And pays $4.33 million for the privilege, according to the Washington Post.
WestBerkeleyFlats wrote: "You forgot a 0. Virginia is #20 in the country in terms of academic endowment."
We're both wrong. Virginia is #3 - I was thinking public universities. Among all they are 21.
The Board of Visitors had nothing to do with it. The money is from Athletic Department donors, and the only person who made the decision was Craig Littlepage. As a practical matter, on a decision like that he would check with John Casteen to make sure that there was no horrible dissent from the higher-ups. But if Littlepage can raise the money from donors, it's his call.
When will sanity return? $2 million a year for a coach? $4.33 million just to rid ourselves of a coach we no longer want? How about paying the next one $50,000.00 per win (twice what I make in a year) and have the current ex-coach work off the next two years as Asst AD ?
Still looking for $50 million:
" A list of South Lawn Project Naming Opportunities shows that although certain sections of the project such as the Commons Cage, the rights for which one donor paid $5 million already have been reserved, the University is still looking for a $50 million donation for the entire South Lawn name.
I won't argue that Groh might have been a bad fit, but I will point out that in at least one significant way, Groh's circumstances are different from Welsh's and Spurrier-Duke's: VT is now in the ACC, whereas it was not when they coached. Any prospect from the tri-state area whom UVa would recruit is also looking at VT, and with VT being in the ACC now, there goes that differentiator. So now the recruit thinks "I have two ACC schools to choose from, and one of them is significantly more flexible in terms of academics than the other...hmmm...."
Nancy, it seems yet another case of yeah yeah, sad song. It's pretty clear where the greatest number of rich alumni have placed their priorities. With athletics. Duh. Shall we move on now?
If that's the case, maybe, we should hire a famous football coach to replace John Casteen and get 2 jobs filled for the price of one.
Let me get this straight - a university is naming buildings after donors? Shocking. It's also good that the Cavalier Daily reporting is still comical - "University Sells Portions of South Lawn ..." is such a misleading headline. And besides, doesn't the article state that $61.2 million has already been raised?
"If that’s the case, maybe, we should hire a famous football coach to replace John Casteen and get 2 jobs filled for the price of one."
I think that Maryland essentially tried this when they made their football coach Curley Byrd president of the university. They eventually almost lost their accreditation in the early 1950s but did go on to win a national championship in football.
Jeepers - Nancy, time for a Reality Check! Virginia is #2 in the country - behind Harvard - in terms of academic endowment. Yes the athletic department gets a lot of donor money, but it's a literal drop in the bucket compared to the funding athletics get from donors.
People like Carl Smith, who donated over $50 million to the athletic program, support athletics. It's not like that money was diverted from going to the English Department.
Clearly you neither appreciate nor understand the value of college athletics. That's fine, but it comes across as silly when you make the points you're trying to make.
My dissatisfaction with the football program started a few years ago when they instituted the new "forced giving" policy instead of just raising ticket prices. I gave up my season tickets this year mainly because of that, and the performance of the team just confirmed that I made the right decision. As for Al Groh, I think his lack of success in recruiting made it very difficult to compete at a high level. Face it people - UVa is a lacrosse, soccer, women's basketball, and "minor" sports school, and there is nothing wrong with that. We have great coaches in all those sports.
Without athletic programs, large Universities would have much less money to do what Universities do best, and tuitions would rise- just like private small school tuitions are high because they have no athletic programs to generate media dollars.
Also, don't blame anyone but Coach Groh- he is man enough to take it all and admits it was all on him. Also, don't be jealous of a golden parachute- check out corporations all over the globe- "skydiving" abounds.
Even our wonderful , elite congressmen have golden parachutes, and they don't do a damn thing for anyone but themselves.
Athletic programs simply don't raise excess bucks that go into the general fund. Most athletic programs don't even pay their own way. It's a myth that big-time college athletic programs are a huge ATM for their institutions.
I imagine Al Groh has a large checking account, a large savings account, and many investments. His severance pay is nothing to sneeze at either. He has enough to live a very comfortable life on.
If I was him, I would retire and enjoy life now. And that's probably just what he will do. He has NOTHING to hang his head in shame over.
More power to you, Al Groh!!! At whatever tropical resort you fly away to first, drink a cold one for me while on the beach! :)
Why would the BOV be involved? Everyone knew that Groh was a lame duck as soon as U.Va. lost to William and Mary. The question is why Groh got an extension as recently as two years ago. That cost $2 million, right there.
Well, coy Nancy, why don't you state clearly what exactly you think the BOV did? Did they secretly divert $$ to this project? The money is pretty easily traced, and it comes from boosters/athletic donations, not from UVa's budget. (FWIW, I think it's equally naive and uninformed to say "the only person who made the decision was Craig Littlepage.")
Or do you simply think they voiced their opinions? Frankly, my guess is that the BOV is relatively uninterested in football glory--that's a booster thang, and the BOV demographic and the booster demographic do not overlap to the extent that people might think. Boosters, in my estimation, tend to be the type who are deeply invested in UVa's rep as an august academic institution. That's very different from a wealthy booster's interest in UVa as a Big Ten-style athletic powerhouse. There were powerful levers exerting pressure here, but I don't think they were BOV levers.
Dave, sing your sad song to a broader audience. UVa is simply trying to keep up with the Jones's, and not just the peer-institution Jones's. Yeah, priorities are misplaced here at UVa, but can you tell me where it is that they are correctly assigned? Our corporations have got it all wrong, our educational institutions have got it all wrong, etc. Your proposal does make a kind of sense, but it's completely out of touch with the practical reality and thus it's kind of hard to take your lament seriously.
Does anyone believe the BOV had nothing to do with this ?
Well, given that U.Va. has only received 3 donations greater than $50 million in its history (Batten, Harrison, and Buchanan), I don't think that we can blame Al Groh for that.
Although personally I think Littlepage should cover half of the $4.3 mil for giving him a contract extension just a year or two ago. Brilliant.
Yes, even though Groh won conference COY in 2007 it was pretty clear that the team overachieved and won a lot of close games.
UVA is feeling the heat about Groh's 4.3 million; they've issued a statement claiming donors stepped forward to help fund it:
There are those among us who see football as but a game, an adjunct activity to the academic, and public service mission of the University. Unfortunately, when the new stadium was built, finances necessitated a winning team. The University could have chosen to direct alumni dollars to academics, libraries, medicine but no, they have condoned and encouraged their alumni to give the major dollars to sports palaces. Students could have learned, that in life you're not always top dog, but be grateful to be able to participate. The era of entitlement continues at the U and the hard knock life of a college education, and no job, will soon become a reality for many Wahoos, that will make a losing football team small potatoes, in the game of life.
Aren't private school tuitions high because they don't have public funding?
Also, don’t blame anyone but Coach Groh- he is man enough to take it all and admits it was all on him. Also, don’t be jealous of a golden parachute- check out corporations all over the globe- Ã¢â?¬Å?skydiving” abounds.
I've never heard Groh take responsibility for the program's decline. Instead, his final statement alluded to vague forces that undermined the trust and teamwork that he had worked so hard to create.
Didn't know baseball is now considered a "minor" sport.
Wonder which is more important to alumni at UVA, now that funds have dwindled--million dollar football coaches, or finishing the South Lawn ?
"University sells portions of South Lawn to donors to raise funds for construction"
To read the above article go to:
Do you really think the Athletic Dept. runs the University ? --scary thought, maybe you're right.
Nancy, you seem either confused or completely ignorant, or maybe you've simply been into the white wine spritzers a little too enthusiastically tonight. Who said that the athletic department runs the university? Al Groh is an athletic department hire; the athletic department, under pressure from its boosters, fired him. You're the one suggesting the BOV was behind it.
Who cares? It's about time he was fired! I have never been to a UVA game until this season, and I went to the game against William and Mary. It might have well have been against Mary Baldwin for as well as UVA played. It was embarrassing for all parties involved: Coaching, Players, and fans. I grew up in Florida, and in Florida football isn't a just sport, it's practically a religion. After the game I commented to friends that if this had happened to UF or FSU (Admittedly, FSU has had better seasons, but Bowden is on the block right now too)there would be huge outcry and the fan reaction would be outright acidic. Because of that, I don't ever want to sit through a UVA game again and wonder if there was a conscious thought process behind the play calling or plays were being drawn from a hat in a booth somewhere by people who won some sort of twisted raffle. As an organism, this man was worthless and I am glad to see the body reject him. To Coach Groh, good on you for pulling so much cash before your exit. You're my hero.
Nancy - I can appreciate your concern over unfinished projects in the 'academical village,' but Al Groh's payout is not in any way connected to them. Try learning how a D1 school's athletic department runs before you start flinging random grievances around.
The donations specifically given to the VAF are what will pay to boot Groh and for the hiring of a new coach... Although personally I think Littlepage should cover half of the $4.3 mil for giving him a contract extension just a year or two ago. Brilliant.
Virginia went 9-4 in 2007 - most wins in school history. You can’t/don’t fire your coach after that, no matter how Ã¢â?¬Å?close” the wins are or aren’t.
Are we now all forgetting the 10-3 season in 1989? They beat Penn State! They lost to Illinois in the Citrus Bowl, I think!
There was no reason to fire Groh after 2007, but why extend his contract another year from 3 to 4 years? He wasn't going anywhere and recruiting wouldn't have suffered much because Groh had already burned plenty of bridges on his own. The team had gone 5-7 the previous year and started out by losing to Wyoming by 20 points. Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated called Groh one of the five worst coaches in the country. U.Va. then went on a run by beating UNC by 2 points, Middle Tennessee State (!) by 2, Connecticut by 1, Maryland by 1, and Wake by 1. Exciting stuff, but you're not going to keep winning all of the close games.
Let me get this straight - during an economic recession in which schools across grounds have been forced to slash budgets, leave faculty positions open, and cut some programs altogether, some alumni decide that the best thing they can do with their collective $4.3 million dollars is to buy out a football coach. Right. Apparently the possession of a UVA degree does not endow one with any ability to discern how to put one's excess income to rational use whatsoever. Academics be damned. Let's focus on winning football games! That's what colleges are for, right?
Isn't college baseball a non-revenue sport most places?
Three cheers for the Board of Visitors--way to go guys, taking bold action, not sitting back like wimps in the face of defeat. Now you can go find a bigger, badder, more expensive coach to replace Groh. No price is too high in this economy.
Groh was a bad fit from the start. He had already shown at Wake that he probably wasn't cut out to be a head coach at the college level, at least at a school like U.Va. or Wake with higher academic standards. He did alright with Welsh recruits such as Matt Schaub but struggled after that, Chris Long's heroics in 2007 notwithstanding. Plenty of coaches can do well in similar circumstances - Welsh did at U.Va., Spurrier did at Duke, Jeff Tedford does at Cal - but they usually have been successful at the college level and show some creativity in their approach to building teams.
Virginia is #2 in the country - behind Harvard - in terms of academic endowment.
You forgot a 0. Virginia is #20 in the country in terms of academic endowment.
"Although personally I think Littlepage should cover half of the $4.3 mil for giving him a contract extension just a year or two ago. Brilliant."
"Yes, even though Groh won conference COY in 2007 it was pretty clear that the team overachieved and won a lot of close games."
Oh come on - "won a lot of close games?" So what - I didn't know that "margin of victory" was one of the qualities we're now using to determine the worthiness of our coaches. Oh wait - It's not!
Virginia went 9-4 in 2007 - most wins in school history. You can't/don't fire your coach after that, no matter how "close" the wins are or aren't.
Littlepage was right to keep Groh on after last season - it was definitely a judgment call, but it's pretty easy to argue his side. After 9 wins in 2007, the team had some major off-season turmoil to try to overcome - in particular Sewell being declared academically ineligible. To top that off, his replacement, Peter Lalich, had his own issues and left the team after the second game, leaving Virginia with completely untested, inexperienced quarterbacks. Aside from possibly schools such as USC, Texas, Florida, etc, there aren't too many college programs that would survive when suddenly faced with completely inexperienced quarterbacks.
The team showed gradual improvement last year, culminating in an achingly close loss to Tech in Blacksburg. Keeping Groh was certainly justifiable - a lot of people might not agree that it was the right thing to do, and firing him then would also have been justifiable. Instead, Littlepage directed him to replace his son as OC. Groh's biggest mistake - by a mile - was trying to switch to the Spread offense. That offense is complicated and takes at least a year to install, usually two. Groh had to know he as on thin ice, and the offense was incredibly bad the first few games this season. That probably sealed his fate as much as his demonstrated inability to recruit top quality talent for the skill positions.
Without that ill-advised offense change, it's probable that the team starts this year 5-1 (the loss coming to TCU who we now know is a freaking powerhouse - but even that game was winnable). There's no way to know if the team would have finished better than 5-7, but the mindset among players and fans would have been considerably different had we entered the Georgia Tech game 5-1 instead of 3-3.
Don't get me wrong - Groh HAD to be fired after this season. No argument there. I just don't think it's reasonable to make broad statements that he shoulda been fired years ago.
Groh was never a good fit - when he requested that all students wear orange t-shirts to games I knew he was out of touch with the University - UVA is not Clemson!
Good riddance several years too late - Littlepage should have to pay some of the severance....but it is worth it to get a fresh start. Perhaps another Navy coach is worth considering??? Or step up and try for Gary Patterson or someone from his TCU staff (Eddie Williamson?)?