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
  • 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

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    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

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    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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