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.
Here are a few short items in which you may be interested:
East tennis splits with Polar Bears
Fairmont Senior and East Fairmont split a pair of tennis matches Thursday, with Fairmont Senior winning the boys’ match and East Fairmont taking the girls’ competition.
In the Bees’ 6-1 girls’ victory, Cara Laswell took second singles, 8-2. Erica Gorman won third singles, 8-1. And Carrington Reese won fourth singles, 8-3.
HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules
At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.
McCutchen, Alvarez lead Pirates over Brewers
Andrew McCutchen hit his first homer of the season and drove in three runs, Pedro Alvarez had a three-run shot and pinch-hitter Josh Harrison broke a tie with a long ball in the seventh inning as the Pittsburgh Pirates handed the Milwaukee Brewers their first road loss, 11-2 on Thursday night.
Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma
Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.
FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing
Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.
University hands Huskies first loss; East edges Elkins
The mercy rule has been a familiar part of North Marion’s softball season.
Through the first seven games, the Huskies regularly pounded their opponents with stingy defense, sharp pitching and timely hitting. Rarely did a game go all seven innings for the previously undefeated team.
Huggins signs junior college guard
Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.
HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing
The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.
Pirates shut out by Reds’ Cueto, 4-0
Johnny Cueto was on his game, and the only thing that the Pirates could do was watch.
Cueto pitched his third career shutout against the team that beat him in the NL wild card game, and Joey Votto hit a two-run homer that led the Cincinnati Reds over the Pirates 4-0 Wednesday for their first winning series this season.
FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors
Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
• A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.
- More Sports Headlines
- East tennis splits with Polar Bears