He talked in his postgame press conference about how proud he was of his team for hanging in through all the tight games (13 of 17 ACC games Tech has played have been decided by five points or less), for not quitting and for coming to practice ready to work every day.
He hugged his middle daughter Ella as he stood in a hallway outside his locker room and talked about what it will take for the Hokies to beat Duke on Friday night. Then he walked into his locker room into a barren office and sat down with a bottle of water in his hands.
A few seconds later he was crying. One question did it: “How’s Brad?”
“Oh please don’t get me started,” he said, tears in his eyes in an instant. “You’re talking about my big brother, my best friend. You’re talking about someone I literally used to talk to 10 times a day.”
As tough as this season has been for Greenberg, no loss has been as difficult as what his brother Brad has been going through. Last month, the NCAA handed down a five-year, ‘show cause’ ruling against Brad Greenberg for violations that took place while he was coaching 15 miles down the road from Virginia Tech at Radford.
Show cause means that if Brad Greenberg is hired by any NCAA school during the next five years, that school must ‘show cause’ as to why it should not face sanctions brought on by the violations Greenberg was charged with. As is often the case, if one believes the NCAA report, the cover-up was worse than the crime. Greenberg allowed an ineligible player to travel on the road with his team during a holiday — a minor, technical violation based on his not wanting to leave the player alone on an empty campus — but when the NCAA came to town instead of simply saying, ‘yes this is what we did,’ Greenberg took on the NCAA.
If you are Kentucky or UCLA or Duke or North Carolina you might have a fighting chance to take on the NCAA. Not if you are Radford. Greenberg was suspended, then fired. He’s coaching now in Venezuela.
“Actually he’s been lucky,” Seth Greenberg said, forcing a laugh. “Seven of the 10 coaches in that league have been fired this season and he’s still hanging in there. He’s been asked to coach the Venezuelan national team in the South American tournament before the Olympics.”
His face clouded. “Basically though he’s living in solitary. It’s not safe for him to go out of his apartment alone. Every time I talk to him or e-mail him I say to him, ‘Please be careful.’ He says, ‘Don’t worry, I’m fine.’ But I know he’s saying that so I won’t worry.” He smiled. “Of course I worry all the time.”