Tony Bennett’s reputation is about as pristine as possible as college basketball coaches go, and that was before his Virginia team turned in a whale of a comeback story, winning the 2019 national championship after a historic first-round loss one year earlier.
This news certainly doesn’t detract from the type of person he appears to be. Bennett, the former UW-Green Bay star and son of Wisconsin basketball godfather Dick Bennett, turned down a $500,000 raise from his employer, asking that the university instead focus on additional compensation for his staff and other program improvements.
“That just does not happen in our industry,” Virginia athletics director Carla Williams said in an article by Jeff White that appeared on the University of Virginia web site.
It doesn’t stop there. Bennett, who will coach in his 11th season this winter, also pledged $500,000 to a career-development program launched for former and current UVA men’s basketball players. Mind you, he’s not redirecting half a million from Virginia in lieu of a salary increase; that’s an EXTRA half a million already in his pocket.
“I have more than I need,” Bennett said in the article. “I’m blessed beyond what I deserve.”
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