London’s job security has become a topic of discussion since the Cavaliers (2-4, 0-2 ACC) lost at home to Ball State, 48-27, on Oct. 5, part of a three-game losing streak the team brings into Saturday’s game against Duke.
Littlepage cited London’s recruiting ability and commitment to the university, in addition to past accomplishments such as being named the 2011 ACC coach of the year and winning the 2008 Football Championship Subdivision national championship at Richmond, as reasons for the support he’s receiving from the school’s administration.
“He’s done a lot of things that he thought were important for us in terms of adjustments to the coaching staff, some other things relative to the program that I think were important and will bear fruit for us,” Littlepage said. “I support him, and I have supported him. Nothing has changed in that regard. . . . If there was uncertainty, it isn’t because of anything other than somebody might have an agenda. I’ve been very clear.”
If Virginia’s administration were to consider a coaching change, it would carry a hefty price tag.
It would cost approximately $8.06 million to buy out the remaining three years of London’s contract this offseason. He signed a two-year extension and got a raise after the Cavaliers finished with an 8-5 record and earned a spot in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2011.
The university would also need an additional $3.12 million to pay for the contracts of associate head coach Tom O’Brien, offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild, defensive coordinator Jon Tenuta and special teams coordinator Larry Lewis, all of whom were hired last winter when London overhauled his coaching staff.
According to an amendment to London’s contract, which was signed Jan. 18 and obtained by The Post through a public-records request, he gave up $63,600 in supplemental compensation during the 2013 and 2014 seasons in order to increase the football program’s assistant coach salary pool in the offseason.
Littlepage declined to specify whether the pay cut was London’s idea or at the behest of administrators following his second 4-8 campaign in three years in 2012. Littlepage also admitted he did not know exactly how much money the school would owe London if he were fired after this season, because “candidly . . . I haven’t looked at it.”
The Cavaliers haven’t beaten a Football Bowl Subdivision foe since opening the season with a 19-16 win over BYU, and their last home game against Ball State featured the second-smallest crowd (38,228) since London took over the program before the 2010 season.
Littlepage conceded “attendance is, in part, a barometer of how the team is perceived to be doing,” but he asked for patience from fans as the staff changes continue to take effect.