right place.

Tomorrow I'll have a full profile.  It's still not what we're building up to.  Moving right along.

-- Finally we reach what I was getting to.  If I could just have a moment of your time....

Apologies, but today we are From Old Virginia Tech.  When I heard about 1) Seth Greenberg's firing and 2) the amazingly clumsy way in which it was done, I knew what today's post was gonna be about.

This is awesome in so many ways.  Well, not for Seth.  You know I've had my fun with the guy over the years.  His teams play an undisciplined, unwatchable style of ball.  He whines like an engine stuck in first gear when he doesn't make the tournament.  Etc. etc. etc.  I might as well stop piling on the poor guy, because nobody could ever punk Seth Greenberg as hard as his own boss did today.

It's not about the timing, really.  It's a little outside firing season, to be sure, but Maryland managed to land on their feet when Gary Williams left abruptly, and Mark Turgeon wasn't hired til May 11.  Course, that's Maryland, which has a location in a big metro area, a semi-recent championship banner, and a name.  Virginia Tech has a nice new practice facility and the reputation of a diluting agent in the ACC basketball equation.

It's really more the fact that the VT athletic department really showed their ass on this one, clownshowing their way through the whole thing.  You don't call a press conference in the morning and tell your coach it's about him in the afternoon, because you can't possibly be dumb enough to think no reporter will contact the coach in between and ask if he knows what the deal is there.  Which of course is exactly what happened, and of course Greenberg replied "lol no way dude still workin'."  Silly him to assume that he'd be among the first people made aware of his firing.

Then again, since Tech's AD Jim Weaver announced at the press conference that the decision had been made last week, what's another couple hours?  No reason to ruin the guy's weekend - or lunch for that matter.  Weaver explained the delay in informing Greenberg by saying 1:30 was a time that "fit into everyone's schedule," which makes you wonder just how often they fire coaches around there if it's an event that's no more important than, I dunno, the weekly 10:00 scheduling meeting.

The press conference - which Tech announced would be LIVE! and FREE! - was a little bit revealing.  Weaver mentioned several times the copious offseason departures of practically Tech's whole assistant coaching staff for greener pastures and stated that he didn't want to pay two staffs - the new one they'd hire for this year and the one that they'd have to hire again when Seth's contract was up.  If I read the Intertubez correctly that was going to be after this year, and they didn't plan to extend it, so essentially the decision boiled down to "all the other coaches are gone, might as well get rid of the head coach too."

That's certainly an interesting reason.  Weaver's miserly penny-grubbing frugality here means they're not exactly likely to shell out enormous bux to the next coaching candidate.  Frank Beamer gets about $2.3 million a year and you can guarantee a basketball coach ain't coming close to that.  Tony Bennett makes $1.7M and Mark Turgeon makes $1.9M, and I'd bet those numbers are too close to Beamer's for Tech's comfort.  Lots of Hokies think Shaka Smart is the guy - the same Shaka Smart that coaches at VCU and turned down Illinois - and Greenberg made less than Smart, which is about $1.2M.  (There's a reason he's happy at VCU.)

Anyway, if Smart turned down NC State and Illinois, he's not going to Tech.  Gregg Marshall at Wichita State - supposedly a hot choice because of ties to Roanoke - makes $900K, which I don't see Tech coming in much higher than, either. 

What we're getting at here is: they peaked under Greenberg.  A lot of Hokies didn't like Greenberg, but when they see the next era they're going to wish for the halcyon days of Seth.  He was an excellent recruiter.  Weaver doesn't have a lot of years left on his clock - in fact, when this press conference was first announced, a lot of people assumed it'd be announcing Weaver's retirement - and despite his confident assertion that coaches will beat down his door to coach in Blacksburg, not many coaches are gonna want to work for a lame-duck AD at a football (and football only) school.  And if the hiring is conducted in the same manner as the firing, they'll end up with Bobby Petrino and the press conference is gonna be mighty awkward when he learns they still have a football coach.

So I'm pretty much done bashing Greenberg myself, because I realized I feel bad for the guy after today's clownshow.  Not that his firing wasn't pretty much written on the wall - my assumption was that next year would be his last - but having it go down like that and then getting bashed on Twitter by his former players (between Hokie fans harassing Tim Harris and Hokie players ripping Greenberg, you wonder if its time to take away their keys to the lightnin' box) I'd say he's taken enough abuse.  All you need to know about the Hokie mindset is that some of them side with a piece of shit like Jeff Allen on this issue.  Allen and Greenberg probably didn't see eye to eye over Allen's propensity to foul everything that moved.

Anyway, I've written some critical words about Greenberg in the past but you have to be simply amazed at the ability of the VT athletic department (and some of their alums) to turn him into a sympathetic figure.  Simply stunning incompetence.  I have a feeling their coaching search will be the object of at least a little riducule, too, and not just by partisans like me.  Enough of that for now, though; tomorrow it's back to what's important, starting with a profile of the newest Hoo, Anthony Gill.


Anonymous said...

Still hoping for a weekend recruiting wrap-up...

Anonymous said...

Wow, has there ever been a more bumbling, more insensitive firing of a head coach? (Okay, probably lots of them, but I can't think of any.)

I can't believe I'm feeling sorry for Greenberg, but they totally treated the man like shit right there. Goodness. Can't imagine who would now want to work for that AD after that.

Brendan said...

Re: recruiting - Wednesday, as usual. Taking about 10 names off the board so it's not exactly the best one you'll read.