Would NCAA Tournament Success End Shaka Smart Era with VCU Rams?

By Joseph Nardone
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

In the world of college basketball, a program is only as successful as their coach is good. College hoops just so happens to be one of the easiest sports in which a university can turn around the program. Really, all they need to do is bring in the right coach, who will then in turn bring in the right players and quicker than you can say five year contract, a new power program is born.

It is for that reason that smaller programs have a hard time holding on to their good coaches. The power-conferences have an abundance of money at their disposal which they can use anyway they deem fit. Smaller schools have a hard time financially battling it out with those who come from the power-conferences and ultimately become a victim of their own success. Coaches have good year, coaches become hot name, power schools offer millions, and ultimately the smaller program is left holding the door.

This won’t be the first year that the VCU Rams will have to worry about Shaka Smart‘s name being thrown around the media gambit. Essentially since day one, Smart has been wanted by every program in the country. A university has a coaching vacancy — Smart is inevitably linked to the job.

Although, Smart has turned down every offer that we know has come his way and ones I am sure we haven’t even known existed. But how long will Smart avoid the money train that is power-conference hoops? While it is admirable and we all applaud him for staying, we couldn’t blame him for taking a massive pay raise.

VCU has been starting to get massive donations from boosters and is quickly becoming more of a national brand than just a regional program. The Rams are going to start to get a new influx of money and it will be up to them how they spend it. Likely, hopefully it will be to lock up Smart for the foreseeable future, but you never know.

Money talks and bologna walks in the wonderful world of college sports. While Smart has been as loyal as a person can be in only four years with the program, only time will tell how VCU feels about spending the proper coin to show theirs to Smart.


Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Joe on Twitter @JosephNardone

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