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- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick
It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.
HERTZEL COLUMN- Luck open to WVU fans’ suggestions
West Virginia’s fans have spoken, perhaps not verbally but nonetheless have had their voices heard, over the past few years as attendance has fallen at the Mountaineers’ football and basketball games.
Mountaineers ready for slate of rivalry games
Looking to put together a late-season run to get into the NCAA championships, West Virginia faces a pair of midweek rivalry games in a crucial five-game week coming off winning two of three games at Oklahoma.
HERTZEL COLUMN- Summer, Alabama will be used to get WVU’s mind right
The ink had barely dried on the final reports out of West Virginia’s spring practice when thoughts turned forward toward the lazy, hazy days of late summer, days that will bring us into football season with a game that can either change the entire image of WVU football or sour it even further.
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.
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