The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

February 11, 2009

COLUMN: Next step for Jock Sanders remains unclear

MORGANTOWN — It isn’t easy being a football coach, and we’re not talking about trying to figure out a way to gain a foot and a half on third down.

Those may be tough decisions, game-changing decisions, but they aren’t life-changing decisions.

Too often, though, these football coaches we have are asked to become something they are in no way qualified to become — gods.

Even without a capital G it’s quite a burden.

Consider what is facing West Virginia University’s Bill Stewart this morning.

He has Jock Sanders’ future in his hands, not the way he had hoped it would be, molding him into a National Football League player who would make mountains of money, raise a nice family and live a long and happy life.

That’s the way it was supposed to be.

See, it was fine if Sanders spent his Saturday afternoons weaving his way through traffic, as long as that traffic had on shoulder pads and jerseys with the colors of the rival school.

Running straight wasn’t what he was supposed to do, but come Saturday night he was supposed to be driving straight … and sober.

That apparently didn’t happen this past Saturday as Sanders was approached by a police officer in an apartment parking lot when his black Dodger Charger allegedly juked over the center line while being clocked at 36 miles an hour in a 25 mph zone.

When the scent of alcohol, not aftershave, was detected and when Sanders reportedly blew a .125 on the Breathalyzer, which is 50 percent above the legal limit of .08 percent, he was arrested and charged with DUI.

That Sanders is 20 and under the legal drinking age did not balance his blood-alcohol content being over the legal limit.

Normally, in this town, being 20 and drunk is not an unusual occurrence. The football team barely managed to break into the Top 25 in the final poll, but the student body got itself ranked No. 4 in the nation when it came to party schools as judged by the Princeton Review, which has absolutely nothing to do with Princeton University.

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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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