The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

July 9, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN- With ‘Luck,’ rivalries can be renewed



Just when you thought the NFL had moved on from the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal, former West Virginia linebacker Barrett Green, who had his NFL career ended by a knee injury in 2004, has sued, charging the injury was the result of another bounty program.

This one was run by the Washington Redskins, whose defensive coordinator was Gregg Williams.

Williams was the coordinator under defensive coordinator Sean Payton when the hammer was dropped on the Saints, although four of the suspensions were later lifted by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as part of a follow-up appeal.

According to sports law expert Gabe Feldman, the former Detroit Lions’ player filed a lawsuit against the Redskins, Williams and tight end Robert Royal.

“Redskins coaches directed their players to disregard criminal (and) civil laws, as well as NFL rules, to intentionally injure opponents,” Feldman says the suit claims.

According to Feldman, Royal is being sued for battery for delivering the low blow in 2004.

Following the revelation of the Saints’ bounty program, Williams was indefinitely suspended in 2012 for admitting his role in a “pay for performance” bounty program that was under his direction.

The NFL investigated the Redskins during their initial study of Williams’ actions but opted not to penalize the franchise for any acts during his tenure.

Green played every game after the injury through the end of the year.


Earlier this year, when WVU’s evasive slot receiver Tavon Austin was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams and was rewarded with a multi-million-dollar contract, he expressed some worries about “a lot of cousins now” coming out of the woodwork to pick at his new personal fortune.

Many an NFL rookie from a poor background has gone through his fortune playing the big shot, but Austin was not that type.

In fact, in an interview with NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano on “NFL Total Access,” Austin admitted he took things seriously at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium and learned how to handle that situation.

And what he learned was not to handle it himself.

“One thing I learned was just make somebody else the bad man, and that is definitely what I’m going to do as far as the money situation,” he said.

And who better to tell other people “no” than the lady who had done so with you for your whole life?

“So that definitely will be my mother,” he said. “She is definitely up for the challenge and she is ready to pretty much tell people ‘no.’”

That doesn’t mean Austin plans to hoard his money. At the symposium he learned that it can be put to good use.

“I definitely will help a lot of people, too, you know. I’m not one of those type of people who forgets where I came from and just acts like I’m better than anybody else,” he said. “But definitely there is a certain amount of times where it comes to a point where you have to say ‘no,’ and she’ll be that person that’ll be dealing with it.”

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Bob Herzel
  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Saban, family happy at Alabama

    Alabama football coach Nick Saban, whose team opens the season against West Virginia in Atlanta on Aug. 30, denied receiving or turning down this offseason an offer of $100 million to coach Texas, indicating he planned to finish his career as coach of the Crimson Tide.

    July 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Quarterback child prodigy’ comes to WVU amidst very high expectations

    Has West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen finally put the arrow he needs in his quiver with the commitment received Wednesday from high school quarterback David Sills, who is a rather extraordinary story and may also just be a rather extraordinary quarterback?

    July 18, 2014

  • WVU kicker Molinari ‘All-American boy’

    West Virginia kicker Mike Molinari may not be an All-American but he is an All-American boy.
    He was honored for that on Wednesday when the Allstate Insurance Company and the American Football Coaches Association announced the West Virginia redshirt senior kicker/punter Michael Molinari is a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team.

    July 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Smallwood puts future in jeopardy

    The last thing West Virginia’s struggling football program needed as twilight was setting on Bastille Day in Morgantown was to have one of its own whisked off to the North Central Regional Jail on a fugitive warrant from another state, especially a player who had figured to play a key role in the resurrection of a program gone bad.

    July 16, 2014

  • WVU player arrested in Delaware case

    West Virginia University running back Wendell Smallwood has been arrested by university police and is being held at North Central Regional Jail awaiting extradition on a felony warrant out of Delaware.

    July 15, 2014

  • WVU hoping to add two non-conference contests

    West Virginia is nearing the completion of deals to play football games against long-time rival Virginia Tech, now in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and Tennessee of the Southeastern Conference, according to a source close to the negotiations.
    An announcement is expected shortly.

    July 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: MLB All-Star game biggest celebration of top athletes

    You will pardon me if I find something else to do when the Pro Bowl rolls around, or if I try to find a “Three Stooges” marathon when it’s time for the NHL All-Star game. As for the NBA All-Star game, I’d rather watch a replay of a four-year-old Uruguay-Ethiopia World Cup soccer match in which I knew the outcome.

    July 14, 2014

  • Howes learns to ‘never settle’ as WVU administrator

    You probably don’t know much about Terri Howes, even though she is a rather high-ranking executive in the West Virginia University athletic department.
    “I like it that way,” she said, sitting in a large office at the Coliseum, decorated with pictures and memorabilia, a jar of candy sitting by the door for visitors to dip into.

    July 13, 2014

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