The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

January 16, 2014

FURFARI COLUMN: Some observations, facts and opinions

MORGANTOWN — Here are a few short items in which you may be interested:

• The West Virginia University men’s basketball team’s performance in Monday night’s 80-69 loss to Texas at home was its poorest in a long time.

The Mountaineers (10-7, 2-2 Big 12) disappointed the WVU Coliseum crowd of 8,706 in virtually every play phase, particularly shooting and rebounding.

In trailing the Longhorns by as many as 21 points, West Virginia shot only 37.7 percent (26-of-69). Even much worse, the team made just 4 of 25 shots from 3-point range.

The Mountaineers cashed 13 of 20 free throws (65 percent) against Texas (13-4, 2-2 Big 12).

WVU not only was outrebounded by 49-30, but allowed the visitors to shoot a sizzling 52.7 percent from the field (29-of-55).

Texas made 4 of 9 from 3-point range and 18 of 23 from the foul line (78.3 percent).

Give the Mountaineers some credit, though. They never quit in slicing 10 points off the largest deficit.

• The reported departure of Ford Childress from West Virginia’s sagging football program merely muddles the outlook further for the 2014 campaign.

The 6-foot-5, 224-pound redshirt freshman from Houston, Texas, would leave the Mountaineers with just two quarterbacks who have collegiate experience. He isn’t enrolled for this semester at WVU. He reportedly plans to transfer elsewhere.

Childress started just two games last season before being sidelined by a torn pectoral. As a result, he missed the final eight games of a 4-8 season.

This seemingly adds to the growing problems that Dana Holgorsen faces in preparing a football team in his fourth year as a head coach at any level of competition.

• I have received numerous emails in response to my column of last weekend. That was the one dealing with the question of whether WVU made a great mistake joining — hastily —t he Big 12 Conference two years ago.

I wrote that I firmly believe it was wrong, and it reportedly would cost the school $50 million for ever withdrawing from the conference.

Thinking and reasoning were presented for readers’ consideration. Happily, none of the emails received to date disagree totally with that column.

• On that subject, one of those emails in particular I found most interesting:

 Jim S. wrote, “There are college athletes with obligations other than sports (allegedly).

“With the Big 12 move, prices and restrictions on seating, etc, (Oliver) Luck (the athletic director) has rebuilt the WVU athletic program to match the structure of professional teams (travel, time away from home base, prices, et al).

“This is in pursuit of dollars at the cost of education. Looking at it deeply, if I owned a company of almost any size, I would be careful about hiring a WVU athlete on the basis of his/her degree, given these circumstances.

“So far as the fans are concerned … who among them can afford to travel to most away games? And fewer of them are ready to pony up the price of admission at home.

“All of this adds up to shooting yourself in the foot and pretending it feels good.

“Jim S.”

1
Text Only
Mickey Furfari
  • 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

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Las Vegas oddsmakers not kind to WVU in early listings

    Not long ago, I guessed that the West Virginia University football team will go 6-6 during the 2014 football season.
    That was based strictly on a hunch. It would show at least some improvement over last year’s pitiful 4-8 finish.

    June 22, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five different items about a variety of sports

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • In a continuing federal court case out West, an economist recently testified that student athletes could receive as much as $1 million were he or she given a half share of a major college’s revenue from network game broadcasts over a four year period.

    June 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Noll was the most successful football coach I ever knew

    Charles Henry “Chuck” Noll was without question the most successful football coach at any level that I’ve ever known in my writing career.
    Noll, who died in his sleep at 82 last Friday night, served 23 enjoyable – and most memorable – years as mentor of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    June 17, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads