Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sports columnist Aaron McFarling: Give Greenberg some time to sculpt team

This week's Q&A-Mac is brought to you by Virginia Tech basketball: Wait till next year.

Q: Oh, come on. That might as well be the Hokies' motto. How many years in a row do we have to hear that?

A: I know, I know. But I'm not talking about NCAA tournament bids on this one. I'm talking about something a great number of people have asked me to talk about: coach Seth Greenberg's job status.

Q: All right! Let's get to it, then: Should he stay or should he go?

A: Wait till next year.

Q: Copping out, are we?

A: Not at all. If I felt like he should be fired - and I know plenty of people who feel that way - I'd write that. But I don't.

Q: Are you just saying that because athletic director Jim Weaver has said publicly that Greenberg is not on the hot seat this year?

A: No. Granted, Weaver's opinion on this is infinitely more consequential than all of our opinions combined. But his opinion doesn't have to influence what we think.

Q: So why should Greenberg stay?

A: Because he deserves a chance to develop this recruiting class - those guys who are freshmen this season. This is Tech's most highly regarded group of recruits in many, many years. What this means is that there are no more excuses about the quality of your clay; you're expected to mold a winner.

Q: You call this year's team a winner?

A: One year isn't enough to judge Greenberg's art project.

Q: So you're just going to give Greenberg a pass this season?

A: Saying the man shouldn't be fired is not the same as giving him a pass. It's saying he shouldn't be fired. It's still fair to go after him for certain things. Examples: He's been overly critical of the veteran players, in my opinion. He uses "they" instead of "we" too often when talking about team failures, such as Thursday's woeful free-throw shooting. "We didn't made a damn free throw, unfortunately," would have sounded a lot better than what he actually said: "They didn't make a damn free throw, unfortunately."

Q: Why are you cursing at me?

A: Sorry.

Q: Moving on: What are your thoughts on overnight NBA sensation Jeremy Lin?

A: Like most everyone else, I think it's fantastic. But it'd be nice if we could actually see the guy on TV. Friday night's game against New Orleans marked the third time in a week that I've looked in the TV listings for the Knicks game and it hasn't been on. You'd think the NBA would have some sort of emergency clause that would get regular-season games that people actually care about on the tube.

Q: Before last week, when was the last time you looked for an NBA TV listing in the paper?

A: The 12th of Never. Which is sort of my point.

Q: Reader comment of the week on the blog?

A: We have two. First, from Travis Williams, on that notorious booster sending emails from prison that threatened to further humiliate his former Miami football buddies. "Did Nevin Shapiro really go to prison or did he just get grounded? It just seems odd that inmates are popping off emails like that. Maybe Kellen Winslow Jr. baked him a cake with a tablet on the inside or Devin Hester hooked him up with some iPhone cupcakes. I think people still do that - well, according to cartoons. Either way, I need his Twitter handle."

Second, from longtime Greenberg critic Bob H, on who should be coaching basketball at Tech: "My short list is: Steve Prohm, Greg Marshall, Mark Few, Randy Bennett, Dana Altman. In no particular order."

Q: I'd ask you what you think about those candidates, but you'd only say one thing, wouldn't you?

A: Right. Wait till next year.

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