The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

November 10, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN - Everyone has opinions on WVU

MORGANTOWN — Bill Stewart says it’s the American way.

That is why the heat directed at him that grows with each passing day on the Internet through message boards and blogs is all right with him.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt, either, that he doesn’t look at it.

Stewart’s sin, which so many online “experts” believe deserves capital punishment, at least in the sense of his career as head football coach of West Virginia University, is to lose a pair of football games, games that maybe he should have won.

Now the penalty for that probably should be losing the Big East championship that he so covets, not to lose his job or execute his coaching staff, but these are days of instant gratification and where anyone with a computer can become a very poor imitation of Jim Murray or Red Smith.

Stewart’s situation is drawing more attention in West Virginia that President Obama’s visit to Indonesia. You’d think whether or not the Mountaineers won a football game is the equivalent of whether or not we find a cure of cancer.

Listen to someone named Aaron Hawley, a graduate of Morgantown High who got his degree from Maryland, blogging on SBNation.

His blog begins:

“Ever since being named West Virginia’s head football coach in the intoxicating aftermath of beating Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl three years ago, Bill Stewart has been one of the most divisive figures in Mountaineer Nation. From the very beginning, some were displeased with his hire. (Ken Kendrick, owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks and powerful and influential Mountaineer Booster, once called Stewart a house painter while Rich Rodriguez was ‘a great architect.’)”

After an excess of verbage not seen since “War and Peace” was written, this is conclusion Hawley reaches:

“While Mountaineer fans have cried for Stewart’s firing since the day after he was hired, it has almost exclusively for the first two reasons. Those are bunk. If Stewart is fired, it won’t be for not going undefeated, and it won’t be for the play-calling or new offensive scheme. Nor should it be. That said, if this is the last year for Coach Stew, it won’t be for what happens on the field, but what happens in the locker room. It’s ironic, since Bill Stewart won this job based on one speech prior to the Fiesta Bowl. ‘Leave no doubt,’ he bellowed at his troops, and they responded by playing the game of their lives. I just hope we can see that kind of performance one more time before the chorus for Stewart’s firing drowns it out. Because if Bill Stewart were fired today, I’d have a whole lot of doubt about whether it had been the right thing to do.”

And then there was this headline on the site “Bleacher Report.”

“Should Stay or Should He Go?”

Jeff Woollard writes this about Stewart:

“Should Oliver Luck remove head coach Bill Stewart at the end of the 2010 football season?

“Losing back-to-back games to Syracuse and Connecticut have placed Bill Stewart on the hottest of hot seats at West Virginia University. It’s safe to say that

Stewart is doing his part to increase global warming.

“By their on field performance, the football team has taken the future of Stewart’s tenure out of Stewart’s hands. Athletic Director Oliver Luck is now in sole possession of Stewart’s future as head coach of the Mountaineer football team.”

And his conclusion is this:

“An educated guess is that Stewart remains for the 2011 football season, and replaces both (offensive coordinator Jeff) Mullen and (offensive line coach Dave) Johnson. The Mountaineer faithful can rest assured that Luck will be instrumental in the search and hiring of their replacements. Just do not expect Luck to do so publicly.”

Having read this drivel, it was time to bring it up to Stewart, ask him his reaction to the outcry over his part in his team’s performance this year.

“It’s on the Internet?” he asked. “On the message boards, or what. I don’t blog. I don’t know how to answer that.”

But he tried to.

“If I don’t know about it, it certainly hasn’t bothered me. I just don’t have that much time to give to that, so I have no comment.”

Does it trouble him, though?

“I’m sure there’s a lot of things being said. That’s the right of Americans. They can voice their opinion.”

Good ol’ Stew, red, white and blue to the core. In fact, if you look closely this weekend against Cincinnati, he and his staff plan to be wearing camouflage caps to honor America’s veterans as a Veterans Day celebration.

Hope nothing happens to make him blow his top.

E-mail Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com.

1
Text Only
WVU Sports
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • Means, WVU baseball shut out Oklahoma

    Junior left-hander John Means of the WVU baseball team threw eight shutout innings and the Mountaineers had a five-run first inning en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma on Thursday evening at L. Dale Mitchell Park.
    The Mountaineers (18-15, 3-6 Big 12) broke a six-game Big 12 losing streak after being swept by TCU and Oklahoma State in back-to-back weekends. WVU had 16 hits and did not make an error for the second-straight game.

    April 18, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Dr. Graber disagrees with Gee’s stance on Turnbull firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.
    He raised some significant questions about that issue last Monday in a meeting of the WVU Faculty Senate.

    April 18, 2014

  • Huggins signs junior college guard

    Coach Bob Huggins completed his 2014-15 West Virginia University recruiting class on Wednesday and deemed it a success after receiving a signed letter of intent from junior college guard Tarik Phillip.
    Phillip joins Jevon Carter of Maywood, Ill., and Daxter Miles of Baltimore’s Dunbar High and out of Notre Dame Prep in Massachusetts in the 2014-15 recruiting class.

    April 17, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Comparing pay of coaches and professors

    Stringing together some odds and ends which may be of interest to you:
    • A beautiful lady came up to my table last Sunday at brunch in the Village of Heritage Point’s main dining room with a message.

    April 17, 2014

  • 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.

    April 16, 2014

  • 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.

    April 16, 2014

  • 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.

    April 15, 2014

  • 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.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos