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
  • 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

  • Fans looking for answers in WVU Gold-Blue Game

    Perhaps the most important spring practice in Dana Holgorsen’s tenure as West Virginia football coach comes to a conclusion at 1 p.m. today when the annual Gold-Blue Spring Football Game is held at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.
    The gates open at noon and tickets are $10 with net proceeds benefiting WVU Children’s Hospital.

    April 12, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole moves beyond scars of WVU’s bad year

    The talk was supposed to be about Nick O’Toole’s punting, which was far too big a part of West Virginia’s season last year, considering that the offense just didn’t live up to advertisements, but it soon changed.
    Standing there on the field in Charleston last Saturday, following the final open practice before today’s 1 p.m. Gold and Blue Spring Game at Milan Puskar Stadium, you couldn’t help but notice a pair of scars under his closely cropped hair that went from ear to ear and forehead to the back of his head.

    April 12, 2014

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