A report in Sports Illustrated on Thursday shed new light on the wave of player transfers that swept through the Virginia Tech program in the past year.
The article, written by SI's Ross Dellenger, quotes members of the Hokies as saying that some of their teammates tried to lose the final game of the 2018 season, against Marshall. The game determined whether the Hokies would be bowl eligible for the 26th consecutive season. Virginia Tech won, and protected its streak.
"Well, if we lose we can go home early and don’t have to go to a bowl game," an anonymous player is quoted as saying in the article.
The frustrations continued through the offseason. Virginia Tech lost several players who transferred to other schools this offseason, including one week where four players left, prompting coach Justin Fuente to issue a public statement that things were fine in Blacksburg.
"Our coaching staff remains firmly committed to developing a winning culture at Virginia Tech where our student-athletes can learn, grow and thrive in all aspects of their lives,” Fuente said at the time.
The SI report quotes defensive lineman Jarrod Hewitt as saying that there was a huge divide between the offense and the defense through the season last year.
“We would turn on each other pretty often,” he said.
According to the article, Fuente called an emergency meeting in January to clear the air. The players made a number of requests, including changes in uniforms and the players lounge, fewer intense workouts, and more trivial requests, such as serving turkey bacon in the dining hall.
Fuente and other Virginia Tech players have regularly scheduled media availability on Thursday in Blacksburg.