The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

April 5, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN - Unlucky injury clouds Butler’s NBA future


As the Beatles sang, “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away …”

But yesterday is no more.

It was wonderful, really, this run to the Final Four, first time in 51 years. So much accomplished, so many memories built around a coach, a player and a basketball team that won over an entire state.

Then along came a Saturday night in the far off world of Indiana and yesterday became today, Duke became West Virginia’s worst nightmare and it ended with little more than a whimper.

And so it is time to move on, for if yesterday was trouble free, then we must look to tomorrow, West Virginia University’s basketball team’s tomorrow and the tomorrow for Da’Sean Butler, that suddenly is terribly cloudy.

The news that came out of West Virginia in three-paragraph release from Brian Messerly of the sports information department was soul sapping:

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April  4, 2010) — Further tests revealed that West Virginia University senior Da’Sean Butler suffered an ACL tear in his left knee after undergoing an MRI at St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis on Sunday.

The injury occurred with 8:59 left in the second half of Saturday night’s NCAA national semifinal game against Duke. The MRI also revealed a MCL sprain and two bone bruises.

A native of Newark, N.J., Butler finished his career as the third-leading scorer in WVU history with 2,095 points.  He played in a school-record 146 career games.

Forget about the loss to Duke for a moment and the national championship opportunity that got away.

The Butler injury is personal.

The man was a heroic figure in a state that cries out for one. He was to basketball what Patrick White was to football, a man who lifted WVU into the national picture, a friendly, warm player who stayed four years.

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