UPDATED 3/31, 8:46 A.M.
Grippi has updated his story at the S-R with these details -- and they are rich:
Though Bennett wassituation told The Spokesman-Review that recent WSU budget cuts played a part in his decision.
The school had decided to forgo charter flights for the basketball team next season, had raised a red flag concerning the cost of phone bills and had eliminated a planned trip to the Final Four for Bennett and his staff.
Bennett offered late in the season to rework his contract, which called for a salary of more that $1 million this season, including bonuses, and was just paid a $100,000 retention bonus on March 15.
Bennett’s n’t talking, respecting UVA’s wishes, sources close to the contract calls for a $400,000 buyout to Washington State if he left prior to April 30, 2009.
And it gets better:
Virginia asked for permission to speak with Bennett last Friday, according to Sterk.
But, according to a WSU source, Bennett visited the Virginia campus early last week and toured the facilities.Back in Pullman in mid-week, he told a reporter he had spent the time out of town recruiting before talking about next season.
“It’s (going to be) the school of hard knocks,” he said then of a team that will have just one returning senior. “You’re going to be thrown in the fire and you’re not going to have the upperclassmen bail you out so to speak. …
“It really will be a year, (where you ask) will they be able to hang together and hang tough?”
Way to go, coach -- way to show those impressionable young men that when the going gets tough, the tough get going ... right out of town. I guess they will have no choice but to hang together and hang tough, while you are enjoying your new digs.
I've now lost just about every ounce of respect I had for the man. I honestly never, ever thought I'd be able to say that. This is a sad, sad day for me.
EDIT, 3/31 8:46 A.M.: Grippi has retracted the report that Bennett was in Virginia last week. My comment of losing respect for Bennett was based largely off of that, so I'll have to ask for Tony's forgiveness on that one. Normally, Vince doesn't go public with something until he's absolutely positive it's true, so I went with it as well. You can read his full explanation about what happened here.