December 2, 2014

It finally makes sense!



The more I think about it, the more I believe Mike London's return in 2015 portends a change at the Athletics Director level.  UVA won't want a new AD to inherit a just-hired head football coach.

Craig Littlepage is 63 years old, and will be 64 by the time the 2015 football season starts.  In other words, ripe for retirement.

Doesn't it make sense that he wants to retire after the current academic / sports year, to see if he can go out with a Final Four appearance in basketball and a baseball national championship?

Doesn't it make sense that he doesn't want to make a big football hire now, then retire and saddle his successor with a newly-hired football coach that the new AD didn't hand-pick?  Instead, it makes much more sense to kick it down the road a year, and let the new AD pull the plug on Mike London and make his own hire in December 2015.

It sucks that Hoofans will have to suffer through a lame duck football season in 2015, but if there's a change at the AD level in the summer of 2015, it makes it all okay in my eyes.

Meanwhile, you need to understand that basketball is a tricky sport for an AD.  It's very high-risk, low-reward.  A bad basketball program at a place like UVA ruffles a lot of feathers and makes an AD's life very unpleasant, while a good program doesn't do a whole lot to pay the bills.  'Page has our basketball program positioned in a great place right now, with Tony Bennett happy and contract-extended --- Virginia Basketball is giftwrapped and ready to pass along to a replacement AD.

Now, all of that being said, a nightmare scenario: Jon Oliver replaces 'Page as Virginia's AD.  I don't think that's possible, not given Oliver's reputation as a total dickwad to those around him and his past legal transgressions (1991 DUI and 1992 cocaine possession).  But you never know.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

I'm hanging my hat on this idea that London's return for 2015 is all about Littlepage's retirement plan... and I'm officially staking my Hoofan sanity on the concept.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure if I have it in me to do the research and give you a long, detailed list of potential Athletics Director candidates... but Mike has already done some legwork in unearthing John Currie, the current AD at Kansas State.



Hang in there, Hoofans.  It's all going to work out.


12 comments:

  1. So you are okay with the #1 revenue producing sport swirling further down the toilet for another year for the possibility of adding a Final Four to Littlepage's resume? Guess I am jaded by what happened with Jim Weaver at VT and the present coaching situation at Tech, but if I was a UVA fan and knew that was the reason then I would be pissed. Especially when the possibility of the next ball shot is coming within a year when Jon Oliver is named the successor. I get where you are coming from and if accepting this to keep your sanity is what is needed I sincerely respect that. I guess if they thought process was this than he should have considered a retiring last year or giving the fanbase the heads up this fall so they could better prepare for the kick to the ball they would be getting bringing London back.

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    1. No no no, not okay with it. Just hopeful that we'll end up like Tech did with Whit Babcock and Buzz Williams.

      Am hopeful a new, better AD will do a better job conducting a football coaching search than the current admin would have. Hopeful a new AD could potentially attract better candidates.

      It's all I can come up with right now. I hate that I have to consider total apathy as an option!

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    2. I get where you are coming from. Got to hang your hat on something. I am especially sensitive to giving coaches and AD's "victory laps" while the house is falling apart around them.

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    3. Not a victory lap. Just avoiding putting the cart before the horse.

      If we get to and through the summer of 2015 without any clarity on Littlepage's retirement status, my rage will begin to flow. Or... maybe more likely... I'll throw up my hands and quit.

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  2. It kills me we could potentially have fired London and be pursuing a guy like Bo Pelini right now.

    I know Pelini is a dick, but at this point, I don't give a shit. He has won 9+ games every season at Nebraska and in some ways may be a juxtaposition to London (a plus in my book).

    I hate the "good guy" London argument, which I know you have touched on. Obviously certain coaches/schools have notoriously had problems with player behavior and academics, but those examples are rare. I would rather deal with occasional NCAA issues and win, at least on a relative scale, than suck ass and stay clean.

    With all of this said, I hope your logic is correct and will be beyond pissed if Oliver is promoted after 2015.

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    1. I really don't think Oliver would be a candidate. In fact, his might be the first domino to fall. Look for him to begin shopping for another job.

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  3. I certainly hope it works out like that. Mikeysurf implied that Sullivan would likely appoint Oliver as the successor if she is appointed for another term. Hopefully, she/BOV will decide that one 5 year term is enough.

    Norwood Teague, AD at Minnesota and formerly at VCU, would also be a solid candidate.

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  4. Kendall, It's actually setup for London to come out winning in the first two months - which I hope he does. If he comes out losing, he'll be let go early in the season and Tom O'brien will serve as the interim coach through the end of the 2015 season while a search for an excellent candidate commences. This way the program/kids can go through a smooth transition without any disruptions. Any good or up and coming coach looking for an opportunity will gladly take the UVA job $$$$$$$. The new coach will know that they can come in and turn the program around without much noise from anyone from UVA for at least 3 years. We'll even put up with five years as long as we go bowling in the first 3 years. With those low expectations, I'd be leaping up and down to take the UVA coaching job if it was presented to me!!!

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    1. Is TOB even going to be at UVA next year? Everything I have read is that his return was a 2 year thing. And if this is the case why bother doing this, just pull the band-aid and be done with it.

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  5. I think a good replacement for the AD position would be...wait for it...Derek Dooley. He has obvious history here so I think he would understand the importance of the low revenue sports like soccer, baseball, rowing, lax, etc, and how we like winning at those. I also think he might know what it would take to build the football program up. More importantly, I don't think he is the type of guy to hire a "UVA" guy. So yeah, shit coach, maybe a good AD? Who knows. I'm also drunk.

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  6. Fire London now, hire someone from the Bill Belichick coaching tree. Saben is from that tree and all they do is win.

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