Transfer Portal Policy, Direction of the Program Headline Signing Day Discussion

Do not click and expect to read more about Raheem Blackshear or Dallan Wright.

My phone incinerated as I scrolled through Twitter post-lunch to digest the high-level of Justin Fuente's signing day conference. Sidebar: The carne asada at Chipotle is top-shelf, and it's deflating when an initial huge scoop gets some shook back into the tray. Anyways... Fuente was scorched for his point-of-no-return stance on the transfer portal (at least for this go around). It didn't help that some initial accounts of the exchange lacked the nuance and context of the entire conversation (but hey that's Twitter), and that helped fuel the eruption. Either way, the end result was a press conference intended to discuss the Hokies' pair of football signees made national headlines for anything but.

I listened and transcribed the complete interaction.

Reporter: With any of the kids that we know of that have entered the transfer portal, or did, have any of them decided to return?

Fuente: We're not doing that. We've talked about that. We talked about it as a team. I talked about Hendon [Hooker] and Deshawn [McClease] last year, and how that was me not doing a good job educating them. We'll take all of 'em on a case-by-case basis, but we're moving forward.

Reporter: When you say you're not doing that, you mean you're not taking any of them back?

Fuente: Correct.

The fanbase is polarized and it's made the discourse of the Fuente era and Hokies' football exhausting rather than engaging. Fault Fuente for his honesty here, because coach speak would've produced a non-issue. Call Lionel Hutz to consult him on the truth.

Or maybe he leveraged the media to reinforce a message to his team about commitment. And perhaps that's a hypocritical stance given his recent flirtation with Baylor. In any event, this off-season seems poised to rival a Westeros winter.

For my money, the most interesting takeaway was Fuente's optimism for the direction of the program, and both his implicit and explicit expectations. He affectionately referred to the Hokies' 2021 class as "spoiled" because of all new facilities scheduled to be finished for that group's arrival: new dorm, new dining facility, new weight room, new meeting rooms, and refurbished players lounge. The same amenities Tech has wisely promoted on social media.

He even divulged a goal for next cycle, to sign an "elite class". And whether or not he intended it, that means starpower to the recruitniks. Regardless, it's a metric he can/should/will be measured against about a year from now.

Beyond that, he meticulously segued from the expected question about Baylor to rave about the future of the football program.

"I'm more excited than ever," said Fuente. "We have done everything possible to pay respects to the people that have done such a wonderful job in this football program in the past. You look around and see what we're building, not just bricks and mortar, but as a program and staff wise I couldn't be more excited. It's a little bit of rejuvenation, and feels a little bit like your first year."

(The only way that response would've been more perfect was if it happened a few weeks ago. /Ducks)

Combine that with what Fuente said back at his early signing day presser, and you have a coach that expects to win some football games.

"We've got a pretty darn good football team coming back," he said on December 18.

And I'm glad we're all on the same page with that.


Per Bill Connelly at ESPN, Tech's recruiting regression from the previous year to the current year leads all FBS teams, with USC and Ole Miss in second and third place. Both of those programs were recently under NCAA sanctions, which puts Tech in elite (bad) company here.

Hopefully, Fuente is aware of the lofty expectations for 2020. Eight wins and "in contention" for a coastal title will not do. I'm not his biggest fan, but I did find it mildly refreshing that he's setting the expectation for 2021 recruiting to be elite. To me, that means a top 25 class.

USC's sanctions ended three coaches ago and three ADs ago, back in 2014.

I think it's a little bit of recency bias to look at the class of 2020 and say Tech is struggling with recruiting. Fuente got one of the best classes in history just the year before, and is looking to get an even better one next year. I'll take that for a 3 year span.

We just lost the #1 RB in the 2021 class. We were mentioned in his top 6 or so. Of course he went to the osu. Not that I expected to get him. Onward and up ward!

Even when you get skunked; fishing never lets you down. 🎣

Did anyone see Beau Davidson's tweet sharing the Roanoke Times article? At least he's not totally oblivous to the outside world. Let's get some W's and put all this behind us!

Hokie Club member since 2017

Hey Arnold. My favorite

except hes not. inside the building is totally different than the outside perception.

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Yea talking to current commits and players you get a really different feel for how these kids look at Fuente.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

This 100%.

I am dismayed by the number of post about Fuente's personality by people who have never spoken with the man.
Seeing someone on TV or at a booster event is not a real indication on their true personality; sometimes the public persona is better than the actual person, sometimes worse. When I reflect on the conversations I have had with Fuente (never related to football), he is genuine, good natured and humble.

As far as access to the program, I think there is access to the recruits and their family. There is not much access to the fan base but there was not much access under Beamer either and there is not much access to most programs. Open practices & spring games have been a ruse for fans for decades to give the appearance of access to fans.

If something is repeated often enough as if it were true, then people begin to assume its true. This in turn colors the way you interpret future statements or actions. If you see enough people complaining online that Fuente isn't emotional enough, it puts that idea in your head. Then when the camera cuts to Fuente after something bad happens during a game and he isn't yelling, you think "huh, maybe he is cold and unemotional" instead of "isn't it nice to have a coach that acts like a professional instead of a spoiled child when faced with adversity". The idea is in your head now, and everything that happens is interpreted in a way that confirms your pre-existing bias. Having others in the community confirm it for you just feeds into it.

As far as access to the program, I think there is access to the recruits and their family. There is not much access to the fan base but there was not much access under Beamer either and there is not much access to most programs. Open practices & spring games have been a ruse for fans for decades to give the appearance of access to fans

100%! we don't have any less access to the program than we did under frank. I remember waiting and waiting and waiting for a 30 second glimpse of practice to drop on and now I wait for it on twitter. I think the real reason hokie fans (and I'm sure A LOT of other schools fans too) is because there IS so much access right in our face of all the SECs teams spring games and practices and EVERYTHING SEC thanks to ESPN. maybe the ACC network will change that. I aint holding my breath because I cant even get access to the ACC network with out forking over a months paycheck so.....

twitter @smithey_daniel
head scout BSP scouting specializing in north florida/ southern GA highschool football scouting

Under Beamer until the Ohio State-win season, there were two open scrimmages and the Spring Game in the spring, and two open scrimmages during fall camp. During camp beat writers had access to most of practice and had the opportunity to interview players in the locker room after practice. None of that is available now. The social media showing spring and fall camp drill work also shows next to nothing.

The idea that the access is the same is 100% false. I can't even wrap my head around someone making that argument. And the effect when you are not meeting expectations is initially frustration (my stage- give me hope but instead I get nothing) the the distance allows other priorities to creep in (which is where the fan base that makes a difference to the resource bottom line is slowly creeping.)

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

I think things got locked up with Lefty got here..cause I think the 2013 spring game was televised..that might have been Logan's last year..

I really do enjoy your posts here, but this just isn't accurate.


Fuente has a little bit of Butch Jones in him. He's not nearly as bad as Butch was, but his ability to never quite say the right thing is mildly irritating.

Twitter me

I dislike that I agree with this.

Completely agree. He needs to go to a day class on communication and public relations.

Back in the day I took some leadership training and one of the outcomes was that though my door was almost always physically open, many of my employees felt like they weren't free to come in my office and discuss their personal issues. The trainer suggested that I might want to make some changes and be more open to that sort of thing.

However, I smiled and said "That's exactly why I have a Deputy. And if it really is that important, they can and do come in."

I suspect Fu is perfectly comfortable with how he does business, though he does need to get a quieter water bottle.

I suspect Fu is perfectly comfortable with how he does business, though he does need to get a quieter water bottle.

Somebody with too much time on their hands is going to do a cutup of all the times Fuente drinks from that Dasani Water bottle one day...i hope as a joke, someone will bring him a gallon of water and put it on the

He went to the Mark Rubio school of "water consumption during public speaking"

This is a joke man. Hypocricy aside, without Hooker and McClease this year, we may have been 4-8.

You're telling me had Hazelton changed his mind last week before going to Mizzo we would have said, nope, there's the door? Good grief.

Let's Go...

It is, in fact, not what he's telling you.

Are we still having this conversation? Good grief

He's done with the drama. He's all in. This is the year. Put up, or shut up for Fuente. Let's go!

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

My 2020 Season/Covid19 Challenge: only comment with Marvel memes.

My 2019 Season Challenge: only comment with Star Wars memes. (completed as of Nov. 29)

It's like there was no major, national news...maybe effecting the government.

We put the K in Kwality

Or people are desperate for a distraction from politics because they just realized it's an election year and it's a long way to November.

It's amazingly hard to know what to make of all this. The original quote seemed WAY more innocuous than it was made out to be, but Niziolek posted a thing basically outlining it as a policy with potential caveats as opposed to just "No one from this class is coming back." A muddled mess if nothing else.


It turns out that when you're a jerk to the media they aren't all that interested in carrying water for you when you say something that's not great. Who knew?

Yep. Wasn't it amazing how the reporters in the room somehow didn't ask another followup for extra clarification? They just let it ride. Of course, ambiguity gets eyeballs--that way they can double up & follow it with "well, here's the analysis of the statement and overreaction", for extra clicks.

Watch and listen to the exchange, Norm asked a follow-up, the last word he got out was "or" (which leads me to believe he wasn't even finished with his question) and it was met with a terse "Correct." from Fuente.

Serious question, how many follow-ups do you expect the media to ask? It's not the media's job to treat the head coach of a P5 football like a baby and hold his hand through a press conference. And a head coach who has a tendency to take a condescending tone isn't earning himself the benefit of the doubt with them.

At the end of the day, both of these are true statements:

  1. Some outlets didn't provide enough context to Fuente's original comment.
  2. The media asked a follow-up question and provided him an opportunity to clarify his position, and he brushed it off.

The media asked a follow-up question and provided him an opportunity to clarify his position, and he brushed it off

Maybe im confused about the follow up question. Are you referring to the same follow up question you transcribed above?

Reporter: When you say you're not doing that, you mean you're not taking any of them back?

Fuente: Correct.

Seems like Fuente gave a pretty straightforward response. The reporter asked a yes or no question, and got his answer. The reporter even said "got it" afterwards

Perhaps "brushed off" wasn't the best way to convey my thinking. Instead of a one-word response of "Correct", he could have circled back and more clearly articulated his position. My overall the point was the media extended him an opportunity to follow-up and he decided to press on.

So this is one of the areas that I'm having a tough time with the constant Fuente criticism. He was asked a question, he answered. He was asked a yes/no follow up. He answered. What more should he have said that would have appeased the media?

For all the great things Beamer did for VT Football, press conferences and talking to the fans rank up there as some of the most completely frustrating things he would do. Frank was great for spinning some yarn, talking about things he wanted to talk about, and so many people ate that up even if he never addressed the question at hand. His country boy charm and his down home roots, if you will. Frank would stand there and spend 5 minutes talking without actually answering a question if he didn't like the question. When pressed for a yes or no answer, he would come off as offended. Jason knows what I'm talking about. He did it to me before too.

I guess it's my upbringing, experience, whatever, but I appreciate getting straight answers to questions. Having someone up there blowing smoke up my ass just pisses me off. It shows me that they don't have the courtesy to answer the question, they think everyone is stupid and wouldn't understand the answer, or they have no clue how to answer it and try to baffle you with bullshit.

You may not have appreciated Frank bullshittin', but it was effective. I haven't watched the segment, but "Get Up", a nationally televised program, is discussing this whole deal.

USATODAY dragged Tech and Fuente this morning too. That's not the coverage you want for the program.

For what it's worth, I actually appreciate his honesty and candor too.

πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ HOT TAKES πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ have taken the place of actual journalism. ESPN, USATODAY, and a lot of other "news organizations" don't give a shit about who they destroy or defame in order to get eyeballs and clicks. And don't hold your breath if you think you're going to see a retraction/correction when THEY get it wrong. "Oh well, yesterday's news. On to the next story we won't take the time to research."

Just look at the Kobe Bryant story as an example of "journalists" not actually doing their jobs and rushing to get something, anything, out. With all of the misinformation being put out, it really makes you wonder why anyone would willing talk to these idiots.

One time I'd love to see a coach have the gumption to honestly reply to these knuckleheads during a halftime "interview" by saying something like "I'm only going to give you coach speak because you don't give a shit what I actually have to say."

It's the clickbait-as-currency world we live in

Hokie Club member since 2017

those journalists will get after ya

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Jet Sweep

Whoa.... this is so dumb. Everyone and their mother running with a misquote by a journalist

Hokie Club member since 2017

Saw a sarcastic statement on one of the other threads covering this subject basically saying "no such thing as bad publicity, right?"

Not being sarcastic, getting the Virginia Tech name across the country in the media is good. People are not going to remember why, they will forget as quickly as tomorrow after some new story breaks. The why in this story isn't even really negative, and the negative takes aren't even true. I seriously doubt a recruit is out there thinking they are going to transfer from any school they get a scholarship to, because recruits think they are going to be starters.

Putting the seed of Virginia Tech into people's heads, especially recruits, is good.

Weird question. How many follow-ups? I guess it depends on the value of accuracy to whomever is reporting it, especially with recent context and the audience receiving the message. That everyone keeps pointing out "more context was needed" tells me plenty.

"So coach, to be perfectly clear, this year's portal entries have no path to return; but you take them case-by-case in I have that correct?"

I'm sure I'd hate if getting clarity from the coach was like pulling teeth, but outside looking in, it doesn't seem especially challenging. It's signing day filler. Does re-engaging/challenging about a brush-off get a lifetime ban or something?

Let's not even get into a discussion about the Transfer Portal being just a means to test the waters, and not necessarily a commitment to transfer.

At the end of the day, I'm not disagreeing with you. Seems you're justifiably frustrated. I just wish a guy making that sort of money was a bit more self-aware with the PR aspect. Trust me, if I'm making $4M, I'm hiring someone to make me better at FBS-level media interaction.

It's perfectly normal to ask a follow up for clarification or for further elaboration. I think what happened was, much like the question on the Baylor job, Fuente heard the topic of the question and was like "hell no im not doing this" and went with a quick and deliberate answer when, in fact, the question required a more delicate answer. It's frustrating and a direct result of the program not prepping him for these obvious questions.

Yes. It was blown past quickly in the presser, and seemed as if he wanted to move along very quickly.

I thought he should've listened, paused for a moment (which is perfectly okay, and even recommended by some PR/comms experts), and then answered. Didn't quite happen that way.

And that wasn't the only question like that. Usually with the questions he doesn't want to discuss, he's giving non-verbals that signal he's stopped listening before the question is completed. (Also during the Dalton Keene questions, and QB plan questions).

It is a perfectly natural response--most of us would do the same. But to eliminate the habit takes training and practice.

Nitpicky? Fine. Easy to say from the outside looking in? Yes. I admit it.

They've noticed Fuente is super friendly to the SI reporter willing to write the glowing article putting a shiny gloss on mass transfers and a player mutiny but throws up double birds to the local guys. And it's not like the VT media crew is a nest of vipers.

these articles contradict themselves, calling it a blanket policy then quoting Fuente saying "it's all individual"

And the sucky thing is it's not like we can win right now to shut people up, long way till the first game. #offseasonblues

Reach for Excellence!

VT Football: It'll get after ya!

Proud Hokie since 2004.

It's almost like this type of thing might be the reason Fuente is typically so closed lipped with the media.

I hate rude behavior in a man. Won't tolerate it.

Because he knows he's incapable of saying the right thing on a consistent basis?

No, because when the media has decided to nitpick you, that there is NOTHING you're going to be able to say that isn't amplified and cast in the worst possible light.

There is a natural tension between honest people and the media. Which is why most people have become cardboard by the time they reach head coaching or high-level politician status. Those who attempt to provide actual thoughts and context are chewed up and spit out over minor nuance, so the reporter/news outlet can get badly craved attention.

after Baylor, I've just got no patience for his bullshit and flaws.

Get better.

What exactly was it that he did with Baylor that leaves you with

no patience for his bullshit and flaws.


Personally, I have no patience for the CEO of this organization creating negative headlines out of thin air twice in the past few weeks. He's already a poor recruiter, and now he's compounded our recruiting issues two separate times in less than a month.

His dismissive attitude when it comes to recruits and players who even consider going to another school is hypocritical. If you're going to demand total commitment from a teenager and prevent him from considering all his options before making the biggest decision of his life, then as a head coach you can't interview with another school just because it makes sense to consider all your options.

He has to choose. He can hold recruits/players to a high standard when it comes to loyalty, but he has to walk the walk.

1) Whit owns the Baylor issue. His micromanagement of staff decisions and lax follow thru on program resource commitments is a problem...and will continue to be so for as long as he does it. A couple days of tweets from the talking heads is a small price to pay to pin him down and hopefully make him more self aware.

2) The notion that the portal is anything other than a one way street baffles me; locker room issues aside, there is no way to track scholarship availability and do any kind of meaningful personnel planning. That they get to stay on scholarship for the semester and not have to practice is more than gracious enough.

Exactly. And Fuente can hold the players to a different standard bc HES NOT A PLAYER. He is the coach. They are not equals in terms of authority. Hes the boss. Im so sick of this bs narrative that bc Fuente now has a policy that says "you now know about the portal, so if you go, barring an extenuating circumstance (which is why he specified a case by case basis), then you're gone."- that he should be held to the same standard. Let me see some of you stand up to your boss and tell him/her that if they flirt with another company that they should be let go too. This is a good policy like the poster above me stated that it helps them more accurately track scholarship numbers.

Yes, those things are apples and oranges, and yes, the media is being purposefully obtuse in making that comparison.

At the same time, Fuente apologists are being purposefully obtuse by comparing him interviewing for another job to us regular people interviewing for another job. When you or I take a job interview, there's no national headline. And the success of my organization does not rely on my ability to convince people to donate their money to my company.

Whether you like it or not, there are consequences when a coach flirts with another school.

Fuente apologists? I don't see anyone apologizing for Fuente - there would be no reason to.

Fuente has a contract. As long as he sticks to that, he's well within his rights to interview for other jobs. I'm glad he's still at VT. You should be, too. Even if you don't like him, that would have been an inopportune time for him to leave.

Players also have an agreement with the school. The portal is a part of that. The school needs to honor that agreement.

I don't know if keeping spots open in case players in the portal change their mind is the policy at any school.

Here's the thing, if I go to my boss, and say "I have a job offer from another company, what are you willing to do to keep me?" I'm expecting an answer other than "don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Fuente's answer seems to be that if a player even looks at another program, they are gone. That's not a way to build loyalty. You build loyalty by making people want to come back.

So that's not at all comparable. It would be more like your boss has a budget of $8,500,000, you are being paid $150,000 yet perform in the lower 50%, and go tell your boss, "I'd like to take a couple weeks off to interview with other companies that might be a better fit." What answer would you expect then? Because your boss isn't going to hesitate to just let you go as he thinks to himself, "I can better allocate that $150,000 elsewhere anyway."

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

is this a fuente or player comparison? jw bc baylor came to fuente

A player entering the transfer portal

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

i understand you are exaggerating bc thats def not the case. if a player "looks" somehwere else, thats different than actually entering the portal. once you enter the portal, you have cut ties with VT/your current school. Fu only listened to another offer; i dont understand the mass hysteria over this or how its even close to a player entering the portal or even hypocritical?

Players cannot "look" around...and coaches cannot talk to them (NCAA violation). They have to enter the portal to have communication and gauge interest from other schools.

We put the K in Kwality

That's part of their "contract", the one that's paying for their educational expenses, training, room and board, etc.

Right. And as far as I know, there is no NCAA rule that says players in the portal can't still participate in team activities. It is solely on Fuente. He could make the rule such that players in the portal who keep up with workouts could come back. Instead he kicks them off the team.

Entering the portal is like sending out resumes. It isn't even the equivalent of saying you have an offer.

It's formally saying you want to transfer. So it's more like giving your two week notice. It's more serious than sending out resumes, and has actual consequences.

That's the problem people don't understand. The portal is not formally saying you want out. It's saying you want to see what schools may be interested in you (like being recruited again). Players only have two options: 1) enter the portal or 2) do nothing. There is no testing the waters, putting out feelers or looking around. You cannot do that. And other schools cannot make contact with you unless you are in the portal.

If you want to compare to something it's like declaring for the draft (or now asking for review). So long as you meet the requirements, you can go back (the school could still say you aren't welcomed back).

We put the K in Kwality

The portal is designed to support and add structure for students who want to transfer. It's the formal process saying you want to leave, and that you want out of your agreement with your current school. The NCAA allows you to do that, and also to let other schools know you're available.

You're giving up your spot on the team. It's not to say they won't take you back (they might), but they don't have to save a spot on the roster for the players who want to shop around.

And I'm pretty sure Fuente is in the majority of NCAA coaches who don't have time to entertain student athletes who want to look around but keep their spot on the team. It doesn't work like that anywhere.

Student athletes get big-time benefits. And they have grown-up responsibilities that go along with those. It doesn't get easier later in life.

I'll ask you nearly the same question that I asked French in another thread. Who in the portal do you think should come back and why?

Fuente said the coaches talked about it, the team talked about it, and that's how they made the decision.

So, instead of constantly bitching about a non-policy "policy", I would ask that anyone on here to please answer the question above and provide supporting evidence for the answer. (And no, Damon Hazelton is not coming back so don't even include him.)

What if they didn't want to come back, what if their production didn't warrant them coming back?

In all cases this year he is not taking players back from the portal

(add if applicable) /s

His talks with Baylor were blown out of proportion. He was angling for some things for the program, one of which is to help improve recruiting (something a lot of people on here bitch about constantly). He wants a school plane to use to go recruit like most other schools have now. VT has 2 planes but Sands uses one constantly, and the other gets shared by everyone else. Having access to a plane whenever needed would help expand recruiting and allow them to cover more ground in a shorter amount of time.

Spending all your "political capital" where you haven't built a record of sustained success with your own personnel? Sounds like a dumb idea to me.

Why? A vocal portion of the fan base was already calling for his head these last two years and might not have gotten another chance to push for the changes he wanted. In this instance the political capital is sort of like timeouts- it doesn't do him any good once the game is over.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Okay you went to the analogy I'll respond in kind. Kid has a good, not great midsize car, but wants shiny new set of wheels for $1800. Disregarding that the fuel pump is broken and needs to be fixed. For only $900, which he already has saved. Then comes to you asking for the wheelset.

Shitty new analogy aside, maybe Fu could try and think a little more strategically, perhaps hold off until he notches less of a roller coaster season. Timeouts are gone, and what did we get?

French has laid this out far better than I can. And has presented the overall arc of what's been going on and how unexciting it feels.

nothing Fu said is a surprise to the players; the only ones complaining are some who are not affected one way or the other.

While I fully understand Fuente's new policy, I find it incredibly arrogant. Less then a month ago he put himself in the coaching portal and decided to come back. I guess since he's making the $$$ he's entitled to feel more important than everyone else.

Speaking of coaching portals I think they should create one. If a coach wants to interview for another job, they need to place their name in the portal first, however once they do they void their buy-out. They still have to pay to leave, but the school can decide to go in another direction, and not be stuck with some astronomical fee.

At what point did he say it was his new policy?

He didn't. It's not a new policy. It's a case by case basis. I'm starting to wonder why people don't understand this. Have they not taken the time to watch the videos and really understand what CJF said?

Why read many word when headline do trick?

Why read at all when listen will do trick?

Indeed. Why try to inform yourself at all when you have the almighty truthsaying twitterverse to tell you all you need to know?

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Because people who do not like CJF don't want to understand it. Joe stated it perfectly in the OP...polarizing, like everything is now. There is no room for the middle ground, it hard core left or right, up or down. Period.

"War was always here. Before man was, war waited for him. The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.”~~Judge Holden

And that's what really sucks about all of this. The fanbase is divided.

This remind me of something else that's divided πŸ˜‚

Tears in my eyes
Chasing Ponce de Leon's phantoms
So filled with hope
I can taste mythical fountains
False hope, perhaps
But the truth never got in my way
Before now, feel the sting
Feeling time bearing down

Yes, Blacksburg may be divided...some of the water goes to the New and some to the James. But that's part of why we love her.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Well playedπŸ‘

Tears in my eyes
Chasing Ponce de Leon's phantoms
So filled with hope
I can taste mythical fountains
False hope, perhaps
But the truth never got in my way
Before now, feel the sting
Feeling time bearing down

And Fuente is a big reason for that. Whether you like Fuente or you don't, he simply doesn't have what it takes to galvanize a fanbase (at least he hasn't up to this point). I'm not saying that's necessarily a horrible thing, it simply is who he is. But with that comes some collateral damage.

At the end of the day, a successful 2020 season fixes a lot.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I was out of town on training, and didn't have time to fully watch the video or read a transcript. So yes, maybe it's not his new policy, but I bet a lot of recruits now believe it is, especially after all the press. For all the recruits that we really care about (lots of P5 offers) they're getting bombarded with information 24/7 and likely don't have the time to research ever piece of negative press.

I'm not on the Twitters, but has Fuente or anyone on the staff officially commented on the situation? I know he shouldn't be wasting his time refuting ever single rumor or negative comment against the program, but this sure seems to be something that warranted an official clarification.

I'm not intending to pick on you, but at the time I felt urged to post I happened to be reading your statement.

Due to limited access we see Fuente in very small windows. The key here is that it is a complete misquote and really bad job by the press of not fact checking a Q&A. Even though we as the fanbase have seen no outreach or public comment to rebut this, I can't imagine there is any confusion with the recruits or current players.

First off, this came as "shocking" news to us because we haven't heard anything like this before and limited access within the program. It's really hard to think this is the first time any current or former (recently in the portal) have been notified this could be the outcome. It would be in very poor taste for kids to have a different understanding than the coaching staff when it comes to their football futures. This "non-policy" policy is not a surprise to the players.

Along those lines, recruits have something that we as fans do not. Access. If I were a recruit eyeing a VT scholarship, and saw the report come across the wire on ESPN the way it was stated...well I would definitely bring that up in the next conversation with Fuente or my primary recruiter. In that way, it should be a pretty easy conversation regarding "case by case." AND if the straightforward answer provided doesn't sit well, then that's fine too, but they have access to the correct information and more detailed explanations than we are entitled to.

This is a very large mountain being made out of an innocuous mole hill, and I understand that if we finish last season 10-3 instead of 8-5 there are probably fewer rant posts about it.

Coach Wiles said all of this at the Charlotte alumni recruit night last year. I believe he specifically mentioned Hooker and McClease as exceptions even then, and said that for the most part once you decide you're not part of the team, then you're not part of the team. I remember Hooker being in the news that same day but I can't recall if he had just entered the portal or just withdrawn from it. But in any case, this isn't a new policy, it was out there last year as well.

BTW, i saw on twitter that there is no recruiting even in the Charlotte this year.

That sucks because it's always a decent night out, but thanks for the heads up, we got minimal notice last year and I've been checking the alumni page this year hoping to see something.

I find it funny that Fuente is crucified by many for not communicating. Yet when he does he is crucified for telling it like it is.
And how many of the people who were upset over him talking to Baylor have done the same thing in their own careers. I would wager more than will admit it.
Is Fuente the right coach for Tech? The 2020 performance on the field and in recruiting will answer that.

He is tone deaf. It's all about delivery and timing. He is very poor at both. I can't imagine that he is any better at communicating to his players if he can't do it in the press when it matters most.


Don't think so. It seems like the only communication and relationship he cares about is the one he has with players and coaches and not with people outside of the program. Players love that. It just pisses the fans and the media off so this is the kind of reaction we get.

Gobble Till You Wobble

That's where my head is at, and it's not great. He has to understand there a more stakeholders than his coaches and players, namely the dang fans that Whit and the athletic department want to help fund the program. They matter too. He's not a football coach anymore, he's the face of the program, and those responsibilities extend beyond Xs and Os.

He definitely needs to improve in these areas, but another solution to this is just winning. People are willing to look past these flaws if we're winning, but have back to back "meh" seasons and this is what happens.

This is probably me being overly hopeful, but my main takeaway from the press conference is it seems like Fuente is gearing up for a "How you like them apples?" kinda season and has a high level of confidence.

Gobble Till You Wobble

Winning will always help donations, but I think it's a fallacy to assume that winning will create a massive donor pool out of nowhere.

Look at Boise State. They win more than any other program in the country (for like 20 years now). Their athletic revenues ranked 64th in the country for 2018. That's behind James Madison and UNLV.

Also Oklahoma State, they ranked 48th in 2018 and were coming off something like 4 10+ win seasons in the past 5 years. Tech was barely making bowls during that time and ranked 39th.

You need to have a vision for the program, something to donate money to. You can't just tell me general scholarship fund like they keep pushing. You also can't have a coach that every time he gets on camera acts all standoffish. I understand that's not his behind closed doors personality, but I don't see that.

Yea i moreso meant people are willing to overlook flaws like his interview process when you're winning. However, if you have back to back average or subpar seasons, the wolves come out and are going to tear apart everything you say/do.

Obviously we have a lot of different factors contributing to our struggles in fundraising (which this board has beaten to death). Winning can help, but you're right, he would need to be able to use that momentum to capitalize on the excitement in the fan base and paint a picture of where the program is headed.

Gobble Till You Wobble

I agree, people are much more forgiving if you're going 9-3 or 10-2. So is the media.

The national media ripped Dabo for his stance on paying the players. It would cool the climate amongst the fanbase, but not get you a pass all around.

Personally I'm not under the illusion that winning, even an ACC championship season, will instantly vault our donations into the top 15 in the country. But I do believe winning would significantly reduce the freak outs and vitriol of fabricated issues, like yesterday's statements on transfer portal entries.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

It is not clear to me what people wanted and didn't get from the press conference.

What you are asking for will get you carefully crafted press releases, canned Q/A, and talking points...about as sterile as it gets.

I'd rather just hear from the coach...and he fully understands that he is the face of the program..

Most of this angst is related to a disappointing season and no last minute high-end surprise on the recruiting front. If we had ended last season on two wins, we aren't having this conversation.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

Honesty is "tone deaf"?

He's trying to tell it like it is. It's sort of amazing how rare that is these days.

Tone deaf is the term for public figures who don't play the game the way the media wants them to, which is basically to talk a lot to the media, but never to actually say anything. When you actually give an opinion, they give it a political correctness test and see if they can beat you up personally over it.

Don't hate the player, hate the game I guess.

I agree. It seemed like he gave the genuine behind doors response... that get spun to hell and vilified. So long for hearing anything genuine like that from him again.

Hokie Club member since 2017

I like him, probably because he handles the media a lot like I did (minus the water bottle) for over 2 decades. Once you get burned, you adapt and find a way to make it work for you; regardless of how it works for others.

Do a few dozen news conferences and a few hundred interviews and then tell me how went.

So as my miami friends say we are 1.69 years away from being back?

I can imagine no more rewarding a career. And any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction:
β€œI served in the United States Navy"

What Fuente did is no where near the transfer portal.

The Transfer Portal from what I understand allow kids who don't like their situation to become essentially free agents and allow themselves to be recruited again.

He didn't tell NCAA FB that he was open for offers and looking to make a change. Baylor was looking for a coach, late in the season, and asked to speak with him. He indulged and didn't leave VT. Who offered what, what was said, etc is nonconsequential, as he stayed.

As someone who hires and recently had a post on LinkedIn, using their new Matching feature, reached out to many potential matches about the opportunity for an open position at my firm. I spoke with some of them, as they were interested in hearing more about the opportunity, however many of them didn't move forward. It's often preached in the business world that you should at least listen to any new opportunities. I don't see what Fuente did as being any different than this.

Anyway, saying Fuente needs to follow his own policy is getting old. It has reached Lawson status already.

Previously LowBrau.

It's often preached in the business world that you should at least listen to any new opportunities.

Unless we're talking about a recruit or a player. In that case, they should be loyal and honor their commitment. But coaches should at least listen to any new opportunities.

In life- college football recruiting and players included- it's about leverage. There are far fewer guys that are qualified and capable of coaching a P5 multi million dollar program than there are kids that run a 4.5 40. That is just a fact of life. Look at the difference in leverage between NBA players and NFL players. Andre Iguadala demanded a trade, got it, told the Grizzles he would never play for them but wanted his 17 million- got it, and then got traded to a better team. LOL. compare that to Leveon Bell. all about leverage. Top head coaches have it, 3 star running backs don't. And that is no different in the business world. Your skill set and leverage dictate your opportunities.

For example, when you're being out-recruited by schools like Toledo, ECU, Tulane, Rutgers, Wake Forest, Boston College, Duke, Syracuse, Indiana, Kansas, Vanderbilt, Oregon State, and UVA, you probably don't have enough leverage to publicly forbid recruits from taking visits after they've committed to Tech.

Did this happen? There have been committed players take OVs elsewhere. The only thing I remember is the capehart situation where he said he wasn't going and did anyway.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

I can't believe the facilities handicap Frank Beamer was working under. It's really a miracle he could scratch 7-8 wins out his last 4 years with the facilities he had to work with.

It's almost like college football has changed.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

All of this reaction was incredibly dumb, nationally and on TKP. I watched the press conference and would not have taken away the headline that was passed around from what he said. Let's just win games.

"I'm more excited than ever," said Fuente. "We have done everything possible to pay respects to the people that have done such a wonderful job in this football program in the past. You look around and see what we're building, not just bricks and mortar, but as a program and staff wise I couldn't be more excited. It's a little bit of rejuvenation, and feels a little bit like your first year."

I think everyone, me included, grossly underestimates the challenges that come along with following a legend. Despite the way things were portrayed during the initial stages of the transition, this was never going to be easy. And somehow Futente has kept us afloat (maybe thats all he's done). I am anxious to see if Fuente can continue to establish and build the culture he wants here at VT - the culture we saw following the Puke game last season.

Maybe he knows what he's doing.

Is coronavirus over yet?

I actually LIKE when Fuente is honest.

The media (and social media) generally finds an opportunity to beat him up personally over it.

He talked to Baylor. He decided to stay. Get over it.

I'm not sure he "decided" to stay.

I'll rephrase: He didn't leave.

Are you sure he didn't? Sources were pretty confident he was #1 choice during the 24 hour mess. Of course nothing was what it seemed that day. I was just wondering if there was something reported about him not being offered.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

those same sources said he was in Texas, tbf.

πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ

Are you sure he didn't?

"I'm not sure..."

I am

Fuente's burner identified.

Easy to "decide" when the offer is rescinded.

I dunno man, from what I heard, Baylor made a offer and Fuente turned them down. Of course that was through the grapevine and not any kind of direct knowledge or even knowledge of where that grapevine originates. So it could just be spin

Fuente was obviously interested to some degree, since he listened to the pitch - something he had not done with any other suitors - but ultimately he liked his situation at VT better than whatever Baylor offered.

I'd be interested in knowing exactly who these "media" people represent who are twisting and trashing and taking out of context, etc. Are they legit? Are they hacks? Major print professionals or online wannabes? Some, these days, just dismiss major media outright, but I, for one, will take serious criticism way more seriously when I can read it in the newspaper. Read enough online and you'll find out that the moon is green cheese and the earth is flat. Read that in the newspaper and you know you're in the funnies section.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

OK, dc pointed me in the right direction and I now feel like I know no more than I've already gathered by reading this thread.
Shows what I know, right?

Sooooo, let the downvotes commence!

Edit: Just read basically the same take from Mike Barber in the Richmond Times. I guess the chance to pull out a "gotcha" hit is too attractive to ignore. It is disappointing to me that while quoting Fuente about the "case by case" basis thing, the point of the article seemed to be to call Fuente a hypocrite. I guess the old saw "no news is good news" applies here, but that wouldn't make folks here happy either. I know reporters need to sell their reports, though, and why I expected better from print guys I'll never know.

Reel men fish on Wednesdays

Never forget Mike Barber is a LOLUVA fan, owns part of a bar in Charlottesville and lives there. I don't think he tries to be biased but it comes through.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I've given Barber the benefit of the doubt in some previous situations but I can't do it this time. He blatantly and intentionally misrepresented the statements.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

He's a Rutgers alumnus.

Yes. Didn't say he graduated from LOLUVA.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

How did you conclude he's a UVA fan?

His writings, his twitter header and some of his rants over the years which have only seemed to increase under Buzz and now Fuente. As I said I don't think he is setting out to write from that perspective but just read over his responses to questions about this article and how he wrote it. (I get many writers don't write their headlines so those don't bother me as much)

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Barber is not a fan of any team he covers. He is a reporter who covers them dispassionately.

He owned part of a bar in Harrisonburg back when he covered JMU and lived there. He doesn't own one now.

He lives in Charlottesville but lived in Blacksburg for much longer in the past.

Just to set the record straight here.

Andy Bitter coming outta nowhere woahhh

Tears in my eyes
Chasing Ponce de Leon's phantoms
So filled with hope
I can taste mythical fountains
False hope, perhaps
But the truth never got in my way
Before now, feel the sting
Feeling time bearing down

I come up for air every now and then.

That's some impressive lung capacity

"That move was slicker than a peeled onion in a bowl of snot." -Mike Burnop

Andy, I'll start by saying I have followed your coverage since you started on the VT beat, subscribed to The Atlantic in the past, and have a great appreciation and admiration for journalists in what has become a highly scrutinized job.

As a journalist with a greater awareness than most about the impact that tone and phrasing can have on a story and the reader, do you believe Barber accurately represented Fuente's stance on Virginia Tech players entering the transfer portal based on yesterday's statements?

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I was about to ask this and you beat me to it. I'm looking forward to the answer (assuming Andy is comfortable answering it)

I think the way Fuente phrased it, it was somewhat open to interpretation. The question was about the players in there right now. Fuente said they weren't taking those guys back. But at the same time as saying it's a "case-by-case" basis, he sure made it sound like that's how they were just going to handle it from now on, with some exceptions.

I could see how it could have been interpreted the way some have done it, even if I didn't necessarily come to that conclusion myself. Though I think any reporting on it needs to address that there was a little ambiguity to it.

The ESPN article about it being a "new policy" I thought was irresponsible. They weren't there and didn't even reference a specific quote from the presser. And then other sites piggybacked off that report, leading to an aggregation game of telephone. Those are the ones I had an issue with.

I only saw the headline on Barber's. I'm not a subscriber there so I don't know what's in the article itself.

I hesitated to even ask the question because I recognize it's challenging to toe the line without throwing peers under the bus, but figured you might appreciate the opportunity to answer a potentially tough question as a bit of a role-reversal. You provided an excellent answer and I appreciate the honesty and perspective.

My issue is that, as far as I can tell, Barber was the first to refer to it as a "policy" and stated that it was very clear based on Norm Wood's follow up question, while refusing to acknowledge the fact that Fuente specifically used the phase "case by case basis."

Ironically, Norm Wood himself felt compelled to tweet multiple clarifications to more accurately represent the statement and essentially distance himself from Barber's stance.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Having been in Richmond for most of my life I can confirm that the Richmond Times' coverage of the Hokies is largely a joke, or at the very least an afterthought

I just wanted to say your recent book is an awesome read and I too appreciate your input when you pop up. Been following you since you took over for Mr. Tucker

Nick with the bike shop

If you want level-headed opinions, don't go on a message board or sports forums

All I could think of when Andy "came up for air" was a Jim Ross voice screaming "By Gah, it's Andy Bitter" (with stone cold music playing in the background) πŸ˜‚


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ #YNWA

I always enjoy your periodic appearances, particularly when you pop in to set straight some conjecture or false statements.

the people that show up and call into Fuente's presser are local media guys : Chris Coleman, Barber, Wood, Matej Sis, the CT guys, the guys in Roth's classes. the ACC network guys- Childers, Packer, Collinsworth will call in on occaision. National guys only in-season

Shakespeare would name this play "Much Ado About Nothing."

This is a Nick Saban move and I'm all for it.

There are wolves and there are sheep, I am the sheep dog

As I said on Twitter, whatever you think about the comment or how it was covered, consider the following. Since the bowl game and then end of Bud's tenure, has any single event associated with the football program made you feel good about the future direction of the program?

1) Fuente sniffs around another job
2) Poor recruiting class
3) Hire exciting young DL coaches with NFL experience, but taint it with the ugly way things ended with Charley Wiles
4) Fuente makes a ham-handed statement about the transfer policy that, while I agree with him is the proper course, looks bad given his recent dalliance and could easily be manipulated to make the program look bad
5) Cheap hire for DB coach, plus publicity about how far behind VT is in coaching pay structure
6) TX2VT had some successes, but is that sustainable when they can't shore up their traditional recruiting map?

Then add to this mix, has there been any public relations attack to change the narrative? Has there been any plan put forward to create enthusiasm, either by Babcock or by Fuente? How is the fundraising apparatus evolution being addressed? As a consumer of the VT football product, I desperately want them to give me a nugget of hope. Yet, everything that has happened from the bowl game to now makes me think there isn't a strong commitment to football, this coaching staff isn't long for the program, there isn't a path to ramp up the level of talent, and there isn't a plan to change any of those problems. The last month is indicative of a huge marketing and messaging failure.

You can argue about if Fuente was right or wrong, if he is deserves to be retained or not, if Mike Barber and others were responsible in how they reported the quotes. Nobody, at least I don't think so, can argue that any of this has been handled in a way where it inspires confidence in the trajectory of the program. And, as someone who desperately wants to feel that confidence, it sucks. And worse, the people who will pay for it will be the young adults putting on the uniform.

Five star get after it 100 percent Juice Key-Playing. MAN

Could not agree more, French.

Regardless of what Fuente meant, there is now a narrative out there that Fuente holds his players to a different standard than he does himself. It's been a full 24+ hours since this all came out and this narrative has developed and I've yet to see an official statement from anybody associated with this program clarifying his comment or adding any sort of context that may have been lost in the initial quote.

No matter what he meant, Fuente's wording was not great and tone deaf given what happened with Baylor. It was a mistake but one that anyone not doing PR 24/7 could easily make. But instead of fixing that mistake and clarifying the comment, VT is letting this narrative pick up steam and become a full blown story line.

Justin Fuente's biggest flaw, in my opinion, is his pure obliviousness about how he is perceived outside that locker room. It's almost admirable that he only cares how is players perceive him, if only it didn't make him look like a fool and the program a mess.

Here's another way to look at it:

1) Baylor showed interest in hiring Fuente. It's actually a positive that other programs are interested in our coach, but the local media takes the very worst characterizations of it, and sets the place on fire.

2) Poor recruiting class. Well, you've got me there. There isn't another way to look at that, though we may have picked up some decent players that we can work with, even if they don't have the rating service recruitcorns.

3) Hire exciting young DL coaches with NFL experience. Wiles was part of the Bud crew, and wasn't going to stay around after Bud. Fuente is allowed to have his own staff, and it's not we've had the characteristic defense, or recruiting on that side of the ball has been stellar the last couple of years. Some things needed to change.

4) Fuente calls it like it is about the transfer portal. The media, who should know better, blows it out of proportion. Further exasperating Fuente, and possibly supporting the idea that they (the media) might either be lazy or at best, unsupportive. This is partly on Fuente, and partly on the media. They need to work it out, because they need each other for this to be a productive relationship.

5) VT continues it's long history of trying to do more with less in terms of coaching hires. This isn't new news.

6) TX2VT is still a thing. We hired a bunch of new coaches. Let's see what they can do recruiting-wise. I don't care where they get the talent, just that they get it. I'd love to see them recruit the hell out of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina, though.

Some of the media are miffed because Fuente doesn't throw them the bones they got used to with Beamer. They have to do their own reporting, and don't have quite the same inside information they used to have.

I still see a strong commitment to football at VT. We spent some money to attract Fuente and his assistants. Let's give them a chance to do their jobs, and not jump all over them over petty nonsense. I get that some people want more access. I don't see them getting more influence by constantly writing and tweeting negativity about the current coaches and staff. Fuente needs to realize that he doesn't control the media. They haven't found a happy medium yet.

Baylor showed interest in hiring Fuente.

I keep seeing that Baylor came to Fuente. Which is fine, I don't think it's completely true. But I don't see why everyone uses this as crutch to feel warm and fuzzy about it. If someone hits on your significant other and your significant other reciprocates, how would you feel? That's basically what Fuente did.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

My god these comparisons are fucking awful. Please stop.

(add if applicable) /s

I know you're frustrated. But this ain't it.

Maybe people should read the softball thread to get excited for softball and forget about thisπŸ˜ƒ

Tears in my eyes
Chasing Ponce de Leon's phantoms
So filled with hope
I can taste mythical fountains
False hope, perhaps
But the truth never got in my way
Before now, feel the sting
Feeling time bearing down

It's either that or we're all about to take a forced vacation.

Can't go on vacation for me. I gotta keep up with the softball and baseball thread. Y'all should take a break tho at least until the spring game

Tears in my eyes
Chasing Ponce de Leon's phantoms
So filled with hope
I can taste mythical fountains
False hope, perhaps
But the truth never got in my way
Before now, feel the sting
Feeling time bearing down


Sorry, I'm just tired of people gaslighting Fuente into being a hero and victim all at once. It's a joke.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Nobody has done this

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

this coaching staff isn't long for the program

Even more than the quote/misquote or whatever you want to call it, this was my takeaway from the Press Conference yesterday.

In energy, body language, and overall demeanor Fuente looks like a guy who is going thru the motions and looking for a way out.

I don't know that that is his intention, but everything about his presence suggests it. Maybe the people and players inside the building see a different guy, but the fans, prospective recruits, and the media see an uninspired coach without a clear direction.

I am with French...I would Love to see things in a positive way, but Objectively I just can't.

I've said it before, but I see the most likely outcome of 2020 being another "meh" season followed by a "graceful" exit by Fuente to another Program.

He is the same awkward presence from 2016, it is your comprehension that had changed.

Seriously though, Whit, remove that damn water bottle from the podium.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

25 minute press conference; i believe there was only one question sort of about playing football...QB's heading into spring; there is essentially an entirely new coaching staff on D yet no one asks about changes on D; closest we got was "are you keeping the lunch pail?"

Ugh, this program needs a shot in the arm in a bad way. August can't come soon enough.

TKPhi Damn Proud
BSME 2009

August scares me. This team could easily start 0-2. That will be hell

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

I see nothing but rational thoughts that might come from that outcome...

At least there will be something to talk about good, bad, or otherwise. Even the spring game only gives a quick chat and hope for some of the breakout players. The season gives us everything.

I guess? I just want this program to be fun again. It hasn't been much fun since 2011. 2016 was the most fun it's been since then and then it went off a very steep cliff.

I'm worried that these coaches aren't getting the job done. I know everyone keeps saying we need to be patient and give them time. That's all well and good but for my time they could at least try to make it engaging and show signs of progress. It's been the exact opposite of that since 2016. Putting up a steel curtain around the program, being inconsistent in just about every measurable metric, and failing to show any sort of progress on the field.

It's draining. VT football gets less and less fun each year and the glimpses of hope are fewer and farther between.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Really? Is liberty supposed to be good?

Was odu? Furman? Duke?

Liberty has a sleaz-bag of a coach but he knows how to coach. I would not be at all surprised if Liberty smacked VT in the mouth to start the season. Every year at VT Fuente has gotten off to a miserably slow start. In fact, slow starts are probably the only thing any of his VT teams have done with any consistency. Don't sleep on Liberty. As much as I detest them and their leadership they will field a competent team that could very well upset VT in the opener.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Actually Fuente is 3-1 in openers with two ranked wins. That's so ridiculously easy to fact check that I can't imagine why someone would try to get away with such an inaccurate statement.

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

I'll give you WVU in 2017. FSU in 2018 seemed great at the time but in hindsight that win was not impressive. Losing to BC was a huge disappointment, especially after the coaches expressing so much confidence and excitement in the team. Winning that tune up game in 2016 was kinda wiped out by the loss to Tennessee.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

Hmm... we won a tune up game in 2016, you say? Pray tell, who was that opponent?

Joffrey, Cersei, Ilyn Payne, the Hound, Jeff Jagodzinski, Paul Johnson, Pat Narduzzi.

Liberty Biberty

Tears in my eyes
Chasing Ponce de Leon's phantoms
So filled with hope
I can taste mythical fountains
False hope, perhaps
But the truth never got in my way
Before now, feel the sting
Feeling time bearing down

Last comment on this point then I propose we bury the ax. Liberty in 2016 was well before they had Hugh Freeze. They're a different team now. I just wouldn't sleep on them is all I'm saying. I think VT will win the game. I hope they do. I'm not betting on it though.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

They want to beat VT so badly. Moreso than probably any other non-P5 school (even JMU). You're 100% accurate. Thankfully they are replacing their QB and that stud wide receiver. But their defense has shown some good stuff. It won't be a cakewalk, by any stretch.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

So help me...if we lose to the Plundering Poolboys...AT HOME...

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Lynchburg will be unbearable for months. Maybe years.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

My only saving grace is I'm on the complete opposite side of the city as LU. That's by design.

If you play it, they will win.

"How the ass pocket will be used, I do not know. Alls I know is, the ass pocket will be used." -The BoD

Haha we just moved to that side of the city as well. Still seems inescapable though.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

Lynchburg is already unbearable. It wouldn't take a LU win to make it any more so.

If you live here long enough, you learn to tune them out and can enjoy the kick ass cost of living, great local food, and solid beer scene. Things are growing nicely downtown. There's a lot of stuff coming down the pipe that's unannounced that is really exciting.

I have no idea why my username is VT_Warthog.

Arkansas blew a 24-0 lead in the Belk Bowl.

I'm from there. I still have family there. I'm not moving back there.

You're right that we shouldn't sleep on them. But, that is true of any team on the schedule. But, why on earth would we as fans expect or fear an upset. Every game on the schedule is a potential win in my eyes, not a potential loss. I guess it is like that glass that is currently at 50% capacity....

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

But is the glass filling up or draining? In my view, it's draining. I'm hoping it begins refilling soon. We'll see

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

It's always filling up. Either with liquid or air, but it is always filling up.

Scientifically, manipulation of PV=nRT suggests that it's not always filling up.

πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ πŸ¦ƒ

Any reasonable point of view would label 2018 as the low point with us in an upper trajectory. The only question is the ceiling.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

The preseason prognosticators will have us as a 9 or 10 win team, likely coastal champs, loss to Clemson.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

UNC will be the preseason favorites to capture the Coastal, they are already getting put into the top 25 by some services.

VTCC '86 Delta Company, Hokie in Peru, Former Naval Aviator, Former FBISA, Forever married to my VT87 girl. Go VT!

Okay just because this is your point of view doesn't make it the only reasonable one. Lol. I'm skeptical if 2018 will end up being our worst year between 2016 and 2022. I hope it is but there are plenty of other reasonable points of view pumping the brakes on any hype going into 2020.

Some may argue the coaches underperformed in 2019. Some would say they're right on track given what they dealt with. I'd say it's debatable. A reasonable argument could be made for either case.

2020 is an important year for these coaches. The fans are clearly split on whether they can meet expectations. Ultimately, only time will tell who is correct.

If we are, indeed, on an upward trajectory then what is, in your view, a reasonable expectation for 2020? Conversely, what type of result would have you change your tune?

It's clear that you and I have different opinions so I'll answer my own questions first.

I am not yet convinced Fuente can take this team, with the current staff, to the level I expect as a fan. That level, for reference, is winning the coastal, competing for the ACC regularly, and with some luck cracking into the playoffs once in a while.

So what do I believe is a reasonable expectation given what I think the coaches are capable of? Another 7 or 8 win season and a disappointing bowl loss. Including one sort of impressive win, at least two maddeningly close wins over bad teams, and at least one really bad loss.

What type of result would make me change my tune? Easy. 10+ wins, including winning games we should. At least one post season win. There could be a caveat to my last stipulation depending on the bowl opponent and result. A close loss to a highly ranked team would be okay so long as the other expectations are met clearly.

It's obvious a portion of the fan base is still patiently supporting Fuente while another portion is growing restless and losing faith. I think the results of 2020 will trigger a huge swing to one side or the other. If Fuente wins big I imagine most of his detractors will disappear and support for him will multiply. If it's another 2019-like season his supporters will certainly decrease in numbers, right?

We shall see.

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

It's always darkest before the dawn.

Sometimes it's just freaking dark....

And then the sun comes up. Again.

To be fair, it might not.

Get Angry, Bud!

Barring catastrophe, I don't see how 2020 won't be an improvement over 2019 (and definitely 2018). My biggest worry is that 2020 is an apex year with good results but we dip back again in 21. I honestly think that is the cycle VT football will need to succeed though (special season every 2 to 4 years). I just don't know if the polarized fanbase can live through a dip.

If 2020 is a 7 win season, I will support kicking the staff to the curb. 8 and I expect we are just waiting for the buyout to drop. 9 is probably the over under line. 10 is plausible and 11 exceeds expectations.

In a broader point, I think Fuente is shouldering some of the unrest carrying over from the Beamer years. I read over and over that football hasn't been fun since 2011. Well Fuente isn't responsible for all that time but is easier to turn on than our hall of fame previous staff.

As for playoffs, it is a goal that is directly dependent on Clemson slipping in some way. I dont think there is a coach that can take us past their best right now. But they will slip eventually.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

My biggest worry is that 2020 is an apex year with good results but we dip back again in 21.

Yes that would be less than ideal

I honestly think that is the cycle VT football will need to succeed though (special season every 2 to 4 years).

I'm not quite sure I agree. Yes football is cyclical but, unless I'm misunderstanding your thinking here, it doesn't make sense that VT should be relegated to expecting only one good season per handful. Surely VT could find a way to have more sustained success. I'm not expecting an Alabama type dynasty but I'd like to think we could build on our success for a few years and string together several very strong seasons. I don't think we should be happy to win 8 games, make the playoff, and then back to 8 wins again for a few years.

I just don't know if the polarized fanbase can live through a dip.

Haha, I'm sure it would be just about the same as it is now and we're sorta getting by

In a broader point, I think Fuente is shouldering some of the unrest carrying over from the Beamer years.

Yes, this is probably true. But I'd wager the load started off super light in 2016. Stayed that way until the 2018 disaster. Then has grown successively since, partly due to some tough seasons. The angst is most certainly tied to wins. That's the case for any coach.

As for playoffs, it is a goal that is directly dependent on Clemson slipping in some way. I dont think there is a coach that can take us past their best right now. But they will slip eventually.

I don't want to rely on Clemson slipping. I want to reach Clemson's level. Besides, Ed Orgeron just proved that they're not invincible. If he can do it why can't someone else?

It's always darkest before the dawn ~ Thomas Fuller

It's going to be lots of fun if or when Fuente leaves or gets fired and we will get to go through all this bullshit again!

My my my. My head is spinning. I think a lot of people have this all wrong!

Fuente said what every coach thinks and feels about the transfer portal – but won't say it. He
did NOT say carte blanche you go into the transfer portal you are done. He said it is case-by-case, with the default (policy) being you are not coming back. In reality I think this is true everywhere. Going into the portal shows dissatisfaction and disloyalty. All coaches will take a second look at a player who goes into the portal, fails, and wants to come back. The thought pattern is: no one else wants you? You are that bad? Why should I let you play? This goes on everywhere. Fuente just spouted it when he should not have.

And Fuente said correctly – the portal is not what a lot of guys think it is. In most cases, the grass is not greener for the athlete. There is a REASON you are not getting playing time. Switching schools probably won't fix it. There are very few Jalen Hurts out there.

Also, Fuente is NOT hypocritical for interviewing at Baylor. Looking at other opportunities, be it an athlete or a coach, shows disloyalty. With Fuente it was leaked and blew up in his face. With the transfer portal, it is public -- and the NCAA rightly makes it public for the athletes to prevent schools body snatching from each other. Be it coach or player, if you look to leave, and it does not work out, and the authority over you knows you have been looking, that authority has a decision to make: do I keep you or not? You showed disloyalty. Do I need you enough to overlook this act? Whit overlooked Fuente's Baylor dance. Fuente overlooked the McClease and Hooker transfer portal dance. Fuente is correct – it is on a case-by-case basis. And he says he leans on not taking them back. Fair enough, but all policies are subject to change depending on the circumstances.

That being said, Fuente has been bone-headed when it comes to public relations and communications. Ideally, you have to EXPECT the press to get it wrong. You have to EXPECT the press to embellish. Give them no opportunity to do so. If the issue is controversial or misunderstood, you MUST repeat yourself in a different way to get clarification. It was obvious the exchange had communication problems. And Fuente let it go. Is ESPN irresponsible? Yes. But give them no opportunity to be so.

Also, know when to NOT say something. The reality is ALL coaches will look at a player with a checkered eye if that player goes into the portal, fails, and wants to come back. Fine, just don't say this!!!

What happened here I do not think will cause lasting damage to recruiting. In many ways Fuente is correct. And he can explain it to potential recruits. But Fuente needs to take a class in PR and communications.

Great summary. We forget too that Fuente does not harbor some deep hatred for transfers. He was one himself in his playing days. If I remember correctly, they have a process where the player consults with the coaching staff with all the cards on the table prior to entering the portal. Once entered, there are no promises to return, but no ill will is simply moving on. He mentioned Hooker and McClease because they were some of the first and didn't go through with the internal process before going into portal.

Maybe the most frustrating part of all this is that there is nothing wrong with what Fuente has said here. Even if it was a policy, what is wrong with that? At some point, signing day being a logical time, the team has to move on. The national media wants to jump on it as some next example of college football trying to limit the power of the player when it just is not true.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Once entered, there are no promises to return, but no ill will is simply moving on.

^^^^ this

The portal is a door, not a window.

Dang, we sure could do with the basketball team stringing a few wins together right about now.

Leonard. Duh.


I feel compelled to point something out here that may have gone under-noticed. If we ignore the water bottle stuff, Coach Fu is clearly more comfortable in his skin today than he has been since he first arrived. Even with the Baylor fiasco going mainstream. There's a reason for that.

If we remember the Old Ball Coach, he would always get a little loose-lipped in those off-seasons when he knew he had something. I can't recall specifics, but Steve was especially sardonic leading up to his 2011 season at USC east. That ended up being the first of three consecutive 11-win seasons.

That's where Coach Fu is today. He knows he's got something.

Offensively, all the pieces are there. The additions to the RB room will open things up tremendously.

Defensively, we are going to see an energy we haven't seen in quite some time. To start with, we've got a group that was quite literally punched in the face on national television their last time out.

More importantly, there are some young, hungry, aggressive coaches here ready to leave their mark. Those who hated seeing the drop-8 stuff are going to be very pleased. And the players are going to love getting after it for these guys. As we know, that counts for so much more than we can quantify.

I read a comment earlier saying VT could easily go 0-2 to start the year. Trust me on this, a 2-0 start is far more likely... despite what the advanced stats will say (for lack of data).

So, by all means, debate everything that needs to be debated this offseason. But please, make sure you get your September 12 tickets as soon as they go on sale this summer. 9/12 is Statement Day.

Get there early for some good tailgating, then plan to show up for the Walk. We're going to look these kids in the eye and let them know we're with them. Then we're going to make Lane shake like it did back when Coker's boys showed up overconfident in 2003. That's how we change the narrative.

See you on Statement Day.

Sounds like at least one player is ready to publicly voice his thoughts. I know at least 3 others players/recruits who say the same thing not so publicly.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Two more players weigh in.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

So I'm supposed to believe dudes that play/played for him and are around the program and Fuente for almost every aspect of their lives...

Tre thinks so. /s

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Regarding starmaxprez - I got into a back and forth with that dude about how VT needed more money and he didn't want to hear it...i ended up having to mute and block him all together...i'm starting to think he's a bot

The guy has some personal connection to a few former players and family. He also hasn't liked Fuente since the hire was announced.

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

I've stayed out of this fray really but wanted to add a little different take about the media. Denzel Washington a few years back stated something to the affect when asked a question by a reporter - "You all aren't worried about getting the story right. You are just worried about being the first to report something." I think we saw that first hand with how this thing went no matter what you think about Fuente. Just the other day Saban responded to a dumb question by a reporter in a press conference, "Do you guys take math? Did you learn how to add when you did have math class?"
The media has a job to do and that is to sell advertising that is charged by views, clicks and visits. Reporting correctly, generally doesn't matter in those stats. I have several media encounters and lies from deployments in Iraq from CNN reporters set out to report on a headline that they had already made. They needed to concoct the story to fit their agenda or "supposed story." I'll tell you a story about an NPR reporter embedded with us on a week long mission to go take back Al Qaeda held territory in Iraq.
This reporter showed up and instantly started asking questions about what we did with detainees and how we interrogated them before we had left the chow hall. We explained multiple times that the Iraqi Army would be with us and they would be in charge of that process, aided by us when needed. Our job was to support them. Sure enough we got into some battles and captured some guys. At the same time, this little city girl reporter got a tummy ache. Explosive diarrhea. To protect her and shield her that night we put humvees in a circle up against a wall in an attempt to give her a shred of privacy to do her business in a war zone. I brought her multiple cokes to ease her tummy as she laid in the backseat of my humvee, all the while - during the night, the bombs went off and we got into skirmishes. We did a handover of detainees to the Iraqi Army with her in the backseat sleeping. Her condition worsened and we put her on a helicopter out of there after we had to evacuate some of our wounded. Officers lost their jobs because she needed to get a headline and made one up when she got sick and couldn't be on the front line.
A few weeks later, both an article and a radio interview appeared where she detailed how we made her sit in this semi-circle of humvees (up against a wall) so we could interrogate detainees and she had to assume we were torturing them by the screams. We couldn't believe it. Senators back in the states started calling for our leaders heads. We had to write report after report and interview with JAG and were crucified - all so this little turd could turn in a preconceived story to her editor that would be sure to get lots of clicks and listens.
Andy Bitter was a good and objective journalist for the Times and a way better one with the Athletic now that he isn't in that in that old school mind set (not Bitter but the publication). I can't say the same for Mike Barber. I've never cared for his stuff. Andy's replacement, Mike Niziolek, if you notice is often who is asking the dumb questions that Fuente is bristling up at. Go back and read some of Niziolek's articles - he can't keep track of who the players are or what positions they play. Over and over again - if I recall, I think he called Reggie Floyd a linebacker at least 2 or 3 times. After about the 10th or so crappy article I read from him I completely quit reading the Roanoke Times. The Athletic and Tech Sideline got my business. I don't pay here to be quite honest, because it just becomes a downward spiral of emotions like I'm watching a football version of The View. Listen to some of Niziolek's questions in press conferences - they are mind numbing. And Fuente will answer it and then he'll come back with something else ridiculous. I would say he is the worst beat writer I've ever read or heard.
Maybe Fuente could do a little better job handling him but you don't see Fuente acting that way or talking to Bitter that way now do you? Some of these guys are really hard to deal with and deserve curt answers. Saban will flat out roast you. All I'm saying is that you can't always trust these guys at newspapers. They are a dying business, desperate for clicks and views to sell to advertisers. The same with sports shows. They've become even more desperate with the likes of sites like this that steal their business - new forms of sports journalism like The Athletic, TKP, 247. Tell me in today's world - how relevant is the Roanoke Times now - compared to other Tech related sites? Which do you trust more? Look at how the Roanoke Times acted when Bitter left - desperation over his Twitter account.
For the last few years, I've watched these press conferences and listen to Niziolek's questions and they are horrible. The players will come out and he'll ask every single one of them the same kind of stupid question. Once you start paying attention to it I bet you might start thinking, "Wow, Fuente is really holding it back because if it were me..." Just some food for thought. Pardon any typos - I'm not going to go back and edit that.

I was being interviewed one time and started to go into detail on an answer to a complicated question on a controversial decision. Reporter says no need to go into that, I already got that part from someone else. So I asked who, because there was literally no one else that could answer the was MY decision he was reporting on. Turns out he'd gotten the spin from an advocacy group that wasn't happy so all of his "facts" on why and how came from someone who had created their own narrative to justify their dissatisfaction.

I've dealt with many reporters from all over the country. There are some good ones, but there are not a lot of good ones.

Agenda-based reporting is a thing.

If you've ever been involved in a program or event that got blown-up in the media, you hardly recognize your project when you read the media coverage of it. They get so many things absolutely wrong - and it just happens to be the parts that support whatever conclusion they'd like the public to reach. Sometimes the facts are exaggerated, and sometimes they're completely fabricated by people who don't even understand the element they're describing.

It's completely shocking the first time you run across it. Afterwards, you develop a healthy level of skepticism.

That said, we need an independent fourth-estate. There is no substitute, and we Americans sometimes take it for granted and don't realize how lucky we've got it. You just need to realize that complete objectivity is rare and hard to achieve. Some organizations put no effort into it, and some try, but have natural biases from the way they do their hiring.

Any time you have direct knowledge of a subject or event being reported on, you can recognize just how far off the media can be from the truth. If it isnt agenda based reporting, it may just be ignorance and misunderstanding the subject. Sports media should be the most accurate, but you still have to take everything with a grain of salt.

"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it." - K

Dave OT: I'm about to start hopefully my MPA at UCF this year. Any agencies down here you recommend going to for a job after?

Wet stuff on the red stuff.

Join us in the Key Players Club

Emergency management, right? I'm an ex-Fed in natural resources so those are the folks I know best and emergency management is not their thing. But if you want to meet for a quick lunch some time up near you, I'd be happy to chat.

Thinking out loud, the Corps might be your best federal option...they cover FL and PR. Obviously, there are the large Naval facilities that may have operational/administrative needs. The St Johns County Gov complex is EASY access for you. SJRWMD is in Palatka...a little far but you could do worse. The various power entities (JEA, NextERA) may have some needs. I can't imagine that working for Jax/Duval Co would be rewarding...their leaders post John Delaney have sucked...all of them. The state agencies don't have a large presence here...tho there is a modest DEP Baymeadows I think.

I can't really decipher who's asking the questions in the room, but I know Chris Coleman's voice and I've figured out Andy's voice because it's distinct...Fuente just looks uncomfortable up there..

Here's the clip that you mentioned...

Here's another clip of him talking about the news in Training Day...

Imagine a world where you may not get invited unless you ask the right type of question.


No need to imagine. We've been there for 11+ years already.