Once again, VCU fans find themselves holding their breath as college basketball’s head coaching carousel turns.
This time, it’s coach Mike Rhoades and Penn State, as the Nittany Lions are searching for a new coach to replace the departing Micah Shrewsberry.
National college basketball reporter Jeff Goodman reported that Rhoades is meeting with Penn State on Sunday, and online sites tracking a private airplane associated with the school tracked it landing in Richmond for a short time earlier in the day.
Former VCU player Joey Rodriguez shared a response offered by Rhoades when he reached out – a photo of the coach at his son’s basketball game.
Rhoades update for the “sources” 😂😂 he wants the twitter verse to know he’s in the gym watching Chase get buckets 💯🏀 pic.twitter.com/RSL264YdjP
Rodriguez wrote: “Rhoades update for the ‘sources’ 😂😂 he wants the twitter verse to know he’s in the gym watching Chase get buckets.”
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Rhoades just wrapped up his sixth season at VCU, the third that ended with an NCAA tournament appearance.
His contract at VCU pays him about $1.7 million annually, but this is the year it would traditionally come up for renewal, as most college coaches have contracts that date four years out.
Interest from the Nittany Lions, who play near Rhoades’ Central Pennsylvania roots, will undoubtedly be a good thing for Rhoades financially, no matter which school he ends up coaching at.
The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported that the Nittany Lions, who made the NCAA tournament this year, were willing to pay “market value” for a new coach, which is a break with how the football powerhouse has traditionally run its basketball program. Market value for a Big Ten coach is likely in the ballpark of $4 million annually.
Rhoades described VCU as a dream job when he arrived in Richmond, but this year demonstrated the ever-changing nature of college basketball, as the Atlantic 10 only got one bid to the NCAA tournament.
Requests for comment from Rhoades and VCU athletic director Ed McLaughlin were not immediately returned.
PHOTOS: Mike Rhoades introduced as VCU coach (2017)