Friday Q&A: July 6, 2012

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1) 35th in the Directors’ Cup – not high enough, too high (too many resources being directed to non-revs) or about right?  Basically a question on resource allocation across the entire athletic department.

Chris Coleman: That’s a good question, and I don’t know the details on exactly how much money each program receives.  Virginia Tech finished sixth in the ACC in the Directors’ Cup, which I think is pretty darn respectable considering we were in the Big East less than 10 years ago.  I also don’t think there’s any way we’ll ever catch Duke, UNC or UVA in the non-revenue sports.  There are simply too many rich alumni at those schools who flood their non-revenue sports with support money.  We don’t have the alumni base to match that.

I think it’s a tough line to toe.  As an athletic director, Jim Weaver wants to make Virginia Tech as competitive as possible in all sports.  At the same time, it’s his job to be fiscally responsible and run the athletic department in the black.  He can’t just start throwing massive amounts of cash at the smaller sports in the hopes of making them better.

The #1 focus is – and always should be – on the revenue-generating sports.  My top priority would be football.  My #2 priority would be men’s basketball.  Nothing else would come even close to those two sports, because if those programs are good then it makes the athletic department richer, which would in turn benefit all sports.

I don’t know this for a fact, but I’d be willing to bet that over the course of the last eight years or so, no athletic department in the country has improved as much in non-revenue sports as Virginia Tech has.  We’ve seen so many improvements in results, recruiting, and facilities.  I think Jim Weaver has done a good job balancing between the big sports and the non-revenue sports.

I would, however, complain that Weaver should do more for men’s basketball in terms of coaching salaries.  I like James Johnson, and I was an advocate of hiring James Johnson.  But if you go all the way back to the 80’s, the Tech administration hasn’t done much when it comes to hoops hires:

Frankie Allen: Charlie Moir’s top assistant
Bill Foster: Foster had been retired, and he had only made 1 NCAA Tournament in his entire career
Bobby Hussey: Bill Foster’s top assistant
Ricky Stokes: UVA grad who had never been a head coach
Seth Greenberg: In hindsight