The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

March 8, 2012

HERTZEL COLUMN: Mountaineers play final show on Broadway

NEW YORK — “Give my regards to Broadway,

remember me at Herald Square.

Tell the gang at 42nd Street

that I will soon be there.”

— “Give My Regards to Broadway,” lyrics by George M. Cohan

If there were any tears Wednesday about West Virginia leaving the Big East they were not because they are leaving for the Big 12, simply over the way they are leaving.

In defeat.

So, yeah, there were tears … tears of sorrow for losing, but maybe a tear or two of joy for getting away from a dying conference that thinks adding Temple is going to save it.

Temple … a team it kicked out once, is now the savior. Right.

The record book says UConn beat the Mountaineers in their last Big East game in the second round of the Big East Tournament, going to overtime, 71-67.

It’s hard enough to win when you play a quality team with a Hall of Fame coach like Connecticut, but when it’s 8 against 5 it’s really tough.

But that’s what it was, the way the game was called. The officials have a tough job, but when a sports writer without a dog in this fight, a prominent one from another Big East city, comes up to you after the game and says, unsolicited, “The next call West Virginia gets will be the first one” … well, what’s to add to that.

Then, he added, “You guys haven’t gotten a call in the last month” … and no, you can’t to add to that.

Put that together with Kevin Jones being left off at least one ballot for all-league. Throw in Jones being beaten out by Jae Crowder of Marquette for the Player of the Year, and you can draw your own conclusions.

Oh, yeah, and as one final going-away gift the conference, on its transcription of the West Virginia post-game press conference, the Big East got in one final dig, titling the page “University of West Virginia.”

It was a very sad Kevin Jones who stood before the media in the midst of the WVU locker room after the game and took his snub by the Big East coaches like a man.

“At the end of the day it was about the team and finding a way to win this tournament,” Jones said when the matter was brought up. “It’s a matter of opinion. The whole thing is. I’ve got to shake it off, because I’ve been dealing with things like that my whole career.”

He’s heard he can’t do this and he can’t do that, yet he stood there as the scoring champion and rebounding champion of the Big East, with 25 points and 10 rebounds in 44 minutes of his final Big East game devoid of trophy and championship. He was empty-handed and, you could tell, broken hearted.

But then he stood a little taller and made a comment that certainly does define him and the way he approaches the game and life.

“It won’t make or break me,” he said.

Someone wanted to know if he did feel disrespected.

“Not disrespected, disappointed,” he said. “But it’s out of my control.”

So much has been out of his control all year, for he has been a magnificent representative of his school and, yes, of the Big East Conference that gave him a boot in the butt as a going-away gift.

It is a shame that it ever came to this, to WVU leaving the Big East. Its hand was forced and it was a football thing, but class guys like Jim Calhoun, the winning coach, know what’s going on.

“West Virginia leaving is sad in many, many ways,” Calhoun said during his press conference.

He thought back to a game a long time ago, March 12, 1988 – see that’s how coaches are, forgetting nothing.

“We go down (to Morgantown) and we’re down two and Tate George makes a bank shot to send us to overtime, and we hadn’t won anything for a national perspective, and we win,” Calhoun said. “We go on to win the NIT that year, beat Ohio State, my second year there and I remember walking around the Coliseum looking at history.

“I’m going to miss them greatly,” Calhoun continued. “I’m going to miss Bobby (Huggins), going to miss the competitiveness, that’s the kind of game you play against them, and he’s heading on his way to being a Hall of Fame coach.

“I don’t think the league needs to be losing Hall of Fame coaches. I know it’s not basketball driven, but I’m going to miss them a great deal.”

And, believe it or not, they will miss playing Calhoun and Connecticut, a team much like their own, a team that plays hard and has a one-of-a-kind coach.

But it isn’t to be, not in collegiate sports the way they are conducted today.

WVU is gone and all you can say it is:

Start spreading the news, I’m leaving today ... and give my regards to Broadway.

Email Bob Hertzel at Follow on Twitter @bhertzel.

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