(Editor’s Note: PT enlisted the help of Rubie Q to annotate this ridiculous USA Today article on Buzz Williams’ contract by Dan Wolken. There was just so much manure to cover, a Fire Joe Morgan style rebuttal was needed. Our comments are in bold.)
The meeting was a long one, spanning three exhaustive days that ended at Buzz Williams’ home in Milwaukee in which a basketball coach obsessed with contract clauses and an administrator trying to make a program-changing hire were poring over details without the input of agents or attorneys.
For the record: Marquette’s 2013-14 season ended on March 13, 2014, when MU lost to Xavier in the Big East Tournament. Of course, we didn’t know that at the time — Marquette didn’t find out it hadn’t been invited to the NIT until three days later, on March 16, 2014.
Buzz was announced as the new Virginia Tech coach on March 21, 2014. If that announcement followed “three exhaustive days” of working on the contract, that means that, at the very latest, Buzz first started talking to VA Tech a day after Marquette’s season officially ended, on March 17, 2014 — which just happens to be the day that a random redditor posted, completely out of the blue, that Buzz was skipping town to take the VPI job.
And you wonder why some of us think that Buzz was coaching with one foot out the door for the entire 2013-14 season.
If it didn’t work out, Whit Babcock, who had just been hired himself as Virginia Tech’s athletics director, would presumably slink out of town and move on to the next coach without anyone being tipped off to his plan. But if it did, a program that had languished at the bottom of the Atlantic Coast Conference would not only be changing coaches but its entire level of investment in basketball, stretching its budget to the absolute limit in order to lure a proven winner.
Williams, who keeps a daily diary and organizes every detail of his life, brought six years’ worth of notes to the meeting with Babcock covering all of his prior contract negotiations with Marquette, serving as a blueprint for what he would need to transform Virginia Tech from doormat to winning program in the nation’s toughest conference. Every detail was covered from recruiting budgets to staff salaries to the number of tickets he would get at Hokies football games. By the third day, even as Babcock put a deadline on the negotiations, Williams insisted they push through to the end, just to make sure nothing was left in the gray area before he decided to take the job.
“We had a high limit, and we went to that with Buzz where we didn’t feel like we could do more, and we were very transparent about it,” said Babcock. “He actually took a pay cut to come here. We have different levels of investment we can make (in different sports), but with Buzz we stretched it as far as we could go.”
While this may be true in a pure contract sense, the pay-cut was not nearly as much as this would lead you to believe. As Late Night Hoops aptly explained back in 2014:
“Excerpt from the employment agreement:
“Williams shall have the right to incorporate himself into a personal service corporation for the purposes of protecting his personal assets from liability resulting from sports camps or other professional activities, and/or to shelter self-employed income in the appropriate retirement plan vehicles resulting from sources outside the University’s system, and approved herein.
Any income resulting from clinics, professional activities, endorsements,speaking engagements, or other self-employment income generated from activities relating to his conduct as Head Men’s Basketball Coach shall be non-W-2 income and paid directly to Williams…”
The March headlines focused on the $2.3 million, but the $2.3 million this season doesn’t even begin to tell the story.
Buzz can get out of his contract with Virginia Tech after a couple of years for a minimal price. He’s got incredible job security if he wants to stay. And perhaps most importantly, his corporation stands to make major money.”
Until Buzz coughs up his corporation’s tax forms, we can’t actually say he took a paycut.
Though hiring Williams would require Virginia Tech to significantly expand its financial commitment to basketball — Williams’ initial salary of $2.3 million was more than a 250% increase over his predecessor James Johnson while the school was still paying the buyouts of Johnson and former coach Seth Greenberg — the expense seems to be paying off. Virginia Tech finished last in the ACC in Williams’ first season, but by his third the Hokies earned just their third NCAA tournament bid since 1986.
Though Virginia Tech lost in the Round of 64 to Wisconsin, 84-74,
I am struggling to control my gag reflex as I type this, but saying that Virginia Tech “lost” to Wisconsin is being kind. Wisconsin eviscerated Virginia Tech. The Badgers scored 84 points in a 64-possession game (I’ll do the math for you: that’s 1.31 points per possession), and Buzz somehow forgot to have his team guard the only Wisconsin player who’s a consistent threat from 3-point land, as Bronson Koenig hit 8-17 3s.
the team’s 22-11 record validated Babcock’s decision to pursue an expensive hire in basketball at a school whose athletic success, financial strength and branding has long been tied to football. And it’s a strategy other Power Five schools are trying to follow.
Last spring, TCU lured Jamie Dixon away from Pittsburgh, where he had won consistently for 13 seasons. The dividends have come quickly for the Horned Frogs, who were suddenly competitive in the Big 12 and made the NIT Final Four.
If by lured you mean Pitt actually reduced Jamie’s buyout in an attempt to make it easier for him to leave, then sure.
This year’s hiring cycle has seen Illinois hire Brad Underwood away from Oklahoma State, increasing the head coach’s salary from the $1.7 million it was scheduled to pay John Groce next season to $2.75 million, plus an increase of nearly $300,000 in the salary pool for his three assistant coaches, totaling $850,000.
Similarly, in firing Kim Anderson and hiring Cuonzo Martin away from California, Missouri is more than doubling its head coach salary ($1.2 million to $2.7 million) and increasing the salary pool for basketball-specific staff members by 22% to $1.1 million.
Though others have attempted similar tactics with mixed results — Auburn is yet to make the NCAA tournament in three seasons under Bruce Pearl, and Mississippi State hasn’t finished above .500 year in two seasons under Ben Howland — the fact those schools were even able to lure established winning coaches speaks to the increasing advantages Power Five schools are gaining over athletic departments that lack the revenue to throw money at their problems.
Marquette makes more revenue off of basketball than Virginia Tech, both then and now. Money is not a problem. Plus, if the argument Wolken makes is that P5 teams have a decided money advantage, why did Wolken himself argue that Buzz took a paycut?
‘Virginia Tech is traditionally a pretty good football school, so why would they choose instead to start focusing more attention on basketball?” said Rodney Fort, a sports economist and professor of sport management at University of Michigan. “If Virginia Tech is as good as they want to be in football, they’re going to have money left over because (revenues) are going to keep going up. What are they going to spend it on? They have to sit down with their university administration and decide that. I guess the answer at Virginia Tech was, let’s get better at basketball.”
Note to self, don’t take sports econ at Michigan. Find me an example of an athletic department having a problem finding a place to spend leftover revenue. Just one. I’ll hang up and listen.
Beyond the crude calculation of whether spending significantly more money on basketball is a bottom-line plus for Virginia Tech’s athletics department or merely a luxury for a school that attributed 13.1% of its athletic revenue from men’s basketball in the most recent reporting year of 2015-16, Williams’ contract is a fascinating study in how a winning coach has used his leverage in very specific ways to improve a program.
Though Williams’ gravelly Texas accent and hardboot coaching background may not give off a vibe of sophistication at first blush, he is undoubtedly one of the most well-read and intellectually curious coaches in the sport. Unlike the vast majority of his colleagues, Williams does not employ an agent and negotiates his own contracts.
In case you’re scoring at home, if we had been playing the “take a shot every time it’s mentioned that Buzz Williams does not have an agent” game for the last 9 years, we would be on shot #285. (And we would all be dead, of course.) And, really, why would Buzz need an agent when he already has a cadre of pundits at his beck and call?
When Buzz was getting negative coverage for the sexual assault allegations against the men’s team in 2011, he dazzled Bob Ryan with his coaching origin and got the national press to write about that instead.
When Buzz was in a power struggle with former AD Larry Williams, getting negative coverage in the local paper, SMU’s pursuit of Buzz suddenly became very public after “a source” leaked it to a local blogger.
When Buzz was getting hammered for a ton of little things his program was doing wrong like fights and recruiting violations in late summer 2012, somehow Gary Parrish Tweets the following
When Buzz was in the midst of his first poor season at Marquette, a random Buzz’s Bunch calendar mysteriously found its way into the hands of Gregg Doyel in February of 2014, resulting in a glowing profile of an admirable cause, that until then, Buzz had run out of the public eye. A few weeks later, it was turned into a glowing video profile that ran on broadcast television on CBS.
Isn’t it crazy how much can be learned when Buzz doesn’t feel he’s getting the love he deserves?
Beginning at age 21 when he landed his first assistant coaching job at Texas-Arlington, Williams said he has annually filed public records requests for the contracts of every football and basketball coach at every Division I public institution to learn about how a contract should be written.
Well, looks like Paint Touches isn’t the only one obsessed with filing FOIA requests. In fact, the day after Buzz left, we filed one with Virginia Tech for any and all communication the athletic department had with Buzz Williams prior to March 17.
“This includes but is not limited to, an electronic copy of the contract itself, any digital and physical correspondence between the Virginia Tech Athletic Department and Williams, including but not limited to emails, texts and phone calls. I do realize that there is an exemption for information relating to the negotiation prior to the award of a contract, so I am looking for everything that would not fall under this caveat.”
They said no.
I asked about the amount paid by VT directly to Marquette as a buyout, they said this did not have to be disclosed.
I asked about the contracts for the assistant coaches, to see how big a pay cut Chew had taken, this was their response:
“Just for background, you should know that the university, a state agency, is subject to the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Virginia’s FOIA (§ 2.2-3704 A.) covers only citizens of the Commonwealth and certain representatives of the media.
Having said that, however, the university have no documents responsive to your request. Coach Chew has not signed a contract. Any other document relating to his hiring are personnel records and are not released by the university.”
“I like studying it,” he said. “I don’t care about the numbers. (Brief aside: this is the same guy who would routinely mention how many days he had been on the job at Marquette. And here’s what Parrish wrote of him: “I had seen enough of his diaries to know that he’s genuinely documented every dollar he’s ever earned since he was a child complete with details about whose yard he mowed, how many bales of hay he carried, how many hours he worked for a plumber, and the number of days he worked at a donut shop. Quite clearly, his mind is wired in a way that forces him to write down everything all of the time so that he can take stock of everything all of the time”) I care about the clauses. In each segment of the contract, they’re all for the most part orchestrated and organized the same. So what I want to do is, I call it ‘best of class’. So in a particular article, I look at who has the best one in football and who has the best one in basketball and why is it the best?”
Williams’ most recent contract renegotiation following the 2015-16 season bumped his basic pay from the school to $2.6 million for this season with a $25,000 bonus for making the NCAA tournament plus academic incentives that could add another $40,000 to his pay. His total pay ranks among the top half of coaches in the ACC.
But guys, it’s not about the money.
Williams’ contract language is heavily in his favor regarding buyout terms. If he were fired April 1, 2017, he would be owed $17.3 million, a number that declines proportionally as contract years roll off. By contrast, he would owe Virginia Tech $900,000 if he were to take another job now. That number declines to $750,000 on March 23, 2018 and continues to decline in future years.
Maybe — just MAYBE — these criminally insane buyout provisions (a $900,000 buyout for a coach you’re paying $2.5+MM per? Seriously?) are part of the reason that Buzz insisted on “push[ing] through to the end” without the input of attorneys or agents when he first signed the contract. Maybe?
Williams’ contract is also filled with perks that range from standard stuff (Blacksburg Country Club membership and use of two automobiles, replaced every two years, plus insurance) to specifically-written clauses that stretch beyond the norm in college athletics.
Williams gets 12 premium tickets for all home basketball games, 24 all-session passes to the ACC tournament, 24 tickets for every NCAA tournament game Virginia Tech plays and 12 premium tickets for home football games.
Virginia Tech is also contractually obligated to reserve two seats on the team plane or bus for Williams’ immediate family members, and the University will “pay the reasonable expenses (of) all Williams’ immediately family members on up to five work-related trips per year with prior approval” from the athletics director.
And this is his signature:
Williams, who has four children, said staff members don’t have to ask to bring their kids or spouses around the office or to practice.
“I’d say 80%, 70% of our team is going to come from a non-traditional household, and part of my responsibility is to help model what it means to be a husband, a father,” Williams said. “I think it’s healthy for the organization.”
Virginia Tech also is contractually obligated to “sponsor the visa application for any foreign staff member as required by law for said staff member to lawfully work in the United States,” a clause written specifically for assistant coach Jamie McNeilly, who is Canadian.
Though those are typically items a coach would have autonomy over anyway, or have a handshake agreement with an athletics director, Williams prefers to put everything in writing.
“I never want, as we grow and as we improve and it turns into something we didn’t think it was going to turn into, good or bad, that the handshake changes or that it puts either of us in negative alignment,” he said.
When my assistant coaches break recruiting rules and then stupidly lie about it, I don’t want to be punished for them.
Some of that sentiment may reach back to Williams’ break into the head coaching ranks in 2006 at the University of New Orleans, a program struggling to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A year later, Williams resigned to join Tom Crean’s staff at Marquette, unsure whether he would get another opportunity to be a head coach.
Upon his departure, Williams sued the school, claiming it breached his contract by not fulfilling promises and basic services necessary to compete. The school filed a counter-claim to recover the $300,000 buyout in his contract. They eventually settled out of court.
Scott Monarch describes New Orleans and “Katrina Stricken” in Buzz’s website, but makes no mention about Buzz suing said “Katrina Stricken” school.
Meanwhile, when Crean got the Indiana job the following spring, Williams was the surprise choice to succeed him after an intense week of interviews with school officials. He signed a memorandum of understanding on the hood of his truck, knowing he had little leverage to negotiate.
“I say this in the right way, but I knew it was a contract that was best for Marquette, and I signed it for no reason whatsoever other than they had huge guts to hire me,” Williams said. “But I told the AD, this will be the last contract I ever sign that I didn’t write.”
You told that same AD that you would be at Marquette for as long as they would have you. But more to the point:
“I’ve never given Marquette a number. I don’t have an agent. [SHOT!] I’m not involved in any of that, and I’ll never give them a number. I still have the same stance as I did when I was hired – pay me what you think the job is worth, pay me for as long as you want me to be here, and bottom line, take care of my wife and my four kids.”
Williams exceeded expectations at Marquette, making five consecutive NCAA tournaments with Sweet Sixteen appearances in 2011 and 2012 and an Elite Eight in 2013. A rebuilding year followed, after which it became apparent to Babcock that Williams might be willing to move on. Virginia Tech had finished last in the ACC each of Johnson’s two seasons, and Babcock moved quickly to make the change.
A rebuilding year followed? Really, really? Let’s go back to October 2013. Despite unexpectedly losing Vander Blue, Marquette was the overwhelming favorite to win the Big East that season. It was ranked No. 24 in the preseason by KenPom. It was the consensus favorite to win among the coaches in the preseason, gathering 5 of 9 first place votes. It had a player on the preseason All-Big East first team (Gardner) and one on the second team (Jamil). It returned 9 players and 2 starters from an Elite 8 team, and had multiple top-100 recruits plus a JUCO All-American. Lest you think the conference is too biased, both the AP Poll and the USA Today Coaches poll had Marquette as the top Big East team, ranked 17th in both polls. So rebuilding shouldn’t be anywhere near this paragraph. Disappointing, underperforming, underwhelming, are all much more accurate for a team projected to win the conference but failing to garner an NIT invite. Don’t let history be whitewashed that easily.
“We were looking for a sitting head coach that could compete in the ACC and wasn’t going to look down the sideline and be intimidated by Coach K or Roy Williams,” Babcock said.
“We thought to get a coach in of Buzz’s caliber would make a statement in this league.”
In addition to Williams’ salary, Virginia Tech also had to commit more money for assistant coaches and recruiting.
In 2014-15 and 2015-16, Virginia Tech reported $848,630 spent on basketball recruiting, which almost equals what the programs spent in the previous four years combined ($913,554). In Williams’ first season, Virginia Tech spent $497,598 on recruiting, which was nearly $20,000 more than the football program spent on recruiting over the same time period.
Sheesh, that’s an awful lot of numbers for someone who doesn’t care about them at all.
Babcock attributes some of that to the health issues former football coach Frank Beamer had at the time, which prevented him from going on the road as much. But it’s also true that Williams insisted on increased use of private airplanes for him to make inroads for both the short-term and long-term in a region where he had no previous ties in recruiting.
“Buzz had said, ‘I’m not going to abuse it, but to really recruit well I’m going to have to have some private airplane travel, which is pretty consistent in the Power Five,” Babcock said. “But we weren’t doing much of that.”
“I’m not going to abuse the private air travel” said the coach who had previously bristled when Marquette’s athletic director questioned the need for the coach’s team to fly charter from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to South Bend, Indiana.
Williams said his travels around the region were invaluable to relationship-building and that being able to get around in a private plane was absolutely necessary, especially to and from hard-to-reach Blacksburg.
“I can’t spend time flying a commercial flight to recruit,” he said. “I need to be with my family, I need to be with our team, I need to have home base here daily no matter what’s going on.”
Williams’ first season was difficult, as the Hokies went 2-16 in the ACC. By Year 2, he had turned over 12 of the 13 scholarship players — “Suicide,” Williams said (failing to mention he ran off half of those players of his own accord; you can’t chop your arm off and then complain you can’t do a handstand) — and lost the season opener at home to Alabama State. But midway through that season, his message had clearly taken hold.
Midway through his second season, Virginia Tech was 12-6 overall and 4-1 in the ACC, with a win over Virginia at home. The Hokies proceeded to lose their next 5 games, and 7 of their next 8. Deep roots taking hold there.
(Yes, I know they won five in a row to end the regular season. But two of those wins were over Boston College and Wake Forest, and, anyway, that doesn’t help our argument so <<fart noise>>.)
Though Virginia Tech missed the NCAA tournament, its 20-15 finish had given Babcock the confidence to engage Williams on contract extension talks. Williams earned a modest raise, but the key for him was the treatment of his assistant coaches.
Virginia Tech not only agreed to increase the salary pool for Williams’ staff by $70,000 from the original $725,000 for three full-time assistants and $325,000 for his operations staff, but every staffer under Williams’ direction will receive at least a 2.5% raise every July 1 for as long as Williams is employed as the Hokies’ head men’s basketball coach.
Think about this for just a second: let’s say an assistant coach makes $300,000 per year. Under the terms of Buzz’s contract, that assistant gets around a $7500 raise (at least) every year Buzz is the coach at Virginia Tech. That assistant stays on the staff for 5 years, he gets a bump in pay of at least $40,000, just for being on the staff of a coach who the school can’t fire because they owe him around $18MM if they do.
I mean, who in the hell is negotiating contracts for VPI?
“If you’re producing, you’re under the umbrella of my contract,” Williams said. “I told Whit, ‘I want to quit saying the typical that the staff is so important. I want to prove it. I want them in it.’ ”
And then a few weeks later, Isaac Chew said I’m out and left for Texas A&M.
In Williams’ office, a dry erase board lists items remaining on his so-called “bucket list,” which include running a marathon, attending a Kentucky Derby and a U.S. Open tennis tournament and building a relationship with former Dallas Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson.
Addressing these items in order: (1) OK, good for you; (2) and (3) buy a ticket, maybe? and (4) this is disturbingly specific and might be cited as the grounds for a restraining order in the future.
The opposite wall is covered with hundreds of pictures of Williams with former players, friends, and celebrities who have crossed paths with him at one time or another. Williams is obsessed with photographs, an outgrowth of time spent with a grandfather who couldn’t read and relied on pictures to tell the story of his world.
Williams, in fact, pays local photographer Christina Wolfe out of his own pocket, giving her access to every aspect of the Virginia Tech program so that the beginning-to-end progress of each season’s journey can be cataloged through images.
Here’s what that progress has yielded for Virginia Tech, beyond the increasing win totals and respectability in the ACC:
► Though the program’s expenditures have risen from $5.84 million in 2011-12 under Greenberg to $9.5 million in 2015-16 ($715,189 of which was severance pay, which is slowly coming off the books), attendance has spiked from 4,812 in Johnson’s last season to 6,658 in 2015-16 to 7,476 this year including five sellouts (9,567).
Not being able to regularly sell out a less-than-10,000 seat arena for a university with an enrollment of over 30,000 students in a town where there is literally almost nothing else to do seems like an odd thing to be proud of, but do you, I guess.
► Demand has increased to the point where Virginia Tech has installed premium courtside seating and will, this summer, begin removing some of the original wooden seats from 1962 and replace them with plush modern seating to be sold at premium prices.
► More visibility on national television, with eight games on ESPN or ESPN2.
8 games IN THREE YEARS! That’s like 9% of the games they’ve played! But to be fair, Wolken’s numbers are wrong, VT has played 8 games on ESPN2 and 3 on ESPN, not counting the ACC Tournament. So they do have 11.
But Marquette has 10 in that timespan. In 4 years of which Marquette hasn’t been very good, they still only have 1 less game on ESPN/2 than Virginia Tech. ESPN does not own the rights to MU’s home games, that would be FOX. So ESPN has given Marquette as much exposure as Virginia Tech, with 80 or so less opportunities. Awesome. Wow.
► And private contributions directed to basketball totaled $1.738 million in 2015-16, up from $412,711 in 2012-13 and $771,623 in 2013-14. Much of that money has gone into upgrades for the program’s practice facility and weight room, with more in the planning stages. Williams has alone raised more than $2 million since arriving at Virginia Tech, nearly all of which he attributed to nine large donors with whom he has built relationships. “And I haven’t asked for any of it,” Williams said.
“One time a donor started talking about numbers, and it was like garlic to a vampire for me, man. I actually ran out of the room screaming: ‘NOT NUMBERS! NEVER NUMBERS! JUST CLAUSES!”
► Desiree Reed-Francois, the deputy athletics director, said showing ambition in basketball has also helped recruit other coaches to the school. “When we hired Buzz, it made it easier to hire Justin Fuente,” she said, referring to the Hokies’ football coach who won ACC coach of the year honors in his first season. “Strong leaders want to be around other strong leaders. It’s like when you sign a blue-chip recruit, it sends a message to your next recruit.”
Fuente was hired in November 2015, when all Buzz had on his ledger at VA Tech was his awful 11-22 season in 2014-15. If Buzz had anything to do with Fuente taking the job, I will eat some of the money Buzz doesn’t care about.
When Babcock hired Williams, he projected how much more money could be generated from hiring Williams, knowing it would stretch his budget and that the price of success for Virginia Tech would continue to increase if Williams started winning. Following the 2015-16 season, Babcock approached Williams about renegotiating the contract,
“And as soon as I walked in the office, Buzz looked me straight in the eye and said: ‘If you mention one number, any number at all, I will stab you in the eye with this plastic fork. JUST. CLAUSES.’”
which in addition to covering pay increases to Williams and his staff, added $100,000 to the program’s recruiting/travel and operations budget.
“Buzz exceeded my expectations in Year 2, and he exceeded them again this year,” Babcock said. “Being in the NCAA tournament is a big deal for us, and I hope we become regulars. I’m pleasantly surprised it happened quickly, but I’m not surprised. That’s the kind of coach we hired and why we did it.”
Any future contract negotiations are likely to center around Williams’ plans for growing the program, as he claims the numbers on the contract are not as important as his alignment with the administration on what it takes to succeed.
Which is definitely not more money. Just. Clauses.
“I’m 43 years old, and this is really important to me,” he said. “I don’t need any more money. I made more money than I ever dreamed of, and if you want to know the truth, on the second day of the month my (accountant) draws everything out of my account. I get $50 a day and my wife gets $150 a day. She has a debit card, the title of her account is ‘Mama’s Money,’ the title of mine is ‘Daddy’s Money.’ I’m doing none of this for money.”
“It’s just totally a coincidence that when I was looking to leave Marquette, I would only consider jobs that offered to pay me more than $2 million per year.” (Or, if we were doing Onion-style headlines: “I’m not doing this for the free beer” says man who only applies to work at breweries.)
But it’s also true, over time, that other schools may attempt to lure Williams to a place with more tradition or recruiting advantages. After all, there are only so many coaches who have proven themselves to be worth the kind of money he is making at Virginia Tech or could make elsewhere. And the number of schools who can pay that amount of money is increasingly limited to the Power Five.
Once again, you claim Buzz took a paycut and then claim only the P5 can pay. Does not compute.
At least at Virginia Tech, it’s now proven that a football-oriented school with those kinds of resources can bet big in basketball and pull off a dramatic turnaround. And with several Hall of Fame coaches likely to retire from the ACC in the next several years, Babcock believes the window to become consistent contenders is just now opening.
“We felt like we could be very good in basketball too. and why not try to be the best you can be in all 22 sports?” Babcock said. “What I didn’t love for Buzz’s sake is the criticism he took for taking this job, and it probably still motivates him. (Wait, I though Parrish said learning the order of U.S. Presidents motivated him?) We’re in the ACC (you got one team into the Elite 8), we’re in the Power Five (not a thing in basketball), we’re in a region of the where you can get players, and it had happened in small doses here before. I wonder if people will now turn around and say, it was actually a really good decision for him to come here.”
Sure, he was coming off a bad season, had little to no returning talent and is notorious for not using freshmen. He would have had another poor year at Marquette more than likely and would have either been let go or gone straight to the hot seat. He milked a school that was willing to provide a similar pay for more security. It was a great decision for Buzz.
But oddly, in the 4 or 5 major interviews he gave to national outlets, he hasn’t brought up any of the points in the article today. He literally leaked to Jeff Goodman that the new Big East deal and TV package was “one of the biggest reasons for leaving.” All he had to say in any one of them was that he valued job security and felt that a fresh start was in the best interest of both parties. And btw, let me raid those recruits before I leave.