Stringing together some odds and ends that may be of interest:
• Did you know that the total annual pay of each of the coaches with teams in the NCAA Basketball Tournament averages $1.47 million? One wag suggested that perhaps we should start referring to a head football or basketball coach simply as “Mr. Millionaire.” He thought that would be appropriate — I didn’t.
• All four of the head coaches whose team made it to this weekend’s Final Four at Atlanta certainly are being paid well. Rick Pitino of Louisville is receiving $5 million, Jim Boeheim of Syracuse $1.9 million, John Beilein of Michigan $1.9 million and George Marshall of Wichita State $1.2 million.
• Like a lot of West Virginia basketball fans, if not all, I’ve been pulling for Coach Beilein and his Wolverines. He’s not only a great coach but a fine gentleman. He certainly did an excellent job as WVU’s head coach as Gale Catlett’s successor from 2002-03 through 2006-07. He was here five seasons and posted a record of 104-60.
Taking over the men’s program after an 8-20 season, Beilein performed absolute wonders. His teams enjoyed records of 14-15, 17-14, 24-11, 22-11 and 27-9. WVU won the National Invitation Tournament championship for only the second time since 1942, the school’s first-ever NIT title. It also reached the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 and Elite Eight under Beilein’s guidance in two NCAA appearances.
• If you’re interested in purchasing a season ticket for WVU’s six home football games, the cost could be $365 — even without a donation to the Mountaineer Athletic Club. But the ticket probably would be in the end zone. If you wanted to buy only one ticket to the most popular home game — if available — I’m told it would cost you $80. Season ticket orders are now being accepted at WVU for the 2013 campaign.
• Some of the college/pro football “experts” continue to degrade West Virginia University’s great, graduating quarterback, Geno Smith, on radio and TV. I contend it’s a really sad, unfair attack on his ability and, most certainly, his character, But I did hear one analyst on ESPN say during a three-man discussion that he thinks Geno Smith would be the only QB picked in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft.
• I have resorted to a Freedom of Information Act request just once in my lengthy career as a sports writer and columnist. I was under the belief that the person or organization receiving such a legitimate request has only five days to respond.
And if there’s no response in five days, a possible penalty could be imposed. But the last time I looked, WVU has yet to settle 33 FOIA requests from a local newspaper.
Why? I don’t know. I’m just asking.
Stringing together some odds and ends that may be of interest:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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