Eyes Wide Shut

Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech basketball fans have had a trying week. (Jon Fleming)

I feel like large portions of the Virginia Tech basketball fanbase have lost their innocence over the course of the last week. A lot has happened between women’s basketball coach Kenny Brooks leaving for Kentucky and a large number of men’s basketball players hitting the transfer portal (and one of them returning). There’s a lot of information to try and take in. Further complicating matters is that a lot of the “information” is from “sources,” and a lot of the numbers being thrown around aren’t public knowledge.

Sticking to the basics, much of it isn’t surprising. When Brooks was the head coach at Virginia Tech, he said the ACC was the best women’s basketball conference. Once he arrived at Kentucky, he said extolled the virtues and the future of the SEC. I don’t blame him for that. If we hired someone to work for TSL, we’d expect that person to say that we were the best Virginia Tech sports website whether he or she believed it or not. It would be borderline insubordination if they said otherwise.

So how much of what coaches/administrators say can we actually believe? You have to remember that we are their audience, and it’s in their best interest to tell us certain things and to not say certain other things. Sometimes it’s about what we want to hear. Sometimes it’s about setting the narrative.

Whit Babcock, who has been a lot better at indirect strategic communication since his director of strategic communications left, was publicly out in front of the whole Kenny Brooks deal. Here are a couple of examples: