If you listened to Tech Talk Live last night, you heard the voice of the Hokies, Bill Roth ask some of the tough questions of Athletics Director Jim Weaver, Defensive Coordinator Bud Foster, and Head Coach Frank Beamer. But it’s the manner in which he asked the questions that I have a problem with.
The toughest questions were about making changes to the offensive coaching staff and why Beamer opted to go for it on fourth down instead of kicking the field goal in the first quarter against Clemson that would have given the Hokies a 10-0 lead.
Roth would ask the question, but then either belittle the fan asking the question with comments such as how quickly people forgot about all the wins Beamer has amassed at Virginia Tech, or dismissing the fan as uneducated about the college game.
So before he even asks the question, he’s insinuated that the fan is the exception, a fringe element of the overall fan base, and doesn’t represent a larger sentiment among fans.
At one point, he called out a fan asking a question via email about the defense and told the fan that if they wanted to question the defense, to come to Blacksburg and ask Bud Foster to his face. What is that? These are legitimate questions and I think Bill Roth has forgotten what powers the success of a college football program. Fans. When fans stop showing up, things get ugly.
I understand the Roth gets paid to hype Virginia Tech. He’s not paid to be an unbiased reporter, but he claims that he is and that he always asks the “tough” questions. But he routinely dismisses the fans who ask questions that may challenge coach Beamer or his staff.
Those who tune into Tech Talk Live looking for answers to legitimate questions should invest their time elsewhere. TTL is ultimately an outlet for the athletics department to spin things.
To Frank Beamer’s credit, he does not dismiss fans (that’s Roth’s job), but instead said that he appreciates their passionate participation before politely disagreeing with their point of view.
I like Beamer and think it’s absurd that some fans are calling for him to be fired. That’s an overreaction to what has been a down year. The first down year in 20 seasons. There is still a chance the Hokies can have a 20th straight winning season and go to 20th straight bowl game.
I do, however, believe that changes need to be made to the offensive coaching staff. ESPN’s Todd McShay called Virginia Tech’s offense “10 to 15 years outdated” and I happen to agree.
Yes, Coach Beamer has done amazing things for Virginia Tech’s program and defenders of the offensive coaches and their scheme say that they know more than we (the fan) do about the game and we should defer to them. I disagree.
Like it or not, college football has become a big business. Billions of dollars are at stake and in this day and age, you cannot afford to be left behind. Maybe 20 or 25 years ago you could allow your program a few years to get their bearings and right the ship, but those days are gone whether we like it or not.
Look what happened to Texas. Inexplicably, the Longhorns went 5-7 in 2010. Last year, they rebounded slightly to finish 8-5. This year, they’re 5-2, but are facing a tough stretch of games to close the season. They’re looking at three consecutive sub-par seasons and it’s going to affect their recruiting. If your program isn’t winning, recruits are less likely to pick your school over a winning program. That’s just reality.
Beamer has certainly built enough equity to allow him the opportunity to try and right the ship and get this team and the program back to the level that he (and the fans) expect it to be at. But don’t think for one second that he is untouchable. We’ve seen legendary coaches be forced out despite a lifetime of winning.
Alumni and fans are paying a lot of money for tickets, parking, coaching salaries and practice facilities, and they want to see a program that’s better than 6-6 or 5-7.