The Times West Virginian

Sports

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
Sports
  • Berner, Hess lead W.Va. Open

    Threatening weather did not strike Wednesday, and it was a cool, breezy start to the 81st West Virginia Open played on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs.
     

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

  • Holgorsen’s program hits turning point

    You can almost sense, as you watch West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen sit before the gathered Big 12 media contingent answering questions in the Omni Hotel in Arlington, Texas, that he senses his program has reached a turning point.

    July 23, 2014

  • Fleming, Billy.jpg WVU’s Fleming signs contract with Yankees

     Second baseman Billy Fleming of the West Virginia University baseball team has signed a professional contract with the New York Yankees, foregoing his upcoming senior season.
    “Ever since I was a little kid, it’s been my dream to play professional baseball,” Fleming said. “It is still surreal that I get to chase my dream, but I am ready to get after it. I loved my three years at WVU and want to thank all the coaches that made it possible for me to achieve my dream.”

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time(1).jpg Trickett’s play key factor for Mountaineers’ success

     In the end, it comes down to the quarterback.
    Always has with Dana Holgorsen, always will.
    Quarterback is the offense with the West Virginia University coach. When he does well, the team wins – almost always.
    When he does poorly, the team doesn’t stand much of a chance.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Growing demands on college athletes concerns Wyant

    Fred Wyant, one of the greatest quarterbacks in West Virginia University’s history, has lashed out at today’s growing demands on college athletes.
    The 80-year-old Star City resident led the Mountaineers to a 30-4 record as the starter from 1952-1955. Percentage-wise, it’s clearly the best-ever record by a QB in school annals.
    Wyant, a member of the WVU Sports Hall of Fame, came here after graduating with honors from Weston High School. That’s where WVU coach Art “Pappy” Lewis signed him to a four-year scholarship.

    July 23, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Foo_time.jpg Texas’ Strong prefers not talking about national title

    Charlie Strong riled up plenty of Texas fans during a statewide spring tour by saying the Longhorns wouldn’t be in the national championship game.
    The new coach toned down his honest assessment in future stops, then said Tuesday in his first appearance at Big 12 media days that he prefers not even talking about championships.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NMHS hopes new playing surface generates excitement

    The St. Louis Rams coined the nickname “The Greatest Show on Turf” for their collective group or multiple Hall of Famer-caliber players in during the 1999-2001 seasons. If Rams can run on turf, why not Huskies? 

    July 22, 2014

  • FSU's Barfield, Jean-Charles named preseason All-Americans

    Chris Barfield and Jacob Jean-Charles earn preseason honors by being named to the USA College Football Division II Preseason All-American team.

    July 21, 2014

  • Baylor coach isn't buying schedule strength argument

    The College Football Playoff committee has vowed that strength of schedule will be a major criteria when selecting the four teams.

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos