The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

January 11, 2008

COLUMN: Undermining WVU athletics

MORGANTOWN — While the pot has boiled over in speculation about Bill Stewart’s assistant football coaching hires and about Darius Reynaud’s decision to take his degree and run to the NFL, there is a story of far more importance that has passed under the radar.

This is a story that has eaten into the very fiber of the program, one that threatens not just the football situation but the entire athletic department itself.

If it were to be made into a movie, it would be title: “Mutiny of the Boosters” or “How to Undermine an Athletic Program When It Has A Nationally Ranked Football, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Gymnastic, Wrestling, Women’s Soccer and Men’s Soccer Program.”

Yet that is just what Ken Kendrick Jr. and whatever other backers he has in his bid to run off the current administration is doing as they act like spoiled children who didn’t get their way.

That this story should be stirred up again comes about from an item on page 11-C of Friday’s USA Today, an item that seemingly has no ties to the situation at West Virginia.

The headline: Wash. Booster offered $100,000 for coach’s firing.

To further capsulize what already was a capsulized version of the story, it read that The Seattle Times had reported wealthy booster Ed Hansen had offered the University of Washington, via e-mails to President Mark Emmert, $100,000 to fire football coach Tyrone Willingham and promised another $100,000 if it fired athletic director Todd Turner, as well.

These revelations came out after Emmert retained — not fired Willingham despite a three-year record of 1-25 — and after Turner resigned his job 11 days after Willingham was retained by Emmert.

When asked by the newspaper if he would make good on his promise of $100,000 for Turner’s dismissal, Turner replied, “Your call is making me evaluate that. I think, as you and I are talking, I will go ahead with the $100,000 mentioned.”

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Bob Herzel
  • 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.

    April 16, 2014

  • 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.

    April 16, 2014

  • 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.

    April 15, 2014

  • 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.

    April 15, 2014

  • 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.

    April 15, 2014

  • 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.

    April 14, 2014

  • 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.

    April 14, 2014

  • Gold-Blue Game answers few questions at quarterback

    Dana Holgorsen finds himself in a quarterback quandary.
    He’s looking to have one quarterback and has five of them as spring practice ends, and nothing about the spring session has done anything to straighten out the situation.

    April 13, 2014

  • Moore ‘back at home’ under center

    There are a couple of ways to look at what Logan Moore did this spring after being moved back to quarterback and given a chance to compete for what is a wide open job, as wide open at the end of the spring as it was coming in.
    The first is to say that he didn’t wow Dana Holgorsen to the point that he’s willing to say he’s the leader going into summer drills, but that would be shortsighted considering from where Moore came.

    April 13, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU punter turns heads at linebacker

    They call him “Huey the Punter.”
    His real name is Houstin Syvertson. His real position is not punter. Not anymore, anyway.
    To be honest, until Saturday’s spring game, not many people following West Virginia football knew the name or the nickname. They know it now.

    April 13, 2014

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