Beamer wants raises before he signs deal

BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech has offered football coach Frank Beamer a new contract that would boost his average annual compensation from $1.3 million to more than $2 million for the next seven years.

"The university and myself believes that Coach Beamer is the one who built this program, and we absolutely want Coach Beamer to be here for the very rest of his career," athletic director Jim Weaver said Monday night on the weekly "Hokie Hotline" radio show.

He said he hoped the deal could be completed before Virginia Tech's Sept. 4 opener at North Carolina State. The holdup is Beamer's refusal to agree to any new contract that doesn't include raises for each of his nine full-time assistant coaches.

"That's all I'm looking for," Beamer said Saturday. "I don't need all the other stuff."

Weaver said Beamer and his agent, Jimmy Sexton of Memphis, Tenn., asked him and other university officials to examine assistant coaches' salaries at other top programs and pay Beamer's aides accordingly. He said that analysis is in progress.

"I'm not sure when we'll get to the end of the line, but we're committed to getting there," Weaver said.

Beamer, 58, who is starting his 19th season as Tech's coach, signed his current contract in 2000. At the time, Beamer's salary
and the combined $1.1 million being paid to his assistants ranked
among the highest in the sport.

Since then, coaches' salaries have skyrocketed, with several
inking deals for $2 million or more annually. Virginia's Al Groh
received a new deal last week worth $1.7 million this season and
more than $2 million when the contract runs out in six years.

Compared to other top programs, Tech's assistants are being paid
below the norm. Seven schools in the Southeastern Conference paid
their assistants an average total of $1.3 million in 2004.