The Times West Virginian

Sports

December 11, 2012

Former Pitt star falls in love with WVU girl

MORGANTOWN — It is a romance made in Almost Heaven, a modern-day Romeo and Juliet.

If it should blossom all the way to marriage, the only man who possibly could have performed the ceremony has left us, Richard Dawson of “Family Feud.”

It is as unlikely a matchup as you could possibly imagine, beginning more than a year ago as a Facebook flirtation and building into something no one could have ever imagined ... a man and woman falling for each other even though they represent the two sides of the Backyard Brawl.

And this is not just any two young people. Lauren Statler is the niece of one of West Virginia University’s most prominent alumni and donors, Ben Statler.

So who did she wind up in a relationship with, as they put it on their Facebook pages?

None other than a former University of Pittsburgh football player whose name is well known in these parts — Scott McKillop.

Just as Lauren Statler is not just from any WVU family, McKillop is not just another former Pitt football player.

He was the leading tackler out of his linebacker spot in the most devastating defeat the Mountaineers ever suffered, falling 13-9 to Pitt as a four-touchdown favorite when on the doorstep of a national championship in 2007.

And his role as West Virginia villain is even stronger from a comment he made at that time, for he is the Panther who said to columnist Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: “I (expletive) hate West Virginia. I can’t stand the state. I just don’t like the university.”

He said it, and at the moment he said it, he meant it. Now he lives with it, although his stand has obviously softened some over the time he went off to play professional football with the San Francisco 49ers and the Buffalo Bills.

So there you have it, that Scott McKillop dating a WVU graduate student who is the niece of a one-time West Virginia coal miner who started his own mining company, PinnOak Resources LLC. Statler and his wife, Jo, shared their success in life in 2007 by giving WVU the largest single gift it had ever received, $25 million for cancer research, academic enhancements and athletic improvements.

Then this year he and Jo topped even that with a $34 million gift to build a new research facility on the Evansdale Campus and create the Statler Research Scholars, which will provide scholarships and research support for 20 or more undergraduate engineering majors.

The gift also endows three faculty chairs in energy research and funds graduate research fellows.

Needless to say, this is a romance like few others.

Text Only
Sports
  • COLUMN: Extend summer practices without over-extending athletes

    Last week we told you about a proposal that would extend the summer practice period for West Virginia high schools.
    It’s already cleared the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission Board of Control. Now it’s up to the West Virginia Board of Education to decide if the current three-week window should be expanded by five weeks.

    April 16, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball

    It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
    Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates finish off suspended game, fall in nightcap

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole’s winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.

    April 16, 2014

  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    April 16, 2014

  • EFHS Softball - CB.jpg East can’t overcome No. 7 Lincoln, falls, 4-0

    Thunder clouds weren’t the only thing looming over the East Fairmont (6-6) softball team Monday when the Lady Bees hosed No. 7 Lincoln. Joining the ominous clouds was a sense of urgency for energy that never showed up as Lincoln was able to shut out East Fairmont, 4-0.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos