We were already having such a terrible sports weekend, women's basketball aside, that the news of Larry Scott deciding to leave USF for Miami didn't even register too much with me. A few days ago, it appeared that USF had fought off the Hurricanes in their pursuit of Scott, but it was never really over. Scott will become Miami's tight ends coach, after having coached for USF at a number of positions and being a key member of the Bulls' recruiting efforts in south Florida.
There are a few possible explanations for Scott changing his mind and deciding to leave. I've ranked them in order from the most plausible to the most ridiculous/conspiracy theory-ish:
1. Miami bumped up their offer and Scott couldn't say no. I put this ahead of the second explanation only because Miami has money and USF obviously will not. Miami's a private school, so we probably won't find out exactly how much they're paying Scott. He was making $170,000 last season, according to TBO.com's salary database.
2. It's a chance to move up the coaching ladder. Miami, even after two years of sanctions, is officially a better job than USF. That wasn't completely true in the last couple of years before the Big East fell apart, but the line has been drawn above our heads now. It's not as indelible as the financial line above our heads, but it's still there.
3. Scott wanted to stay, but USF couldn't or wouldn't step up to the plate and make a competitive offer. I've seen some complaining about, well, we'd have another $500,000 in the budget if it wasn't for Skip Holtz's buyout, but that's not true. The only difference is that USF has to pay the buyout for five years instead of two years -- he'd still get his money this year. But we know how much the department is going to be hurting financially, now that we've found out how horrible their TV money is going to be for the next six years.
If you want to read conspiracy here, we may have already seen the Bulls' unwillingness to splurge on assistant coaches last year, depending on which story you believe about FSU's Greg Hudson. Still, you would think USF would pony up a little bit more to keep one of the 50 top recruiters in the country, especially after you let Willie Taggart go out in front of the Alumni Association board and brag on your ability to keep Scott around... but I guess not.
Regardless of why Scott left, and whether or not he was an effective position coach, it's never a good time to lose your link to the most talent-rich area in the country. But as long as USF is stuck in the Big East, it's something we're going to have to get used to. People are going to get hired away for more money and more prestige, and there's only so much USF is going to be able to do about it. If you've been deluding yourself and thinking that things won't be so bad going forward... the TV contract was your first reality check. This is the second. There will be more.