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February 24, 2011

Three And Out: Money changes everything

Here is this week's "Three And Out," a weekly feature that will provide a quick but opinionated take from Tom Dienhart on three hot topics.

1. Money changes everything. The Texas Tech faculty is rankled over Tommy Tuberville's $500,000-per-year raise, which comes in the wake of $3 million in faculty salary increases being nixed and talk of lawmakers cutting tens of millions of dollars in university funding. "If that was me, I would have turned it down. I would have been embarrassed," Julian Spallholz, a human sciences professor and Tech faculty senator, told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. That's easy for him to say. Tuberville, who will make $2 million per season, has the most high-profile job on campus. The only prism through which most of the world will look and judge Texas Tech is through Tuberville's football team -- not the human sciences department. In addition, the general welfare of the entire athletic department rests largely on the success of the football team that Tuberville is entrusted to run. If the football team flops, the athletic department will suffer. Lastly, while the timing of Tuberville's raise may be dubious, the increase was deserved because he was hired at "less than market value," school president Guy Bailey said. It isn't Tuberville's fault that the professors didn't grow up to be head football coaches. It's time to put hard feelings aside, buy a season ticket and support arguably the most important employee on campus.

2. All in the family. You may have missed one of the most underrated assistant coaching hires of the offseason when Shane Beamer was named running backs coach at Virginia Tech, his alma mater. Beamer had spent the past 10 seasons honing his resume, working as an assistant at Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Mississippi State and South Carolina before "going home" to work for his father, Frank Beamer. The 33-year-old Beamer has coached a variety of positions and has forged a reputation as one of the nation's top recruiters. Could this be the first move toward Shane being his father's successor in Blacksburg?

3. Looking into the future. Is it too early to talk 2011 Heisman? Of course not. Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck will be everyone's preseason favorite. But who will be the other legit contenders? Heismanpundit.com, the best Heisman handicapping site on the web, has released its early hot list. Here's my early Heisman Hot Five: 1. Luck; 2. Oklahoma QB Landry Jones; 3. Oregon RB LaMichael James; 4. Boise State QB Kellen Moore; 5. South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore.

Tom Dienhart is a national senior writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at dienhart@yahoo-inc.com, and you can click here to follow him on Twitter.

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