VCU sophomore forward Jalen Deloach summed up the emotions of the Rams' fanbase this week with one tweet Tuesday night as it appeared the first dominoes leading to coach Mike Rhoades' potential departure to Penn State began to fall.
"Lol why they want our coach,"
Deloach tweeted, followed by crying and hand-in-face emojis.
On Monday, Deloach had
tweeted a series of baseball caps, seemingly a reference to the modern slang term "cap," which alludes to a lie or lack of truth.
So on Monday, it appeared Deloach did not feel there was substance to rumors that Rhoades could be leaving for Happy Valley. But his Tuesday tweet seems to suggest a stark reversal of perception.
Its timing is foreboding as well.
Deloach's Tuesday tweet came less than an hour after CBS Sports' college basketball insider Jon Rothstein
reported that Penn State had offered its head coaching vacancy to Rhoades, with an annual salary in excess of $3 million.
As behind-closed-doors conversations and negotiations surely churn, VCU fans this week are holding their breath as rumors swirl surrounding coach Mike Rhoades' potential move to Penn State.
Rhoades' current annual salary at VCU is about $1.7 million. Much of the time, when offers are made public, it signals that they have already been accepted.
In addition, Penn State's Board of Trustees on Tuesday
posted a meeting of the Subcommittee on Compensation. The meeting begins at 4 p.m., and is limited to executive members until 4:30 when it becomes public until adjourning at 5 p.m.
The only item on the agenda?
Rhoades delivered three NCAA tournaments in six years, but may now follow the footsteps of past Rams coaches who have sought greener pastures.
Based on the trend set by former VCU basketball coaches, it may be considered more surprisin…
At Penn State, Rhoades will be close to his Central Pennsylvania roots, as well as have an opportunity to work in the Big Ten.
Given Rhoades’ deep connections to the Richmond area, many had hoped his roots would compel him to stay, if not “forever,” at least past the first major Power Five offer he garnered.
“This is home,” Rhoades said in 2017. “I love it here. My family loves it here. … Everybody knows my affection for VCU and VCU basketball.
“Our roots are already here. We just came back to connect with them.”
Rhoades, the 12th coach in VCU history, also has roots in Pennsylvania. The Mahoney City., Pa. native played his college ball at Lebanon Valley College, where he helped The Flying Dutchmen win the 1994 NCAA Division III national championship.
From the archives: Mike Rhoades
VCU coach Mike Rhoades has made the NCAA tournament three times in six seasons at the school.
EVA RUSSO, TIMES-DISPATCH
VCU coach Mike Rhoades and Adrian Baldwin Jr. talk strategy for the Rams' Dec. 31 game against La Salle.
JAMES H WALLACE, TIMES-DISPATCH
VCU's Mike Rhoades, protesting a call during the Rams' season-ending loss to Saint Mary's in the NCAA tournament, said this season was one of his most gratifying as a coach.
VCU head coach Mike Rhoades walks by a small crowd gathered to send off the VCU men’s basketball team as they departed Richmond on Wednesday for their first game in the 2023 NCAA tournament in Albany, NY.
EVA RUSSO, TIMES-DISPATCH
Mike Rhoades and the Rams have won 21 of their last 24 games.
The Associated Press
Top-seeded VCU and coach Mike Rhoades may have to win the Atlantic 10 tournament to ensure an NCAA tournament berth.
ALEXA WELCH EDLUND, TIMES-DISPATCh
Virginia Commonwealth head coach Mike Rhoades talks to his team during the second half of a NCAA basketball game between Radford University and Virginia Commonwealth University on Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at Seigal Center in Richmond, Virginia. 12/16/2022: The Rams had a season-high 25 turnovers against Radford on Wednesday night. "We could be a good team if we don't turn the ball over, but we'll continue to struggle on offense when you give the other team the ball," said coach Mike Rhoades. SHABAN ATHUMAN/TIMES-DISPATCH The Rams had a season-high 25 turnovers against Radford on Wednesday night. "We could be a good team if we don't turn the ball over, but we'll continue to struggle on offense when you give the other team the ball," said coach Mike Rhoades. SHABAN ATHUMAN/TIMES-DISPATCH
VCU head coach Mike Rhoades celebrates with superheroes after beating Richmond Spiders in a NCAA basketball game on Friday, February 24, 2023 at Siegel Center in Richmond, Virginia.
Virginia Commonwealth head coach Mike Rhoades walks to his bench during the second half of a NCAA basketball game between Jacksonville Dolphins and the VCU Rams on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 in Richmond, Virginia.
VCU men's basketball head coach Mike Rhoades is shown at Navy game at VCU in Richmond, Va., on December 21, 2022.
Daniel Sangjib Min/TIMES-DISPATCH
Mike Rhoades reached into his right pants pocket and fished out a small object. It was a rock, nondescript, not much different from millions of other rocks. Except to Rhoades.
File photo by Charlie Leffler Entering his third season at VCU, former R-MC head basketball coach Mike Rhoades, above left, has been promoted to the Rams’ associate head coach position. Rhoades proved a vital part of Shaka Smart’s (right) coaching staff during their run to the 2011 NCAA Final Four.
Charles Robert Leffler
VCU's head coach Shaka Smart (center), associate head coach Mike Rhoades (back, left) and assistant coach Will Wade (back,right) direct traffic as VCU's Troy Daniels (30), (foreground) defends against a Virginia Union University player during the first half of an exhibition game at the Siegel Center in Richmond VA Thurs. Nov. 1, 2012.
File photo by Charlie Leffler