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How Shaka Smart May Have Drove Jim Larranaga To Miami

The biggest non-Caps media story in DC last week was the "will he leave or won't he" saga of George Mason head coach Jim Larranaga. Well, we all know now the 61-year-old checked the box for "leave" on Friday, heading for the college basketball black hole that is the University of Miami hoops program. In the wake of Larranaga's surprising exit, the media and Mason Nation have been trying to figure out what exactly happened.  

Was the departure simply the cause of an ego battle between Larranaga and Mason A.D. Tom O'Connor? Was it about money? The Washington Post's Mike Wise took his turn at the topic du jour Saturday, and without rehashing his reasons for Larranaga's move, I'll instead mention this nugget that stood out:

Mason could’ve done more.

Did you know VCU is spreading $150,000 among Smart’s three assistant coaches, who already make about $300,000 between them, because they understand what it takes to keep their young, hot coach to stay in Richmond?

So yes, you can say money was a factor, but perhaps not so much for the head man as for his assistant coaches. Perhaps Tom O'Connor's unwillingness to reward Larranaga's assistants, and not Larranaga himself, was the final perceived insult that caused Coach Jim to bolt Fairfax for South Beach.