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.
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.