I have worked for the past 2 years at a mid-major school in the Midwest with one conference tournament championship (and NCAA berth) and a regular season conference championship
our DOBO (Dir. of Basketball Ops.) made $12-$15k more than what Adrian Autry made as a DOBO at VT, and our top assistant isn't too far off from the 2nd and third assistants at VT now.
all of this relates back to the argument that has been presented many times on this and other Virginia Tech message boards...the argument that there are distinct disadvantages on the basketball program at VT
myself and many others have talked about VT's geographical disadvantage, and that came to light when Hokiehaven caught up with VT target, Darrell Johnson, who talked about VT's distance from the closest airport (read as: urban environment)
"I was surprised how far they were from the airport," he said. "That was the most surprising thing. They were really far and it took two flights since they are a smaller airport."
these are facts...VT's location hurts them when recruiting in basketball...basketball is a much more urban game than football, it is a lot easier to get football kids to come to a rural environment than it is for basketball...that's why VT can pull some of the top notch talent in their recruiting classes in football, but basketball can't make the same strides
Also a factor in football's success on the recruiting trail is the commitment from the athletic department to the program...before Greenberg, basketball just got the scraps of whatever was left, but Greenberg fought to get a state-of-the-art basketball facility on campus to help in recruiting and recruiting alone...the next step will be coming up with money to retain good assistants as well as attract more talented assistants to an ACC program with some potential with the right amount of commitment
As fans, the best thing you can do is try to facilitate the commitment...urge Weaver to spend more money in basketball, or better yet, write a check! If you want VT to take the next step, don't lament on getting a new coach who will come in with the same restrictions, change the restrictions themselves (the ones you can change anyway, Blacksburg will never be located in Richmond)...
You want Shaka Smart, Greg Marshall, John Groce (vomit)? Find the wealthiest people you know to significantly raise the commitment level of the athletic department to the program...one of the things about the business of college coaching that many people don't realize is that coaches socialize with one another...a lot...especially in college basketball...it's a prerequisite to finding a job, you have to know people...and in doing that, coaches talk...and the word on the street is that Blacksburg is an extremely tough place to win consistently because of the factors I've discussed
2) Mid-major commitment in a BCS conference
3) A fan base with high expectations and mediocre commitment to fill the stands
all three of those problems belong to the chicken-egg dilemma...some fans can't come to games because of Blacksburg's location...VT's commitment to filling the stands with locals has been mid-majoresque...the low fan turnout makes it hard for the athletic department to justify pumping more money into the program...the problems feed into themselves
a new coach, or even new assistants, aren't going to change those problems...so VT needs to fix what they can...the athletic department needs to have a renewed commitment to the program...fans needs to allow the athletic department to justify this commitment by stepping it up in donations and/or attendance...also, have some realization about what this program is, where it has been, and where it can go...should VT have made more than 1 NCAA Tournament in 9 years? I think yes, yes it should...but don't discount that VT was on the bubble a couple times and it could have very easily have gone in their favor
if at that point, VT needs a change in leadership, it will be much easier to attract better names to the program, because then, the only disadvantage will be the location...