The Times West Virginian

Sports

June 19, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN- Are Clements and Luck fair to media and jobs?

MORGANTOWN — This column is going to be strictly a “think piece” — mine! I feel it’s one none of the younger columnists could or would undertake.

To a guy in his 68th year on the West Virginia University sports beat, I consider it a very sad commentary on the times that neither WVU President James Clements nor Athletic Director Oliver Luck apparently will grant live interviews at least to some writers.

They are requesting that questions be emailed and assigning a public relations underling to respond, if not a “no comment” via email. I think that’s outrageous.

It lacks both courtesy and respect, in my opinion. The public deserves better from two of the school’s highest paid employees and so-called academic and athletic leaders.

During my entire newspaper career, I have interviewed 13 WVU presidents and seven athletic directors at one time or another — some on numerous occasions.

Those included one with Dr. Clements and several with Luck, the latter as both a WVU quarterback and as A.D. All my interviews over the years were either in person or on the phone.

I readily admit that not all the interviews I’ve had were particularly pleasant for either side. But at least they were on a person-to-person basis, which made good sense.

Shouldn’t that still be the best today between media types and people in highly paid positions at an institution of higher learning such as WVU?

I certainly think so.

If they’re letting others respond to questions and answers via email, if at all, is either of these powers-that-be really earning all the money he gets in his paycheck?

I really can’t say. But I’m told that Clements gets $775,000 a year and that Luck receives $550,000 annually — plus incentives for each.

Luck, who has been athletic director for three years, spent money like it was going out of style — with the approval of both Clements and the Board of Governors. The Athletic Department was $13.5 million in the red for fiscal 2012-13.

According to recently released records, obtained by other media outlets under Freedom of Information Act requests, the former WVU Hall of Fame quarterback also has done more traveling than probably any of his predecessors, dating back to the late Harry Stansbury. Much of it was to see his son play football at Stanford and in the NFL with his Indianapolis team.

Luck was cited for “inequities” in the recent public report by W.Va. Attorney General Patrick Morrissey. It also was noted that he violated WVU procedures in not including details as required in travel vouchers for official travel.

Luck also did not attend some WVU football games that conflicted with other personal commitments.

In my opinion, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin should call for an investigation into the sizzling athletic turmoil at the university — from outside sources — and also of the financial situation athletically.

You may recall that final figures on expenses for fiscal 2011-12 were not made public to the media for almost eight months after June 30.

It never took longer than two months (Aug. 30) in most previous fiscal years under previous athletic directors.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • James, Wade lead Heat past Bobcats in Game 1

    Each of the last two Miami championship runs has been highlighted by moments where a sharpshooter enters a game and immediately provides a surprise spark.

    April 20, 2014

  • Granderson lifts Mets over Braves in extras

    Slumping newcomer Curtis Granderson hit a sacrifice fly in the 14th inning and the New York Mets outlasted the Atlanta Braves 4-3 on Sunday to prevent a three-game sweep.

    April 20, 2014

  • NMHS #28 PITCH -TS.jpg Pitching pushes North past Monarchs in game two of doubleheader: PHOTOS

    North Marion coach Vic Seccuro wanted to send a message to his team, telling them to focus, bear down and grit out a victory.
    After falling 13-8 to Braxton County in game one of a Saturday doubleheader, the Huskies bounced back to beat John Marshall, 4-2, Saturday at North Marion High School.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • EFHS #21-OG #11-TS.jpg Bees split with Oak Glen on Senior Day: PHOTOS

    Twice on Saturday the East Fairmont softball team found itself leading Oak Glen 3-1 in the seventh inning.
    The situation was the same in both games of the doubleheader. The way the Bees’ handled it, though, was quiet different.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • NMHS #14, 21-RC #14-TS.jpg Lady Huskies fall to Ritchie County late, 5-4: PHOTOS

    It couldn’t have happened the way it did even if No. 6 Ritchie County had drawn it up.
    The bases were loaded. There were no outs. And by a swing of bad luck a fly ball was dropped in the outfield as two runs came across to score, propelling the Rebels to a 5-4 win over No. 9 North Marion in the final game of the Diamond Dawg Tournament at North Marion High School Saturday.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • Arrest warrant out for WVU recruit

    West Virginia University’s newest men’s basketball recruit, Tarik Phillip, has an order out for his arrest in North Carolina, according to a story in The Dominion-Post, which said three Gaston County Magistrate office spokespersons confirmed.

    April 20, 2014

  • WVU baseball powers past Oklahoma, 9-5

    The WVU baseball team tied a season high with 18 hits to defeat Oklahoma, 9-5, on Saturday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The win gives the Mountaineers their second Big 12 series win of the season and improves the overall record to 19-16 and 4-7 in conference play. Oklahoma drops to 25-16 overall and 5-7 in Big 12 play.

    April 20, 2014

  • Blue Jackets edge Pens, 4-3, in double OT

    Matt Calvert banged home a rebound 1:10 into the second overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets earned the first playoff victory in franchise history with a 4-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night.

    April 20, 2014

  • Braun homers twice, rallies Brewers over Pirates, 8-7

    Ryan Braun hit two homers, including a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning that sent the Milwaukee Brewers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-7 Saturday night.
    Braun has five home runs this season after being suspended for the last 65 games of 2013 following Major League Baseball’s investigation into the Biogenesis drug scandal.

    April 20, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos