The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

October 19, 2009

HERTZEL COLUMN - Stewart, players mourn death of UConn’s Howard

MORGANTOWN — Just twelve hours earlier there was a winning smile on Bill Stewart’s face. Why not? His West Virginia football team had just beaten intrastate rival Marshall and the injury to his quarterback, Jarrett Brown, was not nearly as serious as it first appeared.

Yet there he was on Sunday morning, tears in his eyes, his heart weighing heavily in his chest.

Word had just reached him that Jasper Howard, a starting cornerback at Connecticut, a kid he was expecting to be trying to beat this week, was dead.

It was shocking, senseless death, the victim of a stabbing on campus the night after UConn had defeated Louisville in its homecoming game. As police put it together there was a dance at the Student Union in Storrs, someone pulled a fire alarm, a fight broke out and Jasper Howard wound up laying in a pool of blood on Hillside Road near the center of campus.

It was not long after 12:30 a.m., and who was it once said nothing good ever happens after midnight.

By the time Stewart arrived to do his weekly Sunday afternoon conference call, the shock perhaps had worn off but the grief remained.

Some people talk about the heart, others talk from the heart.

Bill Stewart was clearly shaken.

He is that kind of man. A caring man, a sensitive man, a person who understands that football is an entertainment medium, a diversion, but that in the real world it does not rank with such matters as health and family.

It is a game, not a religion, and when a real world tragedy interrupts the games people play, Stewart believes it is time to step back and reflect upon the important things in life.

“First and foremost, I would like to start with a very sincere, heartfelt condolence statement by the Mountaineer football staff, and most importantly the team and the whole West Virginia nation, to the situation with the UConn football family,” Stewart said to begin what would be a remarkable press conference.

Text Only
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

House Ads
Featured Ads