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Want to give the great Litos & Coach a high five & hug!

Michele N

Amen. And Amen!
When will this be published in the front page of the RTD?

A10 Fan

Pardon me but.....Richmond Spiders have been to the NCAA twice in the past five years 2009-10 and 2010-11.
Get your facts right. You just chided Paul Woody for wrong facts.


FYI - FACT CHECK - Spiders have been to NCAA twice in the past 5 years


"but it's worth noting that VCU has won a game in three of the past four NCAA tournaments. Duke has not." - that isn't correct either. Duke hasn't won a NCAA tournament game in 2 of the last 3 years. Not 3 of 4.

N Newfield

Thanks, Mike, for speaking for the less articulate folks, such as me! Woody needs to read your blog on entitlement v appreciation. And, most importantly, I appreciate your comments on Juvonte - you stated, succinctly, my response to his critics - until we walk in his shoes, we have no basis to judge his attitude or his potential.


You know, my favorite thing to remind people of was what Coach Smart said in the midst of their victory over Virginia. I caught it right away, but it seems alot of folks missed it. He said, and I'm paraphrasing, time will show the value of this win. He understood in that game, in that moment, exactly how good UVA was, and there was no grey-matter in his statement, he was explicit. He knows where he is going, and most importantly, where he's taking the kids and the program.

This was an extraordinarily well concieved piece. I truly believe, for what Coach Smart has and continues to do, he is quite underpaid...of course, as time ticks on -- this will be recognized and addressed.


The last sentence sums it up for me!!! No doubt we want more wins in the tourney but given his body of work and accomplishments Woody (whom I frequently enjoy reading) was completely out of line. Coach Smart can coach for as long as wants as VCU if you ask me. He's already taken us to levels I never thought I would see and I remain eternally grateful for that. He could lose over and over in the first round and I'm still ok. Heck, the #2 owner of wins at VCU NEVER won 1 tourney game for us (I still love you Sonny!!!!! WDE baby!!) Go Rams! Thank you Coach Smart!!!

T. Kemp

I believe Woody's "editorial" is spot on. VCU athletics budget pales in comparison to the schools from the major conferences and as a result paying $1.5+M a year for a basketball coach puts other investments needed on the back burner. The big schools that field FBS football make so much money it carries the other programs on their backs. For Tech to spend $2.5M is a spit in the bucket because football revenue and alumni giving are at least 10 times the size of VCU. That means that students and taxpayers carry a significant burden to pay Smart the kind of money he receives. There is no question that Smart is a great coach, person and asset to the university, but at what price? There have been many mid-major programs that for a 5-10 year period have burned bright but eventually they move back to a good team but not appearing or enjoying success year after year in the NCAA tournament. Gonzaga has enjoyed the longest run but there slide has begun. Wichita State will start it's decline next year. Others like Kent, Akron, etc have enjoyed 10 year runs that included sweet sixteen and elite eight appearances, but their stars have faded recently despite investments in their programs. Smart is by far the top paid coach in the A-10, and yet other A-10 teams are winning at half the investment...because they are responsible to the needs of other sports programs and the balance of the university population. He is going to leave, and probably very soon. We all will have enjoyed the ride, but eventually it ends for almost all mid-major programs. Remember that it has only been the last two years that Smart has been playing with "his kids", those he recruited while head coach. It will be interesting to see what the next two years bring.


@ T. Kemp
Does the sun ever shine in your world? Yes, Coach Smart makes 1.5 and if you understood the importance of men's basketball to the athletic department's budget at VCU you'd remain silent on the matter. Men's basketball drives the bus at VCU and any bit of success we have there raises all other programs, hence the Siegel Center. I'm sure you heard of the $25 million dollar building that's on the way? Is that possible without Smart? Will other athletes at VCU benefit from it as well?
The whole premise of your argument hinges on the notion that no mid-major can sustain success. Two examples you gave were Gonzaga and Wichita State due to the fact that neither made it very far and have already started to or will start to decline next year. By that notion I guess Duke and Syracuse should fire two legends and move out of the "meatgrinder" that is the ACC, huh?
You also take a stab at his winning with other coaches "kids". I want you to remember your lack of faith in the next few years. He has the kind of class VCU has never known on the way and will continue the trajectory of the program. Ed McLaughlin is a shrewd man and with Rao's backing hopefully voices like yours will be ignored so VCU can prosper as we deserve! Go Rams!!!! Don't start no stuff, won't be no stuff!!!

T. Kemp

I love your passion and yes the sun does shine in my world, but so does reality. If you understood the budgeting pain for nearly all mid-majors you would better understand my point. I hope that I am wrong and that Shaka will remain here at his current level of pay, which selling out the Siegel Center allows us to handle. The new practice facility will be paid 80% by 30 year internal funding and 20% by the money raised by alumni.
I had the opportunity to meet Shaka while living in NE Ohio and he is a great guy and even better person. I wish nothing but the best. My point is only that trying to move his pay close to $2M is a challenge for VCU's budget.

Edward James

Mike, I thoroughly agree with your comments. VCU is a basketball-centric school and basketball is the no. 1 sport and should be supported accordingly. The other sports benefit from the success of the basketball program not to mention the good will and publicity that has accrued to the school. You just can't buy that type of advertising; ask any advertising executive.

Mike, you need to send your article to the T-D for their editorial page. Bet they don't place it on A-1. I am working on mine now. Other VCU supporters might consider doing the same.

Ray Jones

You VCU fans have such a chip on your shoulder? Why? Maybe because any decent coach continues to leave your school? Shaka is still there? You all get nervous every March when other schools inquire about him. Sure he's turned down other positions, but one day some school will grab him. The article is wrong because Shaka doesn't need to do more for VCU. VCU needs Shaka a lot more than Shaka needs VCU.

Edward James

Ray Jones sounds like a UR fan.

T. Kemp

California the next rumor?

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