Justin Fuente met with the media on Wednesday, his first such meeting since last month's flirtation with Baylor went public.
"In my eight going on nine years (as a head coach), I've talked to exactly two schools: Virginia Tech and Baylor," he said. "Do I love that it became incredibly public? No. But do I understand that part of it? I do. I get it. I had to meet with our team and just told them that... We had a conversation and the next day I showed up to work and we went to work and haven't looked back since."
Asked if he was offered the job, Fuente chose not to confirm or deny. "You'll never hear me talk about that," he said. "I'm just not going down that road."
Four minutes later, Fuente was asked about accepting players back who entered the transfer portal after taking quarterback Hendon Hooker and running back Deshawn McClease back last year.
"We're not doing that. We talked about that as a team. I talked about Hendon and Deshawn last year and how that was me not doing a good job educating them," he said. "I'll take all of them on a case-by-case basis but we're moving forward."
Asked to clarify if Fuente was announcing Virginia Tech would no longer welcome back players who entered the portal, Fuente said, "Correct."
Taken at his word, Fuente is installing another case of "Do as I say, not as I do" leadership that is about to get the entire system uprooted in the halls of Congress.
Too many coaches view their own discussions of new job opportunities as business as usual, but when players do the same it's some sort of moral failing -- on society's part, on the player in particular or in some combination of the two.
In reality, they're equal actions. There's nothing wrong with Fuente considering a new opportunity that may or may not prove to be a better situation for his career and his family, just as there's nothing inherently wrong with players exploring the possibility that another school might be the best investment of their talents. Or, if there is something wrong with the latter, then the former must be wrong, too.
It doesn't matter, though. It's Fuente's program, so he can explore the coaching portal and return to coach in Hokie colors, while any player who does the same will be shown the door.