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
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Big 12 provides plenty of optimism

    This past week the Big 12 held its annual media gathering in Dallas and served up a heaping portion of optimism for the 2014 season that is now upon us, West Virginia University opening its preseason practices on Thursday.
    This is a time of year when no one has lost a game, not even Charlie Weis at Kansas, and it’s a time of year when opinions are more plentiful than tattoos in an NFL locker room.

    July 27, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU needs White to follow in former receivers’ footsteps

    A year ago Clint Trickett took a lot of grief as the once potent West Virginia offense came unraveled, but there is more that than meets the eye.
    The criticism was not unfounded, of course, although behind each incomplete pass there was the pain Trickett was suffering through to throw it, his rotator cuff in need of surgery.

    July 26, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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

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