The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

June 10, 2014

FURFARI COLUMN: Tackling a variety of topics about WVU sports

MORGANTOWN — Stringing together some odds and ends that may interest you:

Josh Baugh of Morgantown has qualified for this year’s West Virginias Amateur Golf Tournament. He did so last week by shooting a one-under-par 73 at Bridgeport Country Club.

Baugh, a Canvas (W.Va.) native, is a West Virginia Wesleyan graduate. He earned a m’’aster’s degree from WVU and now is a physical therapist at the Health Works in Morgantown. ...

Back there in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s — perhaps even in more in recent years — most college athletes could get jobs for the entire summer. That enabled them to earn money and eased the cost on families.

But today student-athletes, particularly in football and possibly basketball, cannot do that. The NCAA has permitted coaches greater time to work with their players.

That’s in addition to the customary strength and conditioning drills of the past years, since athletes could accept summer jobs for pay. …

In that connection, I’m told that college athletes no longer will be allowed to play on American Legion baseball teams during the summer.

That was the case until recently.

So I hereby correct a previously expressed concern that NCAA’s possibility of expanding the intercollegiate baseball season into the summer obviously would not have American Legion competition in any way.

That form of baseball has become only for high school players, so I’m told. …

It’s sad to learn that Morgantown’s Jedd Gyorko has been placed on the Major League’s disabled list by the San Diego Padres.

Apparently he displayed problems with the second basemen’s feet. Ironically his last game was against the Pittsburgh Pirates before he was hurt.  

Hopefully, the former WVU star will be able to get back into action soon. At last reports he was batting only .162 for this season. …

WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins said publicly that college athletes are transferring everywhere, not just in his program.

“We’ll be fine,” he said after the departure of standouts Terry Henderson and Eron Harris. “I’m excited about what we’re doing, and the guys are excited.”

I think that’s encouraging. The Mountaineers need to have a better season. Expectations will be higher.

If they are transferring in high numbers everywhere, however, isn’t that a sad commentary of times we’re living in? Why wouldn’t parents of athletes want them to stay put except in times of emergency situations?

Transferring truly was a rarity when I was covering the sports beat as a young reporter.

Times do change though. …

Are you old enough to remember when a coach was hired to handle the head job for more than just one sport? I can recall a few over the years and they were successful.

Among those at WVU were Ira Errett Rodgers (football, baseball and golf), Steve Harrick (baseball and wrestling), and Charly Hockenberry (baseball and golf).

Each also taught a class or two in the School of Physical Education. But they barely received enough money in the paychecks to support a family back then. …

Six WVU baseball players have been selected in this year’s Major League draft. Publicist Grant Dovey says all of them expect to sign contracts.

Those are Sean Carley, New York Yankees, 14th round; Ryan McBroom, Toronto Blue Jays, 15th round; John Means, Baltimore Orioles, 11th round; Harrison Musgrave, Colorado Rockies, eighth round; Corey Walter, Oakland Athletics, 28th round; and Bobby Boyd, Houston Astros, eighth round.


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Mickey Furfari
  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.
    It was between two legendary coaches, WVU’s Bobby Bowden and N.C. State’s Lou Holtz back there in the 1970s.

    August 1, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Wyant talks about ‘Pappy’ Lewis and other items of interest

    I saved some other interesting observations from the recent interview with Fred Wyant which you may find worth reading.
    He believes a college football coach ought to recruit a quarterback he wants, give him some help, then turn virtually everything over to him and let him go.

    July 26, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five major sports topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers.
    However, he told me he faces knee-replacement surgery. So he’s going to find it necessary to give up bowling during a period of rehab. Hart has competed in an amazing total of 45 U.S. Bowling Congress tournaments during his outstanding career.

    July 25, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Ex-Mountaineer track star dies; WVU athlete arrests may be concern

    I’ve learned belatedly that James Gordon “Jim” Dial, an outstanding men’s track and field sprinter at West Virginia University during the late 1940s, has died.
    He was a native of Huntington who earned All-State first team status. The Huntington High star led all scorers in the state Track Championship meets in both 1946 and ’47.

    July 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Jedd Gyorko running and taking batting practice now

    A report on the internet at this week’s start indicated that Morgantown’s Jedd Gyorko might be ready finally to rejoin the San Diego Padre’s starting lineup.
    He has been on the Major League’s disabled list since June 3. Problems with his feet was given as the reason Gyorko was unable to keep playing.

    July 16, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU hopes to boost season-ticket sales

    West Virginia University’s season-ticket sales for football are the lowest in nine years just two months before this season’s first home game.
    That will be on Saturday, Sept. 6, against Towson State. The Big 12 portion of the schedule follows.

    July 10, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: San Diego Padres’ Gyorko remains on disabled list

    Stringing together some odds and ends that may interest you:
    • Jedd Gyorko still is not active with the San Diego Padres. The former West Virginia University standout has been on the baseball’s disabled list for just over a month and hopes to return soon.

    July 9, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: It had to feel like ‘Ol’ Home Week’ for the Tricketts

    It might have felt like a bit of “Ol’ Home Week’ to West Virginia University starting quarterback Clint Trickett.
    His parents, Rick and Tara Trickett, were in the Morgantown area and stopped by to spend some time with Clint. They still live in Tallahassee, Florida.

    July 3, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: WVU football season-ticket sales approximately 26,000

    Stringing together some odds and ends about sports that may be of interest to you:
    • West Virginia University season-ticket sales for the 2014 football campaign have reached approximately 26,000. That’s some 2,000 since the count of 24,000 when the renewal deadline was reached.

    June 27, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: USA Today has WVU 78th in football countdown from No. 128 to No. 1

    Like Las Vegas oddsmakers, USA Today’s sports writer Paul Myerberg doesn’t rank West Virginia highly in that newspaper’s early college football predictions in a copyrighted piece.
    In one of its thorough pieces, USA Today analyzed West Virginia in its No. 78 ranking among 128 college teams. That’s what is called a countdown from No. 128 to No. 1.

    June 24, 2014

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