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Doughty College Notebook: Former VMI AD Hyman says school finances could collapse without football

Doughty College Notebook: Former VMI AD Hyman says school finances could collapse without football

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Eric Hyman, who got his first athletic director job at VMI, went on to work at TCU, South Carolina and Texas A&M.

Eric Hyman, whose lengthy career as a college administrator included a stint as VMI’s athletic director from 1984-90, recently was the center of a lengthy newspaper interview with The State in Columbia, South Carolina, that dealt with a host of topics, including the coronavirus pandemic.

“You want to have college football because, if you don’t have college football, it’s gonna be devastating because of the debt service and all the financial responsibilities,” said Hyman, who currently is in the consulting business.

Hyman, an All-ACC defensive lineman at North Carolina, was an assistant AD at Furman before going to VMI. That was followed by tours at Miami (Ohio), TCU, South Carolina and Texas A&M.

“I’ll tell you what, my blood pressure has really gone down,” said Hyman, who retired in 2016. “It’s a daunting challenge. I’ll put it that way.”

He said that football accounted for 71% of his department’s revenue when he was at South Carolina and those figures are closer to 80% now.

“Nobody knows,” Hyman said. “Obviously I think there’s greater chances that you won’t have [football] than you will. But nobody knows right now.

“This [pandemic] could be something that we could have for a year or two years. Gosh, I hope not.”

Recruiting

With North Carolina having taken a commitment from Virginia’s No. 1 football prospect, cornerback Tony Grimes from Princess Anne in Virginia Beach, the top uncommitted player in the state is Tristan Leigh, a 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive lineman from Robinson High in Fairfax

Leigh, rated No. 2 by most services, is listed by 247Sports as having 40 offers. … Grimes’ plan is to enroll at UNC early as a result of the expected cancellation of the 2020 high school football season in Virginia due to the pandemic. UNC’s 2020 class subsequently moved up from No. 20 to 13th, according to 247Sports.

  • Gunner Givens, a 6-foot-6, 275-pound sophomore offensive tackle for Lord Botetourt, is rated the No. 36 sophomore prospect in the country by ESPN. Only outside linebacker Shawn Murphy from Stonewall Jackson in Manassas (sixth) is rated higher among sophomore in-state prospects.

Prediction

Athlon Sports has North Carolina and Virginia Tech as the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in the ACC’s Coastal Division going into the 2020 football season, with Virginia fifth behind Miami and Pittsburgh. … Louisville is No. 2 in the Atlantic Division behind Clemson.

In basketball

New Wake Forest men’s basketball coach Steve Forbes has taken a commitment from 6-3 Robert McCray from Columbia, South Carolina. Prominent schools to recruit McCray included Florida. … Wake is waiting on a decision on 6-9, 242-pound Javian Davis, a would-be transfer from Alabama, where he was seventh on the team in minutes.

  • Florida State took a verbal commitment this week from Matthew Cleveland, a 6-foot-6 guard from Pace Academy in Atlanta, whose list of 27 offers included ACC rivals Clemson, Louisville and North Carolina State.

The Louisville and Florida State 2021 men’s recruiting classes are ranked fourth and sixth, respectively by 247sports.com. … That same site is listing Virginia Tech as a strong contender for 6-6, 220-pound Jarace Walker, who will be a junior at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Tech, Maryland and Michigan are said to be the early front-runners by 247Sports, which describes Walker as a “hybrid” forward. … The Hokies have been in contact with 6-8, 210-pound Ben Gregg, a rising senior from Clackamas High School in Oregon.

On Twitter

“VA’s 2022 football [recruiting] class may be the best overall in history of the state”

— Recently hired Virginia Tech assistant director of player personnel Jeron Gouveia-Winslow.

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Doug Doughty is in his 44th year at the Roanoke Times, having produced an estimated 10,000 by-lines, a majority of them on University of Virginia athletics.

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