The ‘Page speaks:
“In accordance with a specific clause in Virginia head football coach Al Groh’s contract, I have informed him that his contract will not be extended for an additional year. Coach Groh has three years remaining on his current contract. I will be meeting with him in the next 48 hours to conduct a year end review of the football program. I will have no further comment about coach Groh’s contract or the review process of the program.”
I’ll have more thoughts on the Virginia Tech game and the state of the program soon. We certainly have plenty of time now to hash things out. But on the non-extension, my first reaction is that I don’t disagree with the decision. Another losing season is one that doesn’t deserve a contract extension, and that standard was made two years ago. Consistency in decision-making is a good thing for the coaches, the players, the fans, and the recruits to see. I’ll just add, however, that many of the problems afflicting the program also can be laid at the feet of the administration. Losing players to academics and other shenanigans, not allowing mid-year enrollment for years, and other roster damaging factors aren’t just Al Groh’s fault.
So, that’s fine, don’t extend Groh’s contract. But don’t neglect to address the other causes of the current downturn as well. If there’s a contract extension that can be denied Littlepage and others, I think it would be fair to nail them as well. Regardless, there needs to be a top-to-bottom review, and that includes every aspect of the University that affects its football program.
One more point: “no further comment” about the review process is not acceptable. I hope they at least provide us paying customers and tax payers some insight into the quest for improvement. Transparency is key for a state institution that has asked its constituents to make the number of sacrifices we’ve made for the program. We certainly deserve to know how the highly salaried (and buy-out protected) state employees and the student athletes they manage and we pay to see are being handled when their performance is lagging this much.