VCU fans excited to have Shaka on board again next year - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

VCU fans excited to have Shaka on board again next year

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The smiles on the faces of people on the VCU campus just keep getting bigger. News traveled quickly once Coach Smart had made up his mind.

After a weekend of nerves for the big game and worries over smart's future with the school, there was a collective sigh of relief. People got the answer they wanted to the question: would he stay or would he go?

From the moment the team arrived home "Shaka Watch 2011" began on the VCU campus.

"I think he knows VCU is where it's at and VCU basketball is going to keep on going. We've got next year and we're going to keep on marching even outside of march," says Qasim Kazmi.

 "I've had my worries you know I'm sure he's going to be getting a lot of offers," said VCU freshman Jeff Varlijan.

"I feel like his young charisma motivates the team and it brings a lot of energetic enthusiasm. I feel like he should stay," says VCU Freshman Kiran Toor.

Some were even willing to donate to the cause. There was even an online campaign called SaveShakaSmart.com -- Selling Save Shaka t-shirts to raise money for his salary.

 "We paid the president whatever. We'll pay Shaka Smart whatever. Whatever you want... Raise tuition, Shaka!" Senior Hakiym Robinson said.

By mid afternoon star point guard Joey Rodriguez, sent out this tweet: "I tried to tell y'all coach ain't leaving."

Fans were stunned to hear the news. We're told there's still a celebration in the works to honor this team's accomplishments. Details are still being worked out by the city.

The university is projected to bring in big bucks from its NCAA tournament run. VCU and 11 other schools in the Colonial Athletic Association will get a share of $13.5 million over the next six years.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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