The Times West Virginian

Mickey Furfari

August 24, 2009

FURFARI COLUMN - Preseason scrimmages would benefit teams

MORGANTOWN — The National Collegiate Athletic Association, known to one and all simply as the NCAA, ought to wake up.

It should permit member institutions to better prepare their football teams. This could be done by permitting preseason scrimmages against an opponent school or two.

Rich Rodriguez has been among Division I-A football coaches who firmly believe that this is needed to turn out stronger teams.

He’s pointed that out annually, as have other coaches. But the NCAA has yet to consider seriously such a move.

Yet that organization permits basketball teams to play two preseason scrimmages against outsiders each year. Surely that helps those become stronger.

Why not football?

Even the nation’s high schools are allowed to scrimmage against each other in football before a season’s start.

Why not colleges?

Although retired, Don Nehlen still thinks it’s a great idea. He’s a former president of the College Football Coaches Association.

The Hall of Famer thinks the NCAA probably fears permitting school vs. school preseason scrimmages might be abused by some.

Ironically, making an outside scrimmage a part of preparation for the regular season would not be a first.

I remember seeing West Virginia scrimmage the Quantico Marines in camp at Jackson’s Mill in the 1950s.

“They had a lot of college players, and they were really good,” recalls Fred Wyant, then the Mountaineers’ starting quarterback. “Boy, were they tough.”

Wyant said the starters battled on fairly even terms. But Quantico claimed an edge in No. 2 vs. No. 2 and No. 3 vs. No 3 skirmishing.

“I believe that helped make us a better team,” Wyant said.

College football deserves more consideration and stronger support. It’s become a bigger business than ever.

I can remember when the WVU athletic budget was $9 million. Now it’s more than $40 million annually.

And football is the chief money maker. It pretty much provides financial support for most of the other sports.

Depriving football of an opportunity to produce stronger teams continues to be baffling to me.

The NCAA should be ashamed. It just doesn’t make sense in this matter.

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