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Virginia Tech Douses SEC Speculation

There are two kinds of denials in this world:

1.  The non-denial denial.  You know that one.  “I love it here and I’m focused on the future,” is what Coach X says right before he leaves for a better job.  “We haven’t talked to that conference and we like our current home,” is what sharp school administrators say when asked about realignment rumors.  Comments like that keep all options open.

2.  The flat-out denial.  There’s no getting around this one.  There’s no room for debate.  It’s a hardcore “no.”  And the flat-out denial is what Virginia Tech officials keep using with regards to SEC chatter.

Earlier this week, a writer for The Roanoke Times claimed that after talking to “the most influential Virginia Tech person” he knew, he had decided that Hokie brass might listen to an offer from the SEC after all.  (And this is not to knock on Doug Doughty who may wind up being correct.)

But over the next 24-36 hours, his story spawned a wave of “Virginia Tech is starting to show interest” stories.

This morning, we pointed out — again – that Tech AD Jim Weaver had already gone on the record as saying he would expect his school to “politely decline” an SEC offer.  Three weeks ago he said the ACC is simply a better fit for Tech.

Well, now the flat-out denials are getting even stronger.  In reaction to the “Tech’s showing interest” stories, a spokesman for Virginia Tech’s school president said the following in an email to The Norfolk Daily-Press:

“Total poppycock.  How many times do we have to say it?  If one of these rumor mongers, would be willing to cite their ‘multiple sources,’ it might lend some credence.  Frankly, we’re tired of other people telling us what our future is.

We are not interested.  Nothing has changed.  My president will not dignify wild speculation.  Our last statement (from August 12th) still stands.  Bottom line: this is not on our radar screen.”

How ’bout them apples?  (For the record, that statement of the 12th said that Tech had no interest in discussing a move to another conference.)

Look, if a person giving a non-denial denial changes his mind, he’s got wiggle room.  If a person giving a flat-out denial changes his mind, he’s a liar.  And here’s betting Tech doesn’t have big-league liars working as its AD and its presidential spokesman.

It’s time to scratch Virginia Tech from the wish list, people.  Also, judging by the fact that campuses from Missouri to Florida State to West Virginia are unusually leak-free at the moment, it continues to look like Mike Slive seriously over stated his league’s attractiveness when he said in July that he could get “to 16 teams in 15 minutes.”

If he does so, a whole lot of jaws are going to drop… because, for now, even reaching 14 schools seems to be a bit of a stretch.

Stay tuned…

 


15 comments
Stanley Metz Jr.
Stanley Metz Jr.

Although you my be right, don't beleive any flat-out denial by VaTech. I beleive you've forgotten how they departed the Big East.  Remember, they gave a "BIG" flat-out denial about leaving the Big East for the ACC.  At the same time they joined the Big East in a law suite against the ACC.  Shortly after that, they received an invit from the ACC and did an "about face"!   They then dropped their name from the Big East law suite against the ACC & accepted the offer to join the ACC.

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

Texas will either join the PAC or rebuild the B12. It will not go independent because it does not have a viable option for their non-revenue sports.

jes m
jes m

#14 is clearly Mizzou- you can expect an announcement in the next week- this will follow tthe OU/OSU bolt to the PAC 10/12 and Texas going independent- all done in next 7 days. The $$ is simply too powerful and the TV contracts have already been "re-upped" to make the deal work for all sides. It will take another 12 months to fully settle into an inevitable grouping of four 16 team supers and adios BCS, Big 12 and Big East- fellows just follow the money and this is where the trail ends.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

I'm not saying VT is on the way or anything, but I think it is also interesting to compare their move to the ACC with what a move to the SEC would look like. A few years ago the Virginia politicians strong armed the UVA people because they were afraid that VT would end up in a non-viable conference. The thought was maybe the Big East would lose their BCS status. That ultimately didn't happen, but no one was sure of that at the time. This is also the reason VT sued the other defecting schools. They felt their status in the world of athletics would be threatened by a non-viable Big East.

Well, the situation this time around is very different. If VT left the ACC that would not destroy the ACC. The ACC will survive because of its very dedicated core of programs. It would take a lot of movement to make the ACC non-viable. So from that perspective I don't see why the Virginia politicians would view a VT move to the SEC as detrimental to UVA. Maybe there's another factor here I'm not aware of, but that seems to be the case to me. Also, originally the ACC wanted Syracuse. If VT leaves you can bet that that is where they will look to fill the slot. They want into the New York markets and Syracuse is also the big time basketball program and the academic institution that the ACC wants to be associated with. This type of thinking also plays into the concerns of other ACC members that the conference was trying to make a move away from their strengths and become a stronger football conference. Also, the ACC has lost ground recently to the Big East when it comes to basketball relevance and they may desire to give the conference a boost by exchanging VT for Syracuse in that regard as well.

I'm not saying that the ACC wants to get rid of VT(the team they didn't want the first time around), but I don't think anyone over there will put up a stink about it. I think the ball is clearly in the court of the VT brass here.

@Kelticgator
@Kelticgator

Even if it is a flat out denial, what is the source? Its easy to burn a University "spokesman". The question is who are the real power brokers? It seems to me that more boosters and fans were upset with TA&M last year when they backed down from joining the SEC that actual University officials. It was that groundswell that pushed the Aggies down this path with the LN being the excuse to create action.

Va Tech may not be interested in a move. The President and AD may be opposed. But what of the trustees? Influential alumni, boosters, politicians, etc? Lets not forget that Gordon Gee was correct when he jokingly commented that Jim Tressel was more powerful at Ohio State than he was. A lot of these behind the scenes power brokers are simply unknown to us. Personally I'm not sure the Hokies would be a good fit in the SEC but after a year of wild speculation put forth as breaking news, misquotes and inaccurate analysis by the major media outlets . . . I'm not willing to dismiss them just yet.

TurtlePower
TurtlePower

While they may or may not be bound at the hip, lets not forget the Virginia Legislature (as Mr Sec mentioned in the comment above), for lack of a better term, forced UVa and the ACC into taking VaTech in the first place. Now, while not every school has altruistic intentions, is VaTech really going to say "hey, thanks, now good luck, we're out of here" 8 years after elbowing their way in? And even if VaTech WOULD, I doubt the Virginia legislature, so prominent last time around, would allow VT to make a move that could potentially prove disastrous to the state's flagship and the athletic conference in which it resides.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

HokieBrew and Eat...

The difference is, you likely won't have the governor of Virginia twisting arms all over the place to make sure the Hokies move from the ACC to the SEC. It's one thing to say "we're not interested," it's another to explain why the ACC is a better fit than the SEC and use such harsh words as "poppycock." Why, I almost got the vapors just reading that.

My point was this -- in these situations, schools usually play things smart and provide non-denial denials. Virginia Tech is taking things much further than that. So on the surface, it looks as if they need to be scratched from the list.

That said, we've stated a few million times that we trust no one as these types of political / big money / business decisions are made. People mislead. People backtrack.

But they usually leave themselves some wiggle room to do it.

Thanks for reading the site,
John

Eat
Eat

Go back and you'll see the VT AD and President said *EXACTLY* the same thing when they were in the Big East and the ACC was expanding. Hell, Virginia Tech was one of the Big East schools that sued Miami, BC, and Syracuse when those 3 schools made their intentions known they were leaving the conference. VT didn't drop the suit until they were informed of their imminent invitation, so don't look at these heavy handed denials as some kind of proof. Virginia Tech knows how to play both sides of the fence pretty well.

HokieBrew
HokieBrew

As a Hokie I wince when I read that. For one reason I have no illusions that the ACC is close to being the football conference that the SEC is, and Tech is a football first school. Secondly I remember how it felt the last time the administration so publicly denied the desire to switch conferences (Big East to ACC). VT was even a plaintiff in a lawsuit to halt the ACC expansion, right up to the point the received the unexpected invitation. The situation that VT is in is signifigantly better now vs. then. But as a Hokie I have hard time believing that there is zero interest in joining the SEC.

Martes Stewart
Martes Stewart

The deal is that firstly I doubt the SEC has talked to any of these schools. As they are waiting to see who calls them and are not reaching out and aggressively seeking another program. So with the fear of getting reported as having talks with the SEC and getting outted to their conferences most schools are not gonna call. So you got a circle of silence and wait. ___Secondly the SEC is percieved as being impossible to break into, that if you come here your team will be 5-7 for eternity.___Third, the money is the main thing that will drive a team into the SEC, and that money will need to be reworked from the current contract else it will slip below the levels that will entice media outlets. Sure, a decade from now when that media deal gives out the next SEC deal will be monstrous. But thats a long time off.

AllTideUp
AllTideUp

The question is who is this "most influential Virginia Tech person" he knows? Is it the head of the geology department or one of the trustees? There's a lot of vagueness there.

Micheal Cummings
Micheal Cummings

I think that VT would be a nice addition but if cant get it, then you have to move on, its their lose. I believe that Missouri is going to get alot of attention and OU in a 16-team. i think this is going to prompt Silve to bring it to 16.

Lee
Lee

Sort of like "I'm not going to be the Alabama coach."

flair4dagold
flair4dagold

The Missouri Valley or the Big East (after their sorry excuse of a football conference is destroyed) says hi! After all, BYU and Notre Dame were able to find confereneces for their other sports while keeping football independence at the same time.

-flair4dagold of the Blog of Doom!

Martes Stewart
Martes Stewart

Lastly the SEC is limiting its own options by refusing to take within the current footprint. Canceling out Clemson, Louisville, and FSU. Cancels out Gtech as well, but honestly, it will be a cold day before that invite happens.

In the end, the SEC will have to quit the nice guy approach and move on teams likely in the Big East such as Pitt or WVU. ACC teams will stay unless the Big10 calls as they will want to have high end research partners wherever they go. And only the Big10 and Pac 12 offers that, with the Pac12 being too far away. Big10 were to take say Maryland and an NC school, or one of the Virginia schools, the the ACC might falter abit.

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