By Bob Hertzel
For the Times West Virginian
It was a tough day for West Virginia in the Big East on Tuesday.
What’s that? You say they are no longer in the Big East.
Right ... and neither are the records they set.
The Big East has become the American Athletic Conference and it has decided to start anew, not recognizing the records that carry over from the Big East.
Probably a good move considering that there are no original Big East members left; only Louisville, Cincinnati, Rutgers and Connecticut play in the new conference, and Rutgers joins the Big Ten next year.
But where does that leave WVU’s history?
Among others, running back Avon Cobourne is the all-time leader in the Big East in career rushing yards with 5,039 on a record 1,023 attempts; quarterback Pat White holds not only the record for average yards per rush at 6.55 for his career but also for touchdowns with 103; and Geno Smith possesses the single-season record for passing yards at 4,352 with a single-season record of 346 attempts.
Oh, yes, also don’t let us forget that Vaughn Rivers set the record for punt returns with 41 in 2007, a sign of how strong that defense was and how daring he was returning them.
None of those records are listed any longer in the conference’s media guide.
Rivalry? What rivalry?
Certainly not West Virginia and Texas, not after Longhorns football coach Mack Brown offered the following inspirational quote on his Twitter account:
“You can’t get much done in life if you work only when you feel good.” — Jerry West
That, of course, is West Virginia’s own Jerry West.
West Virginia received a commitment from two offensive linemen Tuesday, giving them five in their 2014 class.
First came two-star Walter Rauterkus of Avon, Ohio, who stands 6-6 and weighs 295 pounds and is said to be a 4.0 student.
The second is Jamie Herr of Elkton, Md., a 6-foot-5, 276-pounder who attends Eastern Christian Academy. WVU also got two recruits in the 2013 class from that school in Daikiel Shorts and Wendell Smallwood.
West Virginia University Mountaineer fans will be given the opportunity to get autographs from their favorite WVU coaches and players at the WVU football team’s annual Fan Day on Sunday, Aug. 11, at 1 p.m., in the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility.
Coach Dana Holgorsen, assistant coaches and WVU players will be signing autographs and visiting with fans from 1-3 p.m. Gates will open at 12:45 p.m.
In an effort to accommodate as many requests as possible, each fan will be limited to one autograph item.
Setting up posed pictures with players and coaches will not be allowed in order to keep lines moving and to give as many fans as possible the chance to get an autograph from Mountaineer players and coaches.
Fans also will be able to take photos beside the new WVU Nike uniforms on display. The uniforms were unveiled last spring before the Gold-Blue Game.
A trio with ties to the West Virginia University rifle program shot at the 2013 European Shooting Championship last week, held in Osijek, Croatia.
Junior Meelis Kiisk (Paide) represented Estonia, while 2013 graduate Petra Zublasing (Appiano) shot for Italy, and Mountaineer coach Jon Hammond (Aberdeen, Scotland) competed for Great Britain. The championship officially opened on July 21, and all saw action in the 50m events. The championship will close Aug. 2.
Kiisk earned his top finish Sunday, as he placed 38th in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions with a score of 1155 (385 kneeling, 394 prone, 376 standing). The three-time National Rifle Association All-American also shot 602.6 (98.9, 102.3, 99.1, 101.5, 99.1, 101.7) in the men’s 50m rifle prone elimination relay on July 23.
Zublasing, the 2013 NCAA air rifle and smallbore champion, just missed qualifying for the women’s 50m rifle 3 positions final on July 26, as she shot 581 (193 kneeling, 197 prone, 191 standing) and placed ninth. Four shooters shot 582 and moved on to the eight-shooter final. Zublasing also placed 33rd in the women’s 50m rifle prone on July 25 with a score of 585 (98, 97, 98, 98, 96, 98). The Italian Team of Zublasing, Barbara Gambavo and Antonella Notarangelo finished 10th that day with a score of 1758.
Hammond’s top finish came on July 24, as he placed 19th in the men’s 50m rifle prone qualification relay with a score of 622.2 (102.7, 104.4, 105.0, 104.4, 103.1, 102.6). He advanced to the qualification relay after finishing ninth (622.5) in the second elimination relay on July 23. Additionally, the Great Britain Team of Hammond, Kenneth Parr and Daniel Rivers finished 18th, also on July 23, with a score of 1851.9.
Hammond also shot 1145 (382 kneeling, 391 prone, 372 standing) in the men’s 50m rifle 3 positions qualification relay on July 28. The Great Britain team placed 12th with a score of 3457.