RICHMOND, Va. – Rest in peace, Shakawatch.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s been fun watching this incendiary plume of Internet chatter gestate in just four short days into a series of cheeky Photoshops, faux insiders and a Shakawatch hashtag. Where’s Shaka? Here’s a photo of him riding the rollercoaster at Mall of America. Here he is in the VCU dining hall. Nope, here he is posing with two fans in another team’s colors. Never change, Internet. Never change.
But as quickly as irrationality drove message board hits through the roof and sucked up enough bandwidth to power NORAD, last night, they pulled the plug. Smart quietly agreed in principle to a contract extension that provides enhancements for the basketball program and allows VCU Basketball to reach his vision.
“Coach Smart has demonstrated through this process that he is loyal to VCU and his greatest concern lies with our program moving forward every year,” said VCU Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin in a statement. “Our goal was to present him with a revised agreement proactively rather than wait for another institution to step in with an offer.
Although that cut the legs out from under the Carmen San Diego-like @ShakaWatch Twitter account before it picked up much steam – it had just 47 followers as of this morning – it does allow Smart and VCU to move towards a milestone of significance. It’s probably one Smart or most fans aren’t even aware of.