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REPORT: Shaka Smart assures recruits he’s staying at VCU

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RICHMOND (WTVR) - It's become a rite of spring, VCU head coach Shaka Smart is the target of every top-level college basketball coaching search. In the past, schools like UCLA, North Carolina State, Illinois and Minnesota.

This year is no different.

But despite numerous internet and Twitter reports to the contrary, Smart is still VCU's head coach according to athletic director Ed McLaughlin. No other schools have officially asked McLaughlin to speak to Smart and CBS 6 Sports has learned that the two men have been meeting all this week to discuss the "nature" of the VCU program, including possible tweaks to Smart's current contract.

Other reports have also said that Smart has told his recruits he is staying at VCU:

"Shaka Smart spoke to VCU commits & their coaches yesterday & assured them he isn't going anywhere," ESPN scouting analyst Adam Finkelstein tweeted Tuesday.

A story published on WLUK-TV's website in Green Bay, Wisconsin, quoting a story from WITI-TV in Milwaukee, said that Smart would be introduced as the new head coach at Marquette, although a search of WITI's website only turned up a story that claimed Smart "might" be Marquette's coach and that "nothing is imminent".

Marquette's former coach, Buzz Williams, was formally introduced as the new coach at Virginia Tech Monday night.

Smart has become VCU's all time winningest coach with a 147-36 record in just five seasons. This was the fourth straight year the Rams have made the NCAA tournament, which is a school record. VCU lost in the round of 64 to Stephen F. Austin in overtime this past Friday.



  • Joe

    Look at this guy, profiting off the backs of those that he coaches.

    Those millions would be better suited poured into the coffers of academia rather than mundane ball tossing.

    • Edward Greene

      It’s your right not to like sports, and that’s totally cool, but I think you could do so and comment without sounding like a gigantic snob. Also: a ton of that money from all that ‘mundane ball tossing’ does in fact go back into the school and general education.

  • Joe

    Take a peek:

    http :// ww w.vcuramnation .com/forums/threads/virginia-universities-athletic-spending-report.11902/
    (remove spaces, wtvr moderates links)

    Data source:

    http :// jlarc.virginia .gov/reports/Rpt443.pdf
    (remove spaces, wtvr moderates links)
    That all aside, this guy profits more from the actions of his student athletes, if they performed poorly, would he be courting these deals? Can we freely correlate their performance solely with his coaching ability?

    Ultimately, I feel saddened that while some of these guys/gals coming out of college sports might have a chance at the majors, the majority won’t, thus their effort goes quite unrewarded beyond the compensatory free education.

      • Joe

        Wow, way to discredit the actions and efforts of the players. Remove one coach, and they’re just a bunch of losers?

    • Funny Bunny Hunny


      The athletes receive a free education. Although this is less than they would receive as a pro-athlete, a free education is a free education. Many of these young kids would never of had the opportunity to go to college much less play a sport on the national scene.

      Additionally, the better the athletics program does, the more the degrees are worth. The more money that comes in, the better the school will be. Because of the Final Four run VCU had, my degree is worth more. The City of Richmond benefits as well.

      And yes, not everyone that plays a college sport will go pro. In fact, most don’t. But what are they left with? A free education. Discipline. Life skills. A strong resume that says “I am disciplined and I work hard.” The majority of the basketball players at VCU are on the honor roll and receive excellent grades. This will carry them through wherever they go in life. Again, many of these young men and women would never have the opportunity to go to college.

    • Mike

      It should be noted that Shaka went to the Final four in his second year, and the majority of the players were hold overs form the last coach. So yes, “one coach” is a big deal. It can be the difference between average team no one pays much attention to, vs a team like VCU now that creates a local and national brand for itself by achieving more than the sum of its parts. Are coaches overpaid? Yes. But all management is. Get over it. The world isn’t “fair.” It should be noted though, in the case of VCU, it’s a lot more fair to players than some schools. They typically stay all four years and get a free education and don’t go pro. They get a good education and the chance to play high level basketball for a few years. The one thing I might change is that players from all D1 school probably should get some sort of royalty cut on athletic profits once they are out of school, assuming the player graduated and kept their GPA above 2.0. Sill, unless you can cite specific examples of player hardships after they left the team, it’s unreasonable to assume that players are being stiffed in a big way somehow. They know the deal when the sign up. No one is forcing them to play, and an education is a reward of it’s own. There are many nonathletic around people who would love to go to school for free or nearly free.

  • Blaise

    Joe- you feel saddened for these players? Ask how sad they feel and ask how unrewarded they feel. You clearly don’t understand sports or being a student-athlete. I never went pro, got a full ride to play basketball at a 4 year institution. The “reward” of the free education is a gift that has continued to give to me and my family year after year after year, now my daughter benefits from this free gift. I did not play basketball to go pro, I played because I love the sport. I worked hard, learned to be responsible, accountable for my actions. I learned how to balance priorities, time management skills, met some of the best people and made great friendships. Basketball has given me more than I could ever give back to the sport, I don’t regret a day I played.

    Coaches are not profiting off the backs of the players. Universities profit, no doubt about it. Coaches get paid for how well they do a job. Lawyers get paid for how well they do a job, better lawyer, more money. Would you accuse doctors of profiting off the backs of those who get sick?

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