Coach watch: $3.2 million for Smith?

Could the University of Virginia really triple the salary for its head men's basketball coach? That's what one newspaper says UVA is prepared to do. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that UVA is preparing to offer Minnesota head coach Tubby Smith a deal worth a base salary of $3.2 million annually, plus the use of a house, and two cars. The money would reportedly come from a combination of university funding and booster donations. Smith has deflected questions about his interest in the UVA job thus far, stating his intent is to be at Minnesota "for a very long time."
–photo courtesy Minnesota Athletics


So UVA, having lost half the value of its endowment, now pays itself a bonus by hiring -- or hoping to hire -- a winning basketball coach. True, it's kind of sad to have spent all that money on an arena when you have no team. But $3.2 million? ARE THEY INSANE??

Unless UVA wants to buy out Coach Smith's contract (5yrs remaining) from the University of Minnesota plus disrupt and destroy the U of MN's sports rebuilding program then try it! UVA seems to have forgotten its educational mission and how college sports enhances that mission.

Coach Smith has helped Minnesota basketball become respectable, honorable, and a class act again. Don't steal him away from us! Can you afford that obnoxious salary offer when you don't have a team to speak of? Think of your reputation and your endowments during these tumultuous economics times.

UVA can rebuild and become great again but it's going to take talent, time, and reasonable creative effort. You will find your new coach but not our Coach Smith.