Kansas State is only like VT in location, not their commitment to the program. Kansas State ponied out big money to hire Bob Huggins. Kansas State's top assistant, Chris Lowery, just signed on to the staff for $210,000...double the amount James Johnson initially got.
Regardless, Huggins used Kansas State as a stepping stone to WVU, his alma mater...and Frank Martin essentially pleaded to get out of town and begged anyone who would listen to take him away. And he did so for the exact same problems that VT has right now. Not enough commitment to the program, hard location, etc.
Is that what you envision for this program? A stepping stone for some other school? Schools like VT, WVU, Kansas State, etc. arguably need MORE commitment than other urban schools in order to overcome their inherent difficulities they cannot change.
West Virginia has gotten lucky in that one of the better coaches in college basketball just so happens to be an alum. They also have a greater commitment to their program than VT does.
WVU has a 14,000 seat arena...they just built a $20 million practice facility...they have paid their assistants well enough to keep each of them since 2007 (the year Huggins came back to WVU)...and of course theyve ponied up $1.5 million in base salary to keep Huggins in Morgantown
My point is that location isn't a limiting factor if you are committed to the program. If the AD (and by default the fans) are willing to pony up the money for quality coaches, perks and facilities, we can have a program that is successful on a national scale. I agree that many programs, based on geography, need more commitment to the program to achieve the same level of success. It just depends on if basketball is important to the VT administration and its alumni and fans.
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