The Times West Virginian

June 10, 2014

FURFARI COLUMN: Tackling a variety of topics about WVU sports

By Mickey Furfari
Times West Virginian

MORGANTOWN — Stringing together some odds and ends that may interest you:

Josh Baugh of Morgantown has qualified for this year’s West Virginias Amateur Golf Tournament. He did so last week by shooting a one-under-par 73 at Bridgeport Country Club.

Baugh, a Canvas (W.Va.) native, is a West Virginia Wesleyan graduate. He earned a m’’aster’s degree from WVU and now is a physical therapist at the Health Works in Morgantown. ...

Back there in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s — perhaps even in more in recent years — most college athletes could get jobs for the entire summer. That enabled them to earn money and eased the cost on families.

But today student-athletes, particularly in football and possibly basketball, cannot do that. The NCAA has permitted coaches greater time to work with their players.

That’s in addition to the customary strength and conditioning drills of the past years, since athletes could accept summer jobs for pay. …

In that connection, I’m told that college athletes no longer will be allowed to play on American Legion baseball teams during the summer.

That was the case until recently.

So I hereby correct a previously expressed concern that NCAA’s possibility of expanding the intercollegiate baseball season into the summer obviously would not have American Legion competition in any way.

That form of baseball has become only for high school players, so I’m told. …

It’s sad to learn that Morgantown’s Jedd Gyorko has been placed on the Major League’s disabled list by the San Diego Padres.

Apparently he displayed problems with the second basemen’s feet. Ironically his last game was against the Pittsburgh Pirates before he was hurt.  

Hopefully, the former WVU star will be able to get back into action soon. At last reports he was batting only .162 for this season. …

WVU men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins said publicly that college athletes are transferring everywhere, not just in his program.

“We’ll be fine,” he said after the departure of standouts Terry Henderson and Eron Harris. “I’m excited about what we’re doing, and the guys are excited.”

I think that’s encouraging. The Mountaineers need to have a better season. Expectations will be higher.

If they are transferring in high numbers everywhere, however, isn’t that a sad commentary of times we’re living in? Why wouldn’t parents of athletes want them to stay put except in times of emergency situations?

Transferring truly was a rarity when I was covering the sports beat as a young reporter.

Times do change though. …

Are you old enough to remember when a coach was hired to handle the head job for more than just one sport? I can recall a few over the years and they were successful.

Among those at WVU were Ira Errett Rodgers (football, baseball and golf), Steve Harrick (baseball and wrestling), and Charly Hockenberry (baseball and golf).

Each also taught a class or two in the School of Physical Education. But they barely received enough money in the paychecks to support a family back then. …

Six WVU baseball players have been selected in this year’s Major League draft. Publicist Grant Dovey says all of them expect to sign contracts.

Those are Sean Carley, New York Yankees, 14th round; Ryan McBroom, Toronto Blue Jays, 15th round; John Means, Baltimore Orioles, 11th round; Harrison Musgrave, Colorado Rockies, eighth round; Corey Walter, Oakland Athletics, 28th round; and Bobby Boyd, Houston Astros, eighth round.