Regarding recent sentiments held by many students around campus about our current coaching staff and whether we should “clean house,” I support the stance that this is a horrible idea.
However sensible it may sound to get rid of head coach Frank Beamer and replace him with a new coach and staff who don’t call stupid plays and not give certain players time on the field, the continuity Virginia Tech has held for the past 25 years would all wash down the drain. If you ask me, continuity is a good thing; currently Beamer is the winningest active coach in college football.
Beamer’s tenure here at Tech has overall been a good one, with benefits seen by Tech both on and off the field. Since Beamer has been here, we have seen Tech’s academic rankings skyrocket largely in part of the football team’s success.
Not only has Tech seen upward trends in the college rankings, the New River Valley has become one of the fastest growing regions in Virginia, with not only the growth of Tech, but Blacksburg and the surrounding region, with the football program’s success as an indirect result.
A crucial part of Tech’s reputation nationwide is the football program, which we cannot afford to compromise by taking a measure as drastic as firing Beamer and all his staff. This would leave us in shambles for a few seasons, in attempts to “rebuild” an already above-average program. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
One thing that has really aggravated me with this talk around Blacksburg to let go of Beamer is our reasoning behind doing so. Tech has had nothing but a tradition of integrity and honesty in a college football program. These are traits that are often hard to come by; and we are ready to fire our beloved head coach after a few rough seasons. On the other side of the spectrum, Joe Paterno covered up child abuse at Penn State because he prioritized the reputation of a storied football program over the welfare of at-risk youths.
What this says to me is that we need to prioritize, and take a step back and look at what we are really saying here, that we want to fire one of the most well-revered, honest football coaches in the NCAA over a few seasons when we didn’t do as well as we wanted?
That is what I call lazy fans, those who only want to pull for a team when they are doing well, and not be there through thick and thin like the Hokie Nation is said to epitomize. “Strong Together”, not “Strong Sometimes” or “Strong only when we’re winning.”
The contempt and vitriol that seeps in to our opinions on players sickens me. The attitude and shortsightedness we have with our program and its administration should not reflect on the players who are playing their hardest on the field. Many “fans” on websites make remarks about how “bad” our players are, when oftentimes a few dumb decisions made by the staff are to blame.
As a community of what I would like to assume as rational, educated individuals here at Tech, let’s not be rash and act on our emotions only to do something we would regret later in the future, because I can guarantee you almost any program would take a great coach like Frank Beamer.