We messed with Texas.
The stars (like Geno Smith and Andrew Buie) were big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.
WVU brought the “real” Austin with them to Texas.
And there are a whole lot of funny ways to describe West Virginia University’s win over the Texas Longhorns on Saturday night.
But the response of students to the first major Big 12 victory in downtown Morgantown in the early-morning hours of Sunday were anything but funny. Following the narrow victory, there were fires, mobs, property destruction, interference with emergency responders and law enforcement officials.
It isn’t celebrating. It is partying.
It isn’t a rite of passage for students of the No. 1 party school. It is a crime.
It isn’t good-spirited fun. It is dangerous, destructive and disappointing.
It isn’t something to be proud of. It’s an embarrassment to the institution, the city of Morgantown and West Virginia as a whole.
And it has to stop.
Dozens of fires, set in garbage cans and furniture dragged into streets, were bad enough. But when crews arrived on scene, they were met with aggressive crowds of up to 1,000 people who threw debris, rocks and even lit firecrackers at firefighters. Only five were arrested — four were WVU students and the administration has vowed swift justice up to and including expulsion in addition to the criminal charges they face.
“The worst of the post-game behavior Saturday night was completely unacceptable, dangerous and inexcusable,” WVU President Jim Clements said in a release. “We cannot and will not tolerate it. These actions are dangerous. And they diminish the successes of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.”
City and school officials are meeting this week to discuss how to handle other upcoming games, including the Oct. 20 matchup with Kansas State at Mountaineer Field. “Twice as much tear gas” is one of the suggestions made by law enforcement officials to local media.
Really? Has it come this far? Can college students not control themselves to keep celebrations positive? Has the mob mentality robbed these students of their senses? Will it take a house burning down somewhere outside of Sunnyside because crews are having to deal with violent crowds preventing them from doing their jobs? Will it take a serious injury to an emergency responder? Will it take someone sustaining serious injuries or dying during these “celebrations” before it stops?
Morgantown Mayor Jim Manilla has suggested a $20-per-semester fee for each WVU student, collecting $1.2 million per year to hire extra city firefighters and police officers. There are two points we’d like to make. That’s like buying extra Band-Aids when a wound needs stitches. And there were about 1,000 students in Sunnyside on Saturday night — representing 3 percent of the student body of WVU. Is it really necessary to fiscally punish everyone to pay for the misbehavior of a few?
We think the hard-line approach from the university is the only thing that will stop these dangerous post-game mobs from causing any more damage to the city, its employees and the reputation of our state. When WVU students commit a crime, they need to face expulsion, jail time, fines, eviction from housing and loss of athletic privileges. That’s not “making an example” out of people. Those are realistic consequences when adults break the law.
And if these students see their friends, roommates and classmates lose scholarships, housing or the right to call themselves a WVU student, perhaps that will keep the ridiculous behavior in Sunnyside at bay.
We know exactly how thrilling this season is turning out for Mountaineer fans across the country. But as head coach Dana Holgorsen said, “If (Saturday’s incidents) had anything to do with some sort of ‘special’ win, then I would encourage everybody to get used to wins like that.”
We messed with Texas.
If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is
Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.
State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core
It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
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- If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is