The University of Virginia has announced that it reached “a memorandum of understanding” with new men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett on a five-year contract worth $1.7 million annually. Bennett will also receive a $500,000 signing bonus and another $500,000 if he remains with the Cavaliers for all five years.
Bennett has spent the last three years at Washington State, is just 39-years-old, was the AP’s coach of the year in 2007 and led Washington State to two NCAA tournament appearances. While Bennett has had a nice little run in Pullman, and Virginia is a nice fit for him, since when does a career record of 68-30 get you $1.7 mil a year, especially when you won with a ton of seniors in 2007?
After the bonuses, that’s $9.5 million over five years. For Tony Bennett. Really?
I’m not saying Virginia made a bad hire, I actually think Bennett will be good in Charlottesville. But that’s way too much money for a guy who will never be able to elevate the program to the level of Duke, North Carolina or Wake Forest in the ACC.
Plus, while he and his father both had success in major conference basketball, the Mover-Blocker offense (or Blocker-Mover to some) is incredibly difficult to teach and learn. That’s why, historically, it takes a players well into his their years to be able to run it correctly. Hence, the reason Bennett was successful with more experienced players in 2006 and 07.
On top of that, the Mover-Blocker offense is hard to watch. Yes, execution is always nice to see and all, but that offense can be painful to sit through. Soul-crushing is actually a better word for it. Totally and utterly soul-crushing.
But hey good luck Tony and Virginia, have fun guys!