An open letter to Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg

Dear Seth Greenberg,

Stop whining. If anyone's responsible for your Virginia Tech Hokies not making the NCAA tournament, it's you. The selection committee didn't make a cowardly non-conference schedule, you did. The selection committee didn't coach a team that lost a must-win conference tournament game to a sub-.500 team that took the floor without its best player. That was all you.

Yet to listen to your holier-than-thou defense of your team's at-large worthiness, you'd think you were John Wooden and your squad was the 1972 UCLA Bruins. Here's what you told ESPN on Sunday night when the network ridiculously handed you a sharpened axe and gave you four minutes of air-time with which to grind it:

This committee thinks playing that good people and losing is OK. But next year's committee might have a totally different personality. And that's the problem. They have to clearly define how you're going to be evaluated and it's gotta to be consistent. Until it's consistent, each separate committee because of the different directions of the committee and the heads of the committee are gonna have their own personalities and their own criteria. If you schedule in a manner that may be different critera in that particular year, you're not going to get in.

We didn't think we were going to win 23 games, let's face it. Our team preseason was picked in some magazines as low as No. 11 [in the ACC], in our preseason we were picked eight or nine from the media. So we weren't picked to come in 3rd. We did come in 3rd. We weren't picked to win 10 games. We did win 10 games. We picked a bad time to play poorly... in the ACC tournament.

So what you're saying is that you want the committee's next personality to appreciate making a weak schedule and outperforming preseason expectations? (What does the fact that the media thought you'd finish 11th in the ACC have to do with getting an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament?) No committee has ever been impressed by a non-conference strength of schedule that ranks 339th out of 347 teams. Beating Georgia and Penn State might be impressive in football, but not on the basketball court.

And enough with the boasting about 10 wins in the ACC. A 10-6 ACC mark doesn't hold the same meaning that it used to, mainly because expanding to allow your university (and Boston College and Miami), into the conference has created an unbalanced schedule and helped to water down the league's play. Sure, your Hokies won 10, but you all only went 2-3 against the top half of the league.

What you're doing is waving your arms wildly in order to distract everyone from the obvious point right in front of them: Your team didn't take care of business when it needed to. Beat either Miami, Boston College, Maryland or Duke sometime in the past three weeks and you wouldn't have to be defending your team right now.

After your diatribe on ESPN, the host called you "classy." You are many things -- a good coach and a good guy among them -- but your behavior in light of your team's NCAA snub has been anything but that. Classy would be accepting your fate and acknowledging that your team needed to win more games.

You wanted to be given a bid. What you need to understand is that your team had to earn one instead.


Chris Chase, The Dagger

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