The Times West Virginian

Sports

April 1, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN- Are governor, Legislature aware of WVU mess?

MORGANTOWN — Has Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin seen fit to look into what seems to be the worst turmoil athletically in many, many years at West Virginia University?

I don’t know. I’m just asking.

Has anyone in the West Virginia Legislature looked into that mess?

I don’t know. I’m just asking.

WVU officials revealed that the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics finished in $13 million of red ink for fiscal 2012, and that word came nearly eight months after June 30, 2012.

For at least most of my 67 years covering the university’s sports beat, that information was available no later than Aug. 31.

To my knowledge, that $13 million debt for athletics in one year is the greatest ever in the athletic department’s history.

The powers-that-be obviously have been spending for athletics more millions than ever before. I happen to believe that it is a considerable cause for concern.

The WVU Board of Governors has admitted, through chairman Drew Payne, that the members voted long ago to allow athletic director Oliver Luck, with WVU President James Clements’ approved, to spend whatever they needed for what the two considered best for the university.

So one has to assume that the board of governors really isn’t worried about this season’s monetary matter.

There is a growing number of longtime, loyal season ticket buyers that admittedly no longer can afford to buy tickets for football and men’s basketball games.

Ticket prices have soared out of control along with required gifts to the Mountaineer Athletic Club for the right to purchase tickets.

Couldn’t everyone interested have expected that eventually to happen after college presidents and athletic directors allowed coaching salaries to get out of control?

In my opinion, the continuing athletic financial costs at WVU are the worst since 1981 when the department, like now, was dripping in red ink. The late Dick Martin was on his way out then.

Then, as now, WVU had budget problems, and the spending was greater than the revenue. But the bottom line wasn’t anywhere near what it is today.

You might say it was more a matter of thousands — not millions.

Martin was blaming men’s basketball head coach Gale Catlett, saying low December game revenue was a major factor in the deficit. But it was no more then than it is now, percentage-wise, during that season’s early month.

What’s more, Martin’s associate in charge of finances confirmed he was “forced” to include a hoped-for $135,000 fee from a television appearance in the current athletic budget that never materialized.

But Martin resigned eventually, and the late Fred Schaus was named A.D. And he got the department out of debt and in the black, and left his successor with a cushioned result.

The governor and Legislature helped, too. Both showed enough interest then to look into that mess.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • WVU #6 SHORTS -TS.jpg WVU opens practice with different feel: VIDEOS AND PHOTOS

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen was happy with his team’s first practice of the 2014 season.
    Of course, he would note, “Everybody in the country has a good first day.”
    But somehow, this was different.
    Very different.

    August 1, 2014 9 Photos

  • Post 17 #18-Post 29 catche copy.jpg Post 17 picks up much-needed win over Elkins

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Field in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.
    While it’s usually hitting that gets Fairmont by, Thursday it was the pitching and the defense.

    August 1, 2014 5 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Social media adds another thing to watch for coaches

    As someone who has gotten himself in enough hot water with a misplaced Tweet, when West Virginia University quarterback Clint Trickett hit the send button on July 17 sending out to the cyberworld what should have remained there with him on the couch on which he was sitting, I could feel his pain.

    August 1, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.
    It was between two legendary coaches, WVU’s Bobby Bowden and N.C. State’s Lou Holtz back there in the 1970s.

    August 1, 2014

  • WVU basketball non-conference schedule released

    After playing challenging schedules along with the tough Big 12 road, West Virginia University has backed off some this season on its non-conference schedule that was released Thursday.
    West Virginia is coming off a 17-16 season in which it failed to reach the NCAA Tournament and lost to Georgetown in the first round of the NIT.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers WR Antonio Brown aims for repeat of 2013

    Antonio Brown rolled up to the dorms at Saint Vincent College last week in a Mercedes conversion van.
    It’s fitting in a way. Five years into a blossoming career, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is playing the role of dad — OK, maybe slightly older brother — to a group long on talent but short on experience.

    August 1, 2014

  • Mountaineers open practice with different feel

    West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen was happy with his team’s first practice of the 2014 season.

    July 31, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Social media adds another thing to watch for coaches

    As someone who has gotten himself in enough hot water with a misplaced Tweet, when West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett hit the send button on July 17 sending out to the cyberworld that should have remained there with him on the couch on which he was sitting, I could feel his pain.

    July 31, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.

    July 31, 2014

  • Post 17 stays alive in American Legion state tournament

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Filed in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.

    July 31, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings