MORGANTOWN — In the beginning, it was fine.
The students were on edge, gathered outside the Coliseum, huddling for warmth, laughing and having the kind of time you are supposed to have as you wait for the gates to open before a game against their Backyard Brawl rival, Pitt.
The chanting then was acceptable, echoing off into the Morgantown evening.
“Eat pooh-pooh, Pitt!” they chanted, although it was somewhat more poetic in real life.
No one could complain. They were among themselves, these students, gearing up for the evening.
When the gates opened they descended upon the Coliseum student section like a band of fire ants, scurrying for position, wanting to be where the unblinking eye of the television cameras could show them in all their zaniness.
As students, they have that right, as long as they keep some semblance of sanity in their actions.
But it became obvious this was a group looking for trouble even before the first tip-off, a group of pathetic losers disguising their ill manners as backing the home team.
As Lisa DeMasi sang the national anthem, those same chants of “Eat pooh-pooh, Pitt!” rang out in the arena. Let us repeat when this was taking place, during the singing of the national anthem.
Sitting directly across from the student section, front row at midcourt, was James Clements, the man who serves as president of the school. When approached about the matter of student behavior on Thursday morning after presiding at the groundbreaking for the new basketball practice facility and the rehabilitation of the physics building called White Hall, he displayed genuine disgust for what he had witnessed the night before.
“C’mon,” Clements said, “during the national anthem. It’s not acceptable. I was appalled.”
It was the start of a disgraceful performance from a group of students who have proven in the past that they can do better, who brought pride upon themselves and the school when a grieving Connecticut team came into Morgantown.
MORGANTOWN — In the beginning, it was fine.
- Bob Herzel
HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier
You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules
At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.
HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing
The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.
Bussie looks forward to WNBA
On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball
It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.
Gyorko, Padres agree to extension
Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.
HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved
From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.
WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI
There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.
HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball
The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.
WVU baseball drops seventh straight game
One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.
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