Monday, September 22, 2008

Possible Replacement OCs

As if its not already obvious from our first three games of the season, time has come for a new offensive coordinator. we bastards have come up with a list of potential replacements. Feel free to contribute your ideas in the comments:

1. Ask Corso - NCAA 07
Pros: Fewer bubble screens. Continuation of lack of coherent offensive scheme, which we apparently like.

Cons: It's Corso (sort of).

2. Magic Eight Ball.
Pros: Its magic!

Cons: Burn through timeouts when answer is: "Check back later."

3. Any waitress from Keglers.
Pros: Kinda hot. Nice shorts. Great recruiter.

Cons: Crabs.

4. Charley Taafe
Pros: Available. He was our original first choice for OC.

Cons: Couldn't hack it in the CFL.

5. Lump of coal.
Pros: From West Virginia

Cons: Who cares? Its from West Virginia (see Bill Stewart).

6. 20 sided die:
Pros: Randomness. Unpredictable.

Cons: 18 too many sides.

7. Prayer
Pros: Its the Christian thing to do. God.

Cons: Similarity to current scheme.

Please share your ideas in the comments.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Perhaps intermittently back

We all got new jobs and one of us got a new baby. I still live in BFE with no internet access. We had pretty much figured BSPF was going to wither on the vine.

But this god foresaken spectacle of a coaching staff has... well, at least pissed me off enough to get back on my soap box. Maybe check back about once a week to see if we get the ball rolling again.

Personal Log - 9/18

Well, golly, what a great game that was last night. I know we lost, but shucks, our boys played hard. The other coaches played a great gag on me - they gave me a fake headset! It took me until the second quarter to figure that one out. They're such great guys.

Erin Andrews was there and even interviewed me - she seems like such a nice Christian girl. And did you see the mountains out there! Gee willikers they were big!!

Guess I'll just head back to Morgantown now and get the boys ready for those great guys from Huntington.

I think for practice this week, I'll make a few changes. The offensive line seemed a little soft passblocking. They must've been too tired from all that work those mean offensive coaches made them do last week, so I'm going to let them rest up with 4 hours of Andy Griffith each day. God, I love that show.

I've scheduled Quiton and Ellis a few sessions this week with a relaxation specialist. Those guys are just too fired up for my liking, with all their hard hits and aggressive playing. We've got to put an end to that. I just want everyone to be nice to everyone.

PW made me a little upset, but only for a second. He looked at me so judgingly during the beautifully executed final 60 seconds of regulation. I think he just failed to see the wonderful and complex scheme I came up with. You see, I figured if we just let the clock run down to 2 seconds and throw a hail mary, there was a chance we could just win with a lucky catch. That way, no one from Colorado could blame themselves for the loss - it would've just been luck. They played hard, too, you know. I don't want to make anyone feel bad.

Well, fellow Mountaineers, I look forward to our next game. I've been thinking about just foregoing the coin toss from now on and letting our opponents choose whether to take the ball or kick. I think that would be nice. It just puts too much pressure on those kids to go out there and try to win a coin toss and I don't want anyone to feel pressured.

Well, 'till next time,
Your Coach Stew

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Pat Liebig has been granted a sixth season of eligibility after missing the last two years to help out with the family business after his father fell ill. Pat is down from near 300 pounds to around 250 pounds and will move from nose guard to end this season.

In addition the secondary received a potential boost this week when Chaz Russell was added as a late addition to the 2008 class. Russell's late commitment was due to qualifying after taking more classes this summer and not simply being a chronic procrastinator in all aspects of life. Hopefully. Otherwise Russell will never make the practice field due to spending 3 hours a day deciding what socks and wristbands to wear. Russell played for Los Angeles Pierce Community College last year and already understands the difference between WVU and Marshall. When visiting Memphis before signing with WVU Russell showed CUSA the respect they deserve.

I'm shutting down one side of the field pretty much. There are no points on that side of the field. I can promise that. Matter of fact, I can swear that.
He has shown the Big East a little more respect.
"But that's Conference USA; this is the Big East. You know the difference. I already know, once I get taught by the coaches there and get this team around me, all I have to do is my assignments. Once I can get it down pat, I can take care of my half of the field."
As for the freshmen that might see some playing time this year.
“Offensively I think Josh Jenkins might have a chance,” Stewart said. “At tight end/fullback I think Tyler Urban has a chance. I think (invited walk-on) Ricky Kovatch has a chance coming out of Ohio, and I think Ryan Clarke has a chance (at fullback)... I think Robert Sands has a chance to step up and play in the secondary,” Stewart said. "The jury is still out but Sands has done some nice things. Mark Rodgers might have a chance to play on all special teams – Ricky Kovatch – these types of players that can run fast,” Stewart said. “D. J. Thomas might be on special teams. We have a tremendous amount of speed at West Virginia and we’re very blessed, so that would be a place for those guys to play.”
Those are the freshmen you may get to know this season. As for the freshmen themselves, Sands and Kerns have already been introduced.

One loss is that of WR Devon Lyons who praised how hard WVU worked compared to Ohio State last week and then quit the team this week. Meanwhile Wes Lyons has once again missed a huge chunk of camp, this time with knee surgery.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Round of Reubens

Camp has opened up. The chances of sustained success this year could come down to injuries. There is a troubling lack of depth on the d-line, cornerback, and running back. Graduation, loss of players to academics and disciplinary issues, and injuries from last year and spring are mounting.

Teviat Finau, penciled in by everyone during signing day as a starter at end, has not taken enough classes to qualify academically until February. So he'll be ready for March Madness. Another defensive end not making it academically was Corey Freeman. They join corner Jerome Swinton, d-lineman Bernard Smith, and guard Benji Kemoeatu as academic casualties. Kemoeatu and Finau, at the least, are expected to eventually make it to Morgantown when academics are straightened out. Another loss is J.J. Dorsey. The potential corner from Winchester failed to clear the NCAA Clearinghouse and has disappeared. He may be replaced on the roster, at least as far as slot/corner guy with initials, by D.J. Thomas.

Thomas, a defensive back and/or slot receiver who was originally signed by Virginia Tech in 2007, spent last season at Hargrave Military. He is expected in camp Monday after he finishes his last class at Hargrave and his eligibility doesn't seem to be in question.
The losses have led to some shuffling and hoping. First the hoping. After the loss of Keilen Dykes to graduation and Johnny Dingle attempting to use the Fiesta Bowl as a spring board to the NFL the defensive line is thin. Especially after James Ingram was dismissed from the team after police broke up his small business enterprise and he decided to take them to his house to show them all the rest of his weed in individual bags (worst decision ever). Scooter Berry probably has the most experience on the line, but has bad knees too. End Zac Cooper had heart problems during the spring. The other returning players are Doug Slavonic and Chris Neild. The only other player with any experience is Thor Merrow and he has been moved to fullback. This leaves WVU hoping that Pat Liebig is granted the extra year of eligibility he has requested from the NCAA. Liebig should find out this week if he is reinstated after missing two years of football to return to his home after his father fell ill.

On the shuffling side it appears as though Bradley Starks is going to stay at WR for the year. He'll be joined by Devon Lyons, brother of Wes, who transferred from Ohio State for his final year of eligibility. One receiver that is on the move elsewhere may be Brandon Hogan. Hogan, who looked impressive at the slot in the spring game, has been at least temporarily moved to corner to provide depth.
Cornerback is problematic for the Mountaineers because the top three from last season - Larry Williams, Antonio Lewis and Vaughn Rivers - are gone. Those three played nearly 90 percent of the snaps in 2007.

Ellis Lankster and Kent Richardson are at the top of the depth chart to start camp, backed up by Guesly Dervil and Eddie Davis, the latter playing his third position (running back and wide receiver were the others) in a year. Of the four, only Lankster has significant experience. A junior college transfer expected to help, Brantwon Bowser, is out for the season with a knee injury.
To finish up the defense it is still unknown whether or not Reed Williams will be ready to play after offseason shoulder surgery. He is four months into a normal 6 month rehab program. Luckily linebacker is one of the only positions of real depth for WVU should Williams have to take a medical redshirt.

On offense there are a group of players vying for a spot behind Noel Devine at backup tailback.
If the season began today, the job would fall to Sanders, the slot receiver. But Zach Hulse, Mark Rodgers and Terence Kerns provide three unique options. Hulse is a speedy junior college transfer with experience, Rodgers a fast freshman from California who didn't play football last year and Kerns a punishing 240-pound freshman
Rodgers is a 5'9" 180 pound running back that gained 2,319 yards as a senior in California. Zach Hulse is a 5'10" 200 pound running back that played for Glendale Community College and gained 1,101 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per carry last year. While Rogers and Hulse are in the Devine mold and can play slot as well, Kerns breaks the mold. Kerns is 6'1", weighs 240 pounds, and has around a 4.4 second 40.

Finally, some good news to finish. Kicker will also have some extra depth as Tyler Bitancurt was ruled eligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse. So we've got that going for us.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

That was dumb

There are many reasons why Joe Mazzulla and Cam Thoroughman got drunk and arrested at PNC Park last night. For one you have to get drunk to watch the Pirates. But to get so worked up that Cam had to be subdued?

Police said Mr. Thoroughman, a 6-foot, 7-inch forward on the Mountaineers team, reached across a counter toward an officer.

This led to at least two officers grabbing him as they demanded that he place his hands behind his back.

He continued to struggle with the officers after police used a burst of pepper spray to control him.
First, and most obvious, Cam was a big Xavier Nady fan and to lose him and Damaso Marte to the Yankees for what seemed like less than market value can upset a fan. Another reason could be that Mazzulla and Thoroughman read about WVU falling to #4 as a party school and started doing something to remedy the situation. But most interesting is that Cam decided to tell the arresting officers that he was 17. He is 6'7" and weighs 215 pounds. Mazulla showed that he, as always, is a good teammate by jumping into the fray to pull Cam out and even throw a punch at the officers. And while no one doubts his effort sometimes you worry about Joe's ability to finish as he ended up spending the night in jail too. Huggy is going to let the judicial process play out and in the meantime work on endurance in some sessions at Kegler's.

Round of Reubens

As Chutta brought up in the comments below it appears as though the Big East had some interest in bringing in Army and Navy as "not really" members. The plan would have had one service academy playing 4 of the conference teams each year on a rotating basis while the other would play the remaining four. Mitch Vingle has reported that there is nothing to the rumors because while Navy has had interest there is none from Army. But the main story came from the NY Post. This is a paper renown for truth in sports reporting and updates on canoodling stars. Would a paper that brought you this ever lie? I think not.

The Herald-Dispatch reveals the Rivals top 5 prospects in West Virginia. Of the five only one, number two ranked Cole Bowers (lineman), has pledged and that is with WVU. C.J. Crawford (athlete) is the top prospect and has offers from Wake Forest and Marshall. Number three prospect is linebacker Taige Redman from Keyser with offers from Marshall and Ohio U. The fourth and fifth rated prospects are Andrew Fields (linebacker) and Braiden Fahey (defensive lineman) and both have yet to receive a formal offer.

WVU has been after a few Maryland prospects including the top ranked linebacker Jelani Jenkins. The 19th ranked player is safety Terence Garvin and he has just committed to WVU. Garvin committed last week.

“Yeah that kind of hit me the other day,” Garvin said. “There was this show [on ESPN], College Football Live, [that was talking about West Virginia]. And I was like, ‘I’m actually going there.’ It kind of hit me like that. I’ve never really been on a losing team before, so hopefully I’ll still be on a winning team. It should make college even more fun."

Monday, July 21, 2008

That was quick

Up until this weekend there hadn't been much to report on regarding the 2009 basketball recruiting class. Josh Sowards, Alex Ruoff, and (if he comes back this year) Jarrett Brown would open up roster spots upon the completion of their eligibility. If Roscoe Davis does not qualify academically he could count against the 2009 class after spending a year in prep school. That would leave two spots. Not anymore. It appears as though the 2009 recruiting class opened and closed in a hurry as Dalton Pepper and Dan Jennings both pledged to the 2009 class. Pepper is a 6'5" shooting guard that will be the replacement for Ruoff.

Many publications list the 6-5 shooting guard among the nation’s top 100 players in the class of 2009 after averaging 22.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.8 steals and shooting better than 50 percent from the field in helping Pennsbury advance to the state Quad-A semifinals last year.
Pepper was recruited initially for WVU by John Beilein, but Huggins came in and finished the deal for the Mountaineers. Dan Jennings is a 6'8" forward that played for Oak Hill this year.
This is what had to say about Jennings:

“This lefty is an undersized center who has a great basketball body — long and strong. Jennings runs well in transition and is an above-the-rim finisher who benefits from drop off passes from guard penetration. In the post he is physical around the basket where he executes powerful post moves that include the drop step, and he can score with the jump hook with either hand. He does an excellent job sealing his man for position and takes advantage of any angles to the rim. His shooting range extends to about 15 feet. Although he is only 6-8, he knows he is a center and seems to have accepted it. He's a good rebounder on both ends and has good foot quickness that allows him to be an excellent post defender, but he could struggle against a much taller center. Jennings plays hard and is an active and live body — a high-major player.”

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bad Idea Jeans

Not sure what Interim President Magrath is hoping to gleam from outgoing President Garrison, but it should include when to not answer the phone (like when Heather Bresch calls). It's not that hard to believe that Garrison is sticking around for a month in order to help with the transition to the new staff, but what is hard to believe is that the BOG offered to keep hip on staff until June 30th of 2010 in an undetermined role still making over $250K/year. The Board has made it clear that it was Garrison's decision to leave on September 1st and not the wishes of the BOG.

"On behalf of the board, we want to say how much we appreciate President Garrison's service, his administration's many successes this past year and his love for West Virginia University," Long said.
Meanwhile there are loose ends to tie up in the Garrison administration which are probably not labelled as "successes." One of those is a FOIA suit with the West Virginia Radio Corporation over the release of the R and V Associates Report on the HSC.
On June 3, 2008, Sandra Wilson, legal counsel for WV Radio Corporation called Bev Kerr, WVU legal counsel, asking why WVU had not responded to the FOIA request.

Wilson was told Kerr was not available and would return her call. According to the suit, Kerr had yet to return Wilson's call by the time the suit was filed.
R and V was a group brought in under Garrison's watch. And there is the whole hiding of Garrison's phone records during the Bresch scandal so he could say he had no idea what was going on. Only the PPG hasn't given up yet and is attempting to depose the Garrison Administration. WVU has managed to muddy all records of phone calls from two cell phones and a land line for Garrison during the Bresch scandal.
the university provided "reconstructed" billing records for one of Mr. Garrison's two cell phone numbers. Records for the other cell phone number, which WVU said was Mr. Garrison's personal line, and for his landline have not been provided.
Then this:
Mr. Browning said WVU would not turn over billing records for the second cell phone number assigned to Mr. Garrison because it became Mr. Garrison's private line as of July 12, 2007.

On May 21, Mr. Browning said Mr. Garrison had agreed to search his personal records for proof that he paid for the cell phone service, which he expected to give to the newspaper "in the next several days." Those payment records have not been provided.
I would suggest that Magrath not take any of Garrison's advice on crisis management. One thing the administration did get right was not taking Dow Chemical's land in Charleston even though all signs pointed to them wanting it to create a WVU base in southern West Virginia. Dow didn't want to insure the land it had chemical dumps on after WVU took over and I guess in the end the thought of the 6-eyed Simpson's fish led WVU to say no. Actually it was the thought that they'd get their asses sued off if anything happened to someone on the land. That and it was a bunch of dilapidated offices that Dow has been trying to get rid of for years and not much for actual laboratories.

All that and no sports? Well there is this. Finau is probably not going to qualify meaning Larry Ford better keep on some weight and Zac Cooper's heart better hold up because the line just got a lot less talented.

Time Wasters

One of the great benefits of having DirectTV is that there are channels I never even see. 10 years ago I couldn't go a day without MTV, now I don't know what channel it is on. However, last night I actually turned to VH1 for the first time as they honored The Who. Chutta could never listen to the whole thing. My musical tastes changed in junior high after seeing a band at our school perform "Baba O'Riley." This led to a nice Abbott and Costello routine of me asking my dad who sang "Teenage Wasteland" and him answering yes for a few minutes and me deciding that maybe Vanilla Ice wasn't so good after all and with Pearl Jam releasing Ten months later even MC Hammer faded away. I even got a chance to see The Who in 2002, unfortunately John Entwistle passed away days before we say them. I ended up getting arrested, paying a fine, and then talking the cop into giving me a ride to the entrance of the stadium so I wouldn't miss any of the show. Most expensive taxi ride ever. Anyway, the Foo Fighters, Incubus, the Flaming Lips, Tenacious D, Adam Sandler, and Pearl Jam all played before the remaining Who closed the show. Here are some of the best performances.

The wifey thinks Eddie screams too much in this song and yet I've somehow managed to stay with her.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Various Updates

The NBA Summer League is in full-swing and WVU is well represented. There are three total leagues the first of which was the Pepsi Pro League July 7-11 (starring Beasley and Rose) and featured one former Mountaineer. D'or Fischer played for Orlando and averaged almost 11 minutes per game and during those 11 minutes scored 2 points, blocked 1.5 shots, and pulled down 5.5 boards in 2 games played of the 5 total. His 40 minute average would have been a ridculous 24 rebounds, 6.5 blocks and almost 9 points. Fischer was able to parlay the experience into a two-year contract with Maccabi Electra Tel Aviv of the Euroleague. Last season Fischer was the MVP of the Belgian League averaging 14.4 ponts, 10.8 boards, and 2.8 blocks. Another former Mountaineer in the Euroleague is Johannes Herber who playes for Alba Berlin. The NBA Summer League in Las Vegas is underway and Joe Alexander is participating for the Milwaukee Bucks. He is currently averaging 9 points and 3 boards in 30.5 minutes of play in the first two games. Joe has three games remaining. The first is today (the 17th, followed by games on July 19th and 20th). You can watch the games online here. The final NBA Summer League is the Rocky Mountain Revue which starts on Friday and lasts for a week. Currently there are no former WVU players on any roster for this league which is less than IUPUI.

For football the recruiting of linemen is wrapping up if reports of a Ryan Spiker commitment are true.

He is ranked 20th among Ohio's 2009 prospects by Ohio High Magazine and 26th according, while tabs him 31st among guards nationally.
Scout has updated their list to include Spiker giving WVU 12 commits, but Rivals hasn't added Spiker yet.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Round of Reubens

Playing catch-up with some older news on recruiting for both football and basketball. First the 2008 basketball class has been finalized with the addition of 6'9" JC transfer Dee Proby. Proby initially signed with Oklahoma State, but was released from his commitment after Sean Sutton resigned. Proby becomes the tallest player on the 2009 team. In other 2008 basketball news it appears as though the only member of the recruiting class trouble of qualifying is Roscoe Davis, but he still has a chance to be eligible. No one has pledged for the 2009 class as of yet, but in 2010 recruiting news the second member of that class has pledged as Noah Cottrill's AAU teammate Storm Stanley has pledged to WVU. Stanley is 6'11" 230 pounds, but has also pledged to hit the weight room before coming to Morgantown in 2 years. The 2009 class will probably have room for at least two roster spots (Alex Ruoff and Josh Sowards) and 2010 at least an additional 3 (Butler, Mazzulla, Smith) not including transfers/people leaving early.

In football recruiting the biggest news is that Terence Kerns made his qualifying scores and will be on the field this season for WVU. Kerns provides some much needed depth at the running back position and also some size at 6'1" and 238 pounds. The only concern now is the knee as Kerns tore his ACL last year, however he recently ran a 4.3 second 40. Others have had some trouble with qualifying. Benji Kemoeatu, the Hawaiian center/guard did not make it academically, cornerback Jerome Swinton also did not make it academically, and defensive end Tevita Finau is taking summer classes in an attempt to graduate on time to report to camp.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm Talkin' Swamp Sweaty

It's over

According to the Tribune-Review Rich Rodriguez agreed to settle late last night. Rodriguez has agreed to pay a reduced sum of $4 million. Wait. Rodriguez is paying the whole sum. After months of blaming everyone under the sun and dragging himself, his agent, and WVU through the mud. Either someone just agreed to pay for him (unlikely as he probably has had at least partial backing all along), Michigan finally told him to pay (more likely since the upcoming depositions of Michigan President and A.D. were finally going to drag them into this), or Rodriguez wanted to settle for personnel reasons such as the upcoming season/wanting it to end/wanting to make West Viginians happy (no). However, it is strange that months later Rodriguez would "settle" for the full amount (minus lawyer fees) when it is highly unlikely he was going to lose more on verdict such as adding in lawyer fees or WVU showing it actually lost $10 million.

From the Charleston Gazette, which I didn't read before I wrote the above:

The agreement spells out how much Rodriguez will pay and how much will be paid on his behalf. The former WVU coach apparently had a deal with Michigan right from the start of his employment there to pay all or part of the tab.

MetroNews reported on its Web site today that one of the keys to the settlement was pressure brought to bear on Michigan athletic director Bill Martin and school president Mary Sue Coleman to give depositions in the case. There was a hearing scheduled on the matter in Michigan today.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Round of Reubens

First some sad news in professional football. After two years on the practice squad this is the year that patron saint Mike Lorello had to make the active squad for the Steelers or be cut. The cut came this weekend for Lorello as the Steelers have to get to 80 players before July 27th. Hopefully the early cut gives Mike time to catch on elsewhere. Should Lorello not latch on anywhere here's to hoping for a long and lucrative career in going to places OS hangs out and making all the girls leave with him. God bless.

WVU received another pledge to the 2009 recruiting class bringing the total to 11. Pat Eger, an offensive lineman from Thomas Jefferson in Pennsylvania picked WVU Friday.

"They're a top-10 school every year," Eger said of West Virginia. "The coaches, players, the school, the facilities, I just fell in love with everything about it."
Egers, a three star lineman for Rivals and not yet evaluated for Scout, is the third offensive line pledge of the year and is projected at tackle.

The subject of recruiting is brought up by Dave Hickman at the Gazette as he addresses changes in philosophies from the Rodriguez regime to the new staff. Every coach on staff watches clips of all players being evaluated and then the players are placed into categories of 1,2, or 3 with constant updates. All the coaches also write all prospects. This is a change from before when Tony Gibson would try to "have a chew" with each prospect. Also a change:
Here's perhaps the most promising aspect of all, however: Stewart and Holliday say that all 10 current commitments already have qualifying test scores or grade point averages that suggest academics will be no problem at all.
Finally, when the ability to recruit is mentioned there are two names mentioned from the new staff. The first is Doc Holliday, the recruiting coordinator, and the second is Chris Beatty. Beatty is working on Virginia for WVU and has already had great success. And although he may be known currently as the the WVU recruiting force in Hampton Roads he may also be known soon as a force in offensive schemes.
Beatty’s teams at North Stafford and Salem went a combined 38-16 in five seasons. Each program went 2-8 the year before he arrived.

Then Beatty took over a two -year-old Landstown program, where his status skyrocketed. He guided the Eagles to a 40-2 record in three seasons, their only losses coming in state title games.

Beatty’s innovative spread offense produced four of the top five single-season passers in state history.
The only question surrounding Beatty currently is stability. WVU is his sixth stop in 10 years. ACC and Big 10 schools have already come calling for his services and good coaches that can also recruit can name their price. Hopefully, Beatty will get a chance to show he can coach too during a long stay in Morgantown.
So confident is Stewart in Beatty’s aptitude that he says, matter-of-factly, if something happened to Mullen tomorrow, he would name Beatty his offensive coordinator.

“Without hesitating, no question,” Stewart says. “He’ll be a head coach before long. In the meantime, we’re just blessed to have Chris here right now.”

Friday, June 27, 2008

Round of Reubens

Joe Alexander was looking forward to going to Milwaukee at the 8th pick. Mainly because he speaks fluent Mandarin (not just a citrus fruit) and playing with Yi Jianlian would open up the Asian market for Joe for endorsements as not many US players speak the language. Half of that came to fruition at the draft last night as Joe was picked 8th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks. However, during the draft Yi Jianlian, along with Bobby Simmons, was traded to New Jersey for Richard Jefferson.

Joe Alexander isn't the only part of the basketball team making money. The basketball team brought in close to $3 million after their run in the tournament.

This year the Big East received a $16 million check from the NCAA, which led to a base distribution of $820,000 to each of the 16 teams.

However, teams also get a $125,000 appearance fee for each game in the NCAA Tournament, and the NCAA pays the school’s travel expenses, picking up travel and giving a per diem for the traveling party.
The success of the basketball teams combined with the rest of the athletic department led WVU to the highest finish in the Directors' Cup at 30th despite not having any points in the spring. 30th places WVU at the head of the Big East with Louisville next at 32nd. Not all schools did so well, but surely every school scored.
Marshall, the state's other Division I program, did not score in the 2007-08 Directors' Cup. A total of 280 schools were in the standings. The Herd also was the only Conference USA athletic program that failed to score.
Powerhouse schools that did tally some points were Texas Pan American, Louisiana Monroe, Sam Houston State, Quinnipiac, and Kennesaw State. Keep up the good work Herd.

Finally, if you are still bored go to Pat White's site and watch some highlights. Apparently Pat is a Jay-Z fan.

Friday, June 20, 2008


Johnny mentioned this over on the Mountainlair and it's also been mentioned on EDSBS, but has some of the recent BCS games so if you're bored just click here:

Round of Reubens

First up is some more recruiting news on both the basketball and football fronts. This week the number one rated offensive lineman in the country, according to Rivals, visited WVU and met with the coaching staff. Morgan Moses is 6'7" and weighs almost 350 pounds. He has offers from Alabama, VT, Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida among others. What are the chances he signs with WVU? Who knows now, but he is from Richmond, VA and the Boyd/Heastie combination is putting the full court press on him. It will be interesting because of the four VA recruits thus far only Boyd was offered by traditional VA recruiting power VT (although Heastie would have been offered too). So this will be one of the first times Chris Beatty goes head to head with VT for a big recruit. VT has the tradition in the area, but WVU has the Boyd/Heastie/Davenport/Alston (and they all presumably have phones). Also from the Hickman article it appears as though Pat Liebig is coming back after taking care of his family for a few years after his father fell ill. He will join former Wake Forest recruit Uriah Grant as reinforcements for the defensive line.

In basketball there is an open scholarship now that Joe has flown off to the NBA. According to Mike Casazza that might be used on Dee Proby a JC forward that had previously signed to Oklahoma State.

Proby played the past two years at Angelina Community College, in Lufkin, Texas. He averaged 11.4 points and 4.3 rebounds this past season. Despite his size, Proby is known for his shooting range out to the 3-point line. He made 27 of 96 attempts as a sophomore.
Speaking of basketball the Mountaineers are close to finishing their scheduling for next year with the addition of Ohio State and a trip to Vegas. Bob Huggins is trying to upgrade the schedule, but it will still have Elon, Cleveland State, and Radford to squeeze in between games at Mississippi and Duquesne. WVU has agreed in principal to a home and home with the Buckeyes over the next two years. Meanwhile WVU will head for the Las Vegas Invitational at the end of November. The LVI will consist of 4 games, two in West Virginia and two in the desert.
The Mountaineers will play Longwood Nov. 20 in Morgantown and Delaware State Nov. 25 in Charleston as part of the event.

West Virginia then meets Iowa, Kansas State or Kentucky Nov. 28-29 in Las Vegas.
WVU was picked for the LVI for two reasons. The first is the returning talent from a team that made the Sweet 16. The second is a chance to get some of that sweet West Virginia gambling money into Nevada. See right now we are keeping it all here apparently as the state ranks second only to Nevada in the share of the state budget that comes from gambling revenues.
That's the finding of a new report that also ranks the Mountain State ahead of Nevada and all other states in terms of how much that share of the budget grew between 1998 and 2006.
The state now brings in almost 9% of the state budget revenue from gambling. West Virginia: Open for business craps.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More on recruiting

Another pledged recruit with Miami Northwestern High running back Daquan Hargrett committing. His team won the 6A Florida State championship last year as Hargrett rushed for 882 yards and 12 touchdowns while splitting time with another WVU offeree Tyresse Jones and also missing two games with injury.

The 5-foot-8, 175-pound back said he turned down offers from Iowa, Clemson, Minnesota, South Florida, Buffalo and Florida International.
Hargrett is a three star for Rivals and rated as the the 18th all-purpose back in the nation. He runs a 4.35 40-yard dash and has a personal best in the 100 of 10.5 seconds so speed is not an issue. Scout has him rated as a one-star which means he has not been evaluated by the service yet. Speaking of Scout, they have released the top 1000 and WVU has quite a few in the top of their respective positions. Heastie is rated as the number 1 receiver in the nation and number 12 overall. Tajh Boyd is the number 9 quarterback and number 69 overall. Shawne Alston is the 58th ranked running back in the nation and Dominick Davenport is the 18th ranked defensive tackle. Of the non-VA crew is Deon Long the 41st ranked WR in the nation, Chris Snook the number 2 fullback in the nation, Branko Busick the 24th ranked strongside linebacker, Cole Bowers the 44th ranked tackle, and Jordan Weingart the 42nd ranked guard.

Finally Mike Casazza's blog at the Daily Mail had a link to the following Joe Alexander highlight reel with clips from games and practice. It's a good way to see Joe in Gold and Blue one last time. Joe obviously always had the physical capabilities to play at any level, however, Joe became a different player a few weeks before the BET tournament when he got confidence in his outside game. His shot became unstoppable at that time and opened up the entire court. It's hard to believe he is the same player that Huggy called out in an interview midway through the season by saying maybe the team didn't need to run plays for him anymore.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Some Good News

The gift of Tajh Boyd and Logan Heastie keeps on giving to the 2009 WVU recruiting class. In previous years early pledges for Ohio State and USC have worked on friends and fellow recruits throughout the process. Unfortunately for WVU the big names that have landed have usually been late in the process (Gwaltney, Devine) and therefore were unavailable for such help. The early pledges of Boyd and Heastie meant that they have been recruiting for WVU since March. They brought up a bunch of friends for the Spring Game and that led to Dominik Davenport pledging in April. Now Davenport has joined Boyd and Heastie to work for WVU's next class. This work has led to WVU landing Shawne Alston,a three star running back from the same school as Dominick and Boyd.

"I've been with 'Baby D' every day and he's been talking about West Virginia and saying, 'You need to come up there,' " Alston said, referring to Davenport.
Alston ran for over 1,500 yards as a Junior with 26 touchdowns with a torn meniscus in his knee. Shawne is considered a power back despite running a 4.5 40 due to his size of 5'11" and 220 pounds.

In other news Owen Schmitt is getting ready for his first NFL season with the Seahawks and is fighting for the second fullback spot behind Leonard Weaver. He sat down for an interview with The News Tribune and had some interesting comments about the change in offense in the NFL compared to college and the response from the interviewer was classic.
Q: How different is the offense here from the one you ran at West Virginia?

A: Oh God. We had 12 plays there. Literally. And we ran six of them.

Q: Give it to Slaton?

A: Yeah. Literally, we had 12 plays and ran six. Maybe. At the most.

Q: And Rodriguez got a job at Michigan for it?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Round of Reubens

We'll start off with some more people that are leaving. Joe Alexander has played his last game for the Mountaineers as he has hired an agent and decided to stay in the NBA draft.

"I've used the last few months to explore my NBA options, and I've received a lot of positive feedback from NBA teams," says Alexander. "After evaluating the positive feedback and speaking with Coach Huggins and my father, I believe the best thing for me to do is stay in the NBA Draft. I'll cherish the memories I had at West Virginia University. Even though I'm leaving, I'll always be a part of the WVU family."
Another person playing his last game for WVU is back-up quarterback Charlie Russell. Russell hopes to attend medical school and after seeing Bradley Starks shoot past him in the depth chart decided to give up football and concentrate on getting laid school.

A couple of more people will be entering WVU in the next year or so. Like a president, provost, deans galore, as the Post-Gazette details. At this point WVU is running at about 90% interim or about to retire, including AD Pastilong. Think about it from Rodriguez's shoes for a minute. According to the depositions, the guy pulled a power play and lost, probably because Garrison backed Pastilong due to the bidding of Manchin. Now Pastilong and Garrision will be gone within two years and Manchin will be forced to back out of WVU politics somewhat due to the Bresch scandal. Rodriguez could have run the athletic department like Paterno in the early 80's at Penn State. Instead Rodriguez let Mike Brown keep pressuring him into pulling the power play early. Now Michigan isn't a bad fall back, but Rodriguez could have had all the power he wanted if he just exercised a little patience.

Another person back at WVU is Max Anderson. Anderson was the first "next" Owen Schmitt. He actually was fullback for Owen in some goal line plays. Last year he tore his ACL and had to watch spring practice with Will Johnson moving to the new hybrid position. Anderson hopes to give Johnson some competition and should be the better blocker of the two.

Finally, more people back to what they do best. Chris Henry has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL. Henry has been arrested 5 times since 2005. Not to be outdone Marcus Vick did what any man would do when drunk and approached by a cop on a bike while in your car. Gun it.
Police said a uniformed bicycle patrol officer observed Vick and a female involved in an altercation in the car early Friday. When the officer asked for a driver's license, police say Vick sped away but was stopped minutes later.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Round of Reubens

The faculty is calling for more input in the search for a new president for WVU. This comes after a no-confidence vote in the last candidate was effectively ignored before his inauguration.

“The faculty was greatly disturbed that the interim provost and interim dean of medicine were selected with essentially no faculty input. This is not consistent with Mike Garrison’s earlier statements of support for shared governance and openness,” said Jim Harner, the chair of the statistics department, in an e-mail.

Now faculty say they want input in selecting the interim president, other future presidents and the chance to change the composition of the BOG, which some said last year had too few academics and too many businesspeople and lawyers.
For the faculty to keep the high moral ground it may be time for them to make some noise about Sears and Lang getting fired since they are the ones that actually changed and approved grade changes. At least one change will come to the BOG as Robert Wells has decided not to return for a second term.
Wells, who is a long-time friend of the embattled president, says there is no evidence that Garrison did anything wrong, and does not want to serve on the WVU Board of Governors beyond the end of his current term.
If Wells, or any other BOG member, still doesn't understand the reasons for Garrison to go, and were unwilling to fire him if need be, then they will not be missed.

Speaking of the BOG, members are now being deposed in the ongoing RRod lawsuit. Steve Farmer and Parry Petroplus are being questioned about their knowledge of the presidential search outcome (Garrison) and the pressure they put on Rodriguez to sign his contract. Speaking of the Rodriguez case and Garrison resignation some have wondered how the two would overlap. I, for one, have believed since the beginning of the case that the idea of fraudulent inducement was a non-started for Rodriguez because of he has the burden to prove fraud on him. He must show by a preponderance of the evidence that despite having read the contract, having legal counsel, having an agent tell him not to sign, and having signed many contracts that he was "tricked" into signing the contract. Tough to believe. And now the West Virginia Supreme Court has re-affirmed the "four-corners" doctrine saying in a reality case that a Plaintiff that asked for a clause in the contract to be there was at fault for not reading before signing to see if it was there even though the Defendant promised to put the clause in the contract. The author of this article believes that the crux of the case is the buyout clause which is echoed by myself. The case should come down to WVU having to prove damages, since the burden for damage is on the Plaintiff (WVU). There is a $4 million buyout clause, but it cannot be a penalty so WVU must show that the damages were close to that amount in order to enforce the liquidated damages clause. That is why Ken Kendrick needs to be put on the stand or his quotes saying he and others were going to withhold millions because of Rodriguez leaving must be read into the record.

Finally, on a happy note it appears as though Kevin Pittsnogle has another child whith another great name.
But he's back in the Martinsburg area this summer with wife Heather, son Quincy and infant daughter Amyyah.
Actually, his son was named Kwynsie. Oh, and this pig is dumb.

Friday, June 6, 2008

1 more gone

According to WAJR President Garrison has resigned this morning at the BOG meeting. This comes after getting a letter asking for his resignation from the Law School yesterday. At this time a replacement has not been named, although Mrs. Chokesondick is considered a front-runner.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

2 more gone

To no one's surprise, except maybe his mom, the hammer finally came down on Charles Pugh. The potential starting safety is now gone from the team. Pugh has only started a handful of games, but made an impact on special teams. Additionally he was always be in an incident on the field and even if two guys threw punches he would get the flag. The rehash of what he is accused of:

The facts, according to the criminal complaint, are that Pugh and an unidentified woman allegedly found a set of car keys at the university's student union center last Tuesday and used the remote control "panic button'' on the keychain to locate the car in a parking lot. There, they allegedly took several credit cards, personal identification and $200 in cash from the vehicle.

Police said that the card was later used to purchase at least $1,600 in merchandise at several stores, including the Finish Line at Morgantown Mall. Pugh was charged with a felony because the amount was more than $1,000.
Pugh has seen his last game as a Mountaineer. Another player that may be gone is Evan Rodriguez. Rodriguez has been dismissed from the team and suspended from school since April according to the Daily Mail following an arrest on March 20th. Rodriguez redshirted last year and was a seen as a possible heir to Quinten Andrews, who if he can't stay away from trouble could join the others, at safety before being moved to the tight-end hybrid during spring. According to the criminal complaint Rodriguez grabbed a WVU night staff employee at Dadisman Hall and pushed her into a wall while twisting her arm. His main problem, however, was that he left witnesses. Alive.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Latest on Joe and some other news

Andy Katz has the latest on Joe Alexander and speculates that #8 to Milwaukee is the highest Joe is likely to go if he stays in the draft although he will work out for the Knicks who draft at 6. Mike D'Antoni is the current Knicks coach and prefers athletic guys that can play a couple of positions, run, and shoot so there is a possibility. Another possibility for the Knicks could be Italian forward Danilo Gallinari as D'Antoni played for nine seasons with Gallinari's father in Italy. Gallinari is still ranked as the top small forward in the draft by most as the 19 year old averaged 17.5 points per game in the Italian league this year to go with 40.5% three point shooting and over 4 rebounds per game. To further the ascent of Alexander is the release of the pre-draft measurements which show that Joe Alexander is as physically gifted as any player in the draft. Joe had a 38.5 inch vertical with 32.5 inches on a no step jump, the second highest bench press of anyone participating, and a body fat percentage of 5.8%. USF forward Kentrell Gansberry, on the otherhand, posted the third highest body fat percentage in pre-draft camp history with an artery clogging 17.4%. Oliver Miller had 22% in 1992 when he actually was caught eating tootsie rolls during the 3/4 court sprint. All that said, Katz leaves a glimmer of hope for the return of Alexander to WVU next season. That glimmer comes in the form of Alexander's desire to win a national title and his love of Huggy Bear.

"I think they have a legitimate shot at winning it all if I do go back," said Alexander last Friday prior to his first workout at the Milk House on Disney's Wide World of Sports campus in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. "There really is a great opportunity waiting for me if I go back. With me, they'll have a great team. They'll have a great team without me."
Followed with:
"What people don't realize is that when you jump to the NBA, it overshadows the downside of leaving your school, leaving your friends and a team you committed to," he said. "If I didn't like my coaching staff, it would be easy. But I honestly like my coaching staff."
And Joe thinks this is just the start for WVU basketball.
"I feel like this is the start of the glory time for us," Alexander said. "They're going into their best years of the basketball program, and that definitely helps me sleep about leaving. I think it's obvious with Huggins being there and the recruits they've got. But he didn't have to start from scratch. We already had a good team. There's no downtime for West Virginia. It's ready to blow up right away, starting next year."

Elsewhere Syracuse had very few highlights last year in football (Louisville implosion aside), but the wide receiving corps turned out decent. Now that looks to be falling apart. According to CBSSportsline Syracuse suspended the top returning player on the team Mike Williams and he has left the school. Much more available at Troy Nunes is an absolute magician including rumors of Williams being caught cheating multiple times in class and the original story detailing Williams and Taj Smith also leaving early (draft).
With both options off the table, our starting receiving core is now junior Lavar Lobdell who has never caught more than three passes in a game, junior Donte Davis who is coming off a hand injury and untested freshman such as Marcus Sales and Van Chew. One of the few areas on the team we didn't need to worry too much about this year has suddenly become a huge problem area.
Another WVU rival that is having difficulties in recent years has been Maryland in their normal stronghold of basketball. Now that could be even worse as troubled player Tyree Evans decided not to attend Maryland after all the hoopla over his troubled past for drug distribution, assault, statutory rape, trespassing, and another marijuana possession and handgun charge (not all at once though because that would be Pac-manian). In addition the top recruit for the Terps was Gus Gilchrist and he is going to transfer before ever stepping on the court. Gilchrist had originally signed with VT and backed out. After some problems with his release from Blacksburg Gilchrist sat out a year and then was only granted 2 and a half years of eligibility by the ACC schools in 11-0 and 10-1 votes. Elsewhere Gilchrist will be allowed his full eligibility and is likely to go Division II if he wants to play immediately. Also guard Bobby Maze backed out of a pledge and signed to play with Tennessee and Shane Walker transferred and incoming recruit Sean Mosley hasn't qualified yet. If Mosely and incoming international player Jin Soo Kim (may have to wait until 2009) don't make it to Maryland this year the Terps will have only 10 players. Somewhere Gary Williams is sweating, but don't worry he always does that.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Round of Reubens

Made it back into the country, haven't heard from OS yet so there is hope he didn't. I've been wondering what I missed while gone and here it is, West Virginia is still making people laugh. But at least we have WVU, right?

First the WVU BOG decided not to fire Garrison after he gave a report which kind of didn't match up with the Bresch panel report. Garrison has labelled the entire affair as an administrative failure which doesn't really match up with the panel either. And to further distance himself from any controversy Garrison has stated that Bresch earned more credits than the panel suggested and that WVU awarded a bunch of fake degrees because of systemic problems although the panel disagreed. So that is helping things.

"Continued repetition of this untrue allegation about [business school] records inappropriately tars the degrees of many other E-M.B.A. program graduates," the report stated.
On top of that the WVU HSC consultant has a nine page report that claims "serious deficiencies" that have put patients' lives at risk and WVU has asked for revisions even though the author believes it is finished. Of particular note is that Julian Bailes, the infamous HSC petition for Garrison circulator, is working hand in hand with Deluzio including promising "I'm going to make you famous." This gives Bailes wide authority to be involved in hiring and firing during the HSC restructuring.

OK, so now some good news right? Well starting safety Charles Pugh may be involved in stealing and then using a credit card. Well, how about the Rodriguez suit? As BSR pointed out mediation is the next step. If nothing is resolved, then the case moves forward. In the meanwhile Mike Brown continued to make friends in West Virginia with his deposition. Brown called just about every school in the phone book over the last couple of years including Arkansas, Alabama, North Carolina, LSU, Michigan, and WV State. He also admits that he called before any breech by WVU and that he never gave WVU a chance to remedy any breech. Further he admitted he told Rodriguez not to sign the contract and that the four corners provision was binding.

Now to some better news. Tevita Finau is apparently still on his way to making the grades to play this year. In addition WVU got a commitment from an all-state selection in Florida at lineman for next year in Jordan Weingart. In addition Ohio lineman Chris Freeman is being heavily recruited as well.

Friday, May 30, 2008

DickRod Mediation

Tummysticks and Option went on vacation for the week. If one of them weren't already married I would have wondered about them sharing a bed, a bar of hotel soap and multiple fruity rum drinks with two straws. I would have wondered or been really jealous. I am not sure. Anyway... just this one shitty post this week since I actually had to work. Sorry sports/rambling/crap fans. I stole the story below from Yahoo. It is an AP line anyway. As an attorney myself, I don't suggest holding your breath on this mediation. Especially with the Garrison situation, which would look like a tasty possibility for a scapegoat at trial if I were DickRod's counsel. WVU fumbles... at least enjoy the pictorial. Gracias Collegehumor.

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP)—West Virginia University’s $4 million lawsuit against ex-football coach Rich Rodriguez is headed for mediation, with the goal of resolving the dispute by Aug. 1.

But WVU attorney Jeff Wakefield says Judge Robert Stone’s order is standard, and he thinks it’s unlikely mediation will help.

Wakefield says the university remains firm in its position that Rodriguez owes $4 million under the contract in place when he resigned in December to take Michigan’s head coaching job.

If mediation doesn’t end the dispute, Stone will hear motions on Nov. 10.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Round of Reubens

Or maybe we should think about renaming this since West Virginia is the third-fattest state in the country. However, the good news is that the overall number of overweight fifth-graders went up this year because the morbidly obese numbers have been reduced. Most of the obese worked themselves down to overweight while a few went the other way and moved to "shut-in." Manufacturers of youth sweat pants are already concerned and thought to be considering countering with pie.

The men's baseball season has ended for WVU with a 12-5 loss to South Florida in the Big East Tournament. The Mountaineers finished 35-21 on the season. Tyler Kuhn set a school record with 101 hits this season and Freshman Jed Gyorko batted over .400.

Haven't heard about the Garrison-Bresch stuff for a while? Well, WVU lost three faculty members this week and two explicitly blamed the scandal while a third said it was definitely in their mind when considering leaving. First up Dr. Aina Puce and her million dollars in federal grant for research:

"I have decided to leave the university because I believe that the university leadership has caused a loss of academic integrity and I don't feel I would really like to stay here and be a part of that."
Next up is Dr. Steve Zdatny the chair of History and winner of teaching awards from the Eberly College of Arts & Sciences and WVU Foundation:
But the truth is that, without the events of the last year, I might not even have applied for another job," Dr. Zdatny says. "As it is, despite the many wonderful colleagues and students I leave behind, I am glad to be going. And I think it's fair to say that a lot of them wish they were leaving too."
And finally hello to, and then say goodbye to Brian Gerber an assistant professor in the Division of Public Administration of the School of Applied Social Sciences:
"I like it here," Dr. Gerber says. "I like WVU. It offered me a great opportunity to grow as a scholar. But one of the factors I had to consider [in my decision] was the leadership of the university. The Garrison situation sets a negative climate. His actions have called into question the integrity of the university."
But don't worry students the current plan is to have Lang and Sears take on some extra classes since they are back to teaching. And I hear the grading in their classes is really easy.

Basketball news today starts with Joe Alexander. The Gazette goes over different rotations next year with or without Joe, but doesn't include Joe Flowers in the rotation for either which is weird. On Alexander, Huggy had this to say:
"If you would have asked me two days ago, I would have said he's definitely going. But I've had conversations with him and he could come back. I don't think there's a great chance [he'll return to WVU], but he could."
Next up for Alexander is a pre-draft camp in Orlando that starts next week. The last date to remove your name is the 16th of June. Should Joe stay in the draft it looks like he'll have some undergraduate and international company. There are currently 63 undergraduate players and 21 international players that have declared for the NBA Draft. So not counting seniors there are 84 potential draft picks fighting for 60 draft slots and 30 guaranteed contracts. Some players are getting some bad advice and are going to end up Dingled. Finally, the schedule is already shaping up for basketball next year in the non-conference:
WVU is set to play at Mississippi and Duquesne, against Marshall in Charleston and four games in the Las Vegas Invitational. The Mountaineers will play two preliminary games at home and advance to Las Vegas win or lose for games Nov. 28-29. In Las Vegas, WVU plays Iowa and then either Kansas State or Kentucky.
Only six games remain to be scheduled so the final schedule could be done soon.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Joe may really go

When Joe Alexander put his name into the mix for the NBA draft it appeared as a move that would be similar to Kevin Pittsnoggle a couple years earlier. Go to some workouts and find out you need another year of work (or more for KP). That may not be happening now as Alexander is one of the fastest risers on the draft board according to everyone that writes about these sort of things. Of course it helps when you can take a couple of steps and head-butt the rim in front of every scout in the NBA after a couple of hours of workouts. First up is ESPN's Chad Ford ($$ normally but free preview) talking all things Alexander in his preview of the best small forwards available and concluding:

Since the tournament ended, his legend has kept growing. For the past couple of weeks, reports out of Abunassar's gym have said that Alexander's athleticism was off the charts. He was an untapped treasure who was getting better and better by the day. By the time I hit Vegas, I had four different GMs call me to tell me he was going to be a lottery pick.
and he concludes with this:

An informal poll of a few GMs I spoke with had (Giorgi) Gallinari (of Italy) first and then a split between Alexander and (Donte') Greene (Syracuse) as the second small forward off the board. Look for teams like the Blazers at 13, the Suns at 15 and the Raptors at 17 to take a long look at Alexander.
Giorgi is described as the anti-Joe which means he is maxed on ability, but has played his whole life. See the big man get up below to further drive home the point. The Abrunassar that is mentioned in the first quote is Joe Abunassar a trainer that works with many of the NBA players in the offseason and before they begin their careers. Draft Express caught up with Abunassar at the NBA workouts in Las Vegas. Abunassar, along with all the rest of the trainers, were glowing about Alexander.
Alexander came into his morning workout with a great reputation, as everyone we spoke with that had been working with him over the past week could not stop raving about how well he had been responding to them thus far. “A fierce worker,” Joe Abunassar told us. “He’s an animal in the weight room,” strength trainer Tony Falce told us. “He’s worked non-stop for every minute since the second he got here.” One after one, each of the trainers filtered over to our direction to share a story about their favorite pupil.
The workouts have worked well for Joe:
“Right now he’s probably somewhere in the early 20’s on most teams boards, but he’s going to be one of the fastest risers in this draft,“ the executive predicted.
If Alexander is guaranteed to be around 20 or above that means guaranteed money (2nd round NBA contracts aren't guaranteed) and a year quicker to free agency and potential really big money down the road. All that may mean that Joe has suited up in the Gold and Blue for the last time (unless he is drafted by Golden State or the Pacers).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Ebanks picks WVU

Devin Ebanks, the 11th ranked high school senior and 2nd ranked small forward according to, has signed with West Virginia. Bob Huggins now has his first official recruiting class at WVU. Last year Huggins came on board late and cut all ties with previous recruits at Kansas State. His recruiting consisted of convincing John Flowers to stay on board. Ebanks will join Kevin Jones and Roscoe Davis as top 150 players joining WVU next year and guard Darryl Bryant will round out the recruiting class. Interestingly, three of the four recruits come from New York which is an area Pitt has dominated lately. The Big East is going to be loaded next year and it looks like it won't be letting up any time soon.

"He said he expects me to be the Big East rookie of the year,'' Ebanks said. "That's a lot on my shoulders, but I like the expectations.''

Even if Ebanks is good enough to be considered at that level, he will no doubt have some competition. Despite his lofty rankings, he is only the third-highest-rated recruit entering the Big East next season, behind 6-10 forward Greg Monroe of Georgetown (No. 8 on the list) and 6-9 forward Samardo Samuels of Louisville (No. 9). Connecticut also has the No. 13 and 14 players on the rivals list (forward Ater Majok and guard Kemba Walker) and Louisville has the No. 18 player (Forward Terrence Jennings).
Players lost for next year are Darris Nichols, Ted Talkington, and Jamie Smalligan. The fourth scholarship opened up when Jacob Green transferred during the season. Returning contributors for next year are Mazulla and Ruoff at the guards, Butler, Cam Thoroughman, Smith, and Flowers at the Forward spots. In addition Joe Alexander could return and Jonnie West will probably get more time if he can get on the Ruoff lifting program.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Round of Reubens

Sorry to all, been very busy this week with work and life. Mike Casazza has been picking up the slack for eveyone with WVU athletics. First he reports on the injury front that Isdaner and Dent are ahead of schedule, Reed Williams is coming along, but Frank Carduff is done and will retire while Brantwon Browser will miss the upcoming year and redshirt due to an ACL tear. Also Damon McDaniel, he of interest but no offers, may end up at WVU afterall, but without a scholarship for at least a year if he can't get a hardship waiver. Also Gwaltney will officially be allowed to walk on, but he is ineligible for the upcoming year so he would be practice squad while he works on his grades. Nothing can go wrong there. Casazza also reports that Huggins has a clause that keeps him on "mean" money for the Big East for his career which means he should be able to afford a helmet. The mean is the average salary and is subject to outliers such as Rick Patino making a huge bonus. In order to eliminate those outliers one typically uses the median salary instead, which WVU failed to do here and may cost them lots of money if Patino sticks around long enough.

Meanwhile, how is the state doing if you're on the outside looking in? Well, Garrison received a second no-confidence vote and this time from over 600 faculty for the Bresch degree (third no-confidence overall), the Rodriguez suit stumbles on with both sides continuing to saying the other is a liar, this time Rodriguez claimed that Joe Manchin and BOG members pressured him into signing a claim that BOG member Steve Farmer called a lie, Spike Maynard lost in his re-election bid for the Supreme Court which recycles the Massey story, and speaking of Massey the case which started the Massey news stories continues on as Harman Mining is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court over judge recusal, or lack thereof. Speaking of elections, the primaries gave the nation a chance to look at the state of West Virginia:

At least Pacman and Henry haven't been arrest this week. Yet.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Early Awards

Pat White has made the pre-season Playboy All-America team as teh one and only quarterback.

It is the third straight year West Virginia has had a Playboy All-America selection. Running back Steve Slaton was selected last year and center Dan Mozes in 2006. That same year, linebacker Jay Henry was named a Playboy's Academic All-American.

The 6-foot-1, 185-pound White is WVU's seventh Playboy All-America team selection (eight including Henry's academic recognition).
Mike Dent has been named to the Rimington watch list which one would assume was based on non-USF play last year.
In all, 42 players are on the Rimington Award watch list. The list includes two of last year's finalists as well as 2007 winner Jonathan Luigs of Arkansas.
Steve Slaton is making his way through his first mini-camp in the NFL. So far he has impressed with his speed and quickness, but has had problems holding on to the football.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Round of Reubens

Both the Charleston Gazette and the Daily Mail have details of Ed Pastilong being deposed by RRod's lawyers. Apparently Rodriguez has a non-sports fan lawyer. He thought Bobby Knight was the Texas A&M football coach and that Bob Huggins had also recently left WVU. All 205 pages can be found here. Speaking of public documents available for viewing, the Bob Huggins contract can be found here.

The 2008 Fred Scahaus Captain's Award was given to Owen Schmitt, Darris Nichols, and Women's soccer captain Ashley Banks. Usually there is one female and one male winner, but Schmitt and Nichols split the male voting this year.

Three teams at WVU are losing scholarships due to APR scores which is the eligibility and retention of student-athletes over a four-year period. The three teams are wrestling, men's soccer, and women's rowing. Women's rowing lost the most, a full scholarship, so if you see someone spinning in circles on the Mon. you know which girl lost her teammate.

Finally, to make you feel old, it is the 15th anniversary of the release of True Romance. Maxim spent 5 minutes away from recycling jokes and being a poor man's playboy to get all of the main characters from the movie together to review the making, writing, directing, and producing of a movie that grossed all of $11 million in theatres with a cast of Brad Pitt, James Gandolfini, Christopher Walken, Dennis Hopper, Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Gary Oldman, Tom Sizemore, and cameos by Val Kilmer and Sam Jackson. Not to mention it was written by Tarantino.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Top 5 College Football Coaches-Kige Ramsey Style

God help us all! We are powerless in the presence of Kige Ramsey! He, the master of the dramatic pause. The master pronunciator! The fashion plate! And don't forget the keen intellect. By the way, who's Bo Schembekelker?

God I hate the off season!

It's a Podcast

The new College Football Weekly podcast is up for your listening pleasure. Please feel free to hear me mumble things I think I think, how DickRod & Co. are changing things in Michigan, and the state of elite programs around the country that we don't really care about until we upset them in a bowl game. Seriously, as always this is another fine podcast worth your listening.

In other news covered in the Round of Reubens below: Joe Manchin, Mike Garrison, I want you two to quit fucking around with my school! M'kay?

Round of Reubens

Lots on the plate today...

First Seattle is embracing the Bill Brasky-like mythology surrounding Owen Schmitt. Included in the stories related is one "well-known" story about Owen making the Wall at Mario's Fishbowl.

Perhaps the most well-known was when Schmitt ate a beer coaster in 10 seconds to earn a spot on the Hall of Fame wall at Mario's Fishbowl in Morgantown. There were also the 11 facemasks he broke during his college playing days.
OS has seen the Wall and has fostered some thoughts about knocking it down.

WVU-Marshall is currently not scheduled for national television. The date of the game was moved to accomodate the WVU-Auburn game which led some to believe that the Marshall game would also be televised.
That includes Gov. Joe Manchin, who was visibly surprised when informed the game hasn't been scheduled for national television.

"Really?" said a puzzled Manchin. "I thought for sure it was."
But there is a chance if the game were to be moved to FRIDAY night. But not to worry as WVU has previously stated they would never play a home game on a Friday since it is the night for high school football around the state, right?
Don't be surprised if Manchin lobbies for that to happen.

"I will get involved," vowed Manchin.
I think you and your daughter have done more than enough for WVU forever Joe.

The last time WVU was on television for football (with Joe mugging for the camera behind the bench the whole game) was the Fiesta Bowl. I'm sure most people remember that game and how great it was for the program. Except financially.
The Big East awarded WVU $2,425,600 for its Fiesta Bowl expense allowance to Glendale, Ariz., and for being the conference's BCS bowl representative.
In total, the university spent $3,495,872.59, resulting in a loss of $1,070,272.59.
Of course the main reason was unsold seats. WVU failed to sell 8174 of the allotment at $135 a seat for a loss of over a million dollars. Ken Kendrick was supposed to pick up the difference to make up for his pro-RR comments, but I'm not sure if the check has cleared yet. Well there were some other factors as well, namely the band and food:
At this year's Fiesta Bowl, WVU had to purchase adequate space for its band members and equipment. The travel expenses to send the band and cheerleaders on two planes was $565,152.29, more than $200,000 above what it cost to send the team and coaches to the bowl.

The football team took one larger and one smaller plane, while some players flew to and from their homes. The band flew on two larger planes.

"We have to pay for every seat the band uses," Parsons said. "Not just for the tuba player, but we have to have one for tuba as well."
And for the food:
Bowls assign teams to specific locations, and WVU was put up in the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. The meals ($773,723.08 total for everyone representing WVU on the trip) often times took place in the team hotel. The most expensive meal was New Year's Day team dinner of $15,848.05 for 132 people, or a little more than $120 per plate.

"There's no doubt it was costly," Parsons said.

The dinner, which included just players and coaches, was the traditional spread the WVU football team ate before every game last season. It took place at the team hotel, as New Year's Day also fell the night before WVU's 48-28 win over Oklahoma.

"It worked," Parsons said.

The magical meal included lasagna, carved roast beef, chicken cordon bleu and mashed potatoes, among other things. "I am sure there's more to it," Parsons said. "It's a heavy meal, and the trainers made sure to have it."
Finally, the faculty is meeting today to discuss Heathergate and whether to vote no-confidence for the administration. A great review on the story can be found here. But, it appears as though the scandal can be linked to anything in the university. For instance, WVU signs Bob Huggins to a lifetime contract. The contract is announced by Ed Pastilong. Unfortunately, it may be the first Pastilong has heard of it as well.
The WVU athletic staff had no knowledge of the "lifetime" contract talks until WVU Athletic Director Ed Pastilong finally was informed about it 24 hours before the dog-and-pony show to announce it.

That's wrong and sad -- but it seems kind of typical of the way things are done these days on the WVU campus. As for the political spinning, when did the capital move from Charleston to Morgantown?

If anyone were paying close attention to the Friday news conference, you couldn't have found two people describing the supposedly same process differently than Pastilong and Huggins.

That's because only one of them really was part of the process. It's not like the athletic department would have balked at sweetening Huggins' deal, either.

WVU President Mike Garrison and his Board of Governors and Stewart Hall cronies were desperate for some good news. That's fine, but was it necessary to do an end around on the people to whom Huggins is supposed to answer?
Hmm. Coach now with the ability to go around Pastilong and straight to Garrison. Nothing could go wrong here could it? Maybe Joe Manchin can step in.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Round of Reubens

Let's start with some good news. WVU has landed a commitment from a 6'10" power forward for 2009. Keith Dewitt has committed and can sign in November with WVU. He'll be a freshman in 2009. According to Dewitt he signed with WVU over offers from Nebraska, Missouri, Cincinnati, and LaSalle. Dewitt is the first pledge for the '09 class with Noah Cottrill leading the '10 class. The '08 class has three commits currently with forwards Roscoe Davis and Kevin Jones joining guard Darryl Bryant. There is still one remaining scholarship for the current class that is being held for top 10 player Devin Ebanks. Ebanks was released from his Indiana pledge after the Hoosiers fired Calvin Sampson and is between WVU, Texas, Rutgers, and Memphis.

In football news the BCS isn't going anywhere anytime soon as a proposed playoff by SEC commissioner Mike Slive didn't even get to a vote. The only support came from the ACC with Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese sounding like a true man of genius saying:

if the proposed plus-one model for determining college football's national champion "looked like a playoff, smelled like a playoff and felt like a playoff," it probably was a playoff.
He followed that up by comparing the plus-one method to the NCAA tournament that started with 24 teams and has grown to 65 and then cemented his opinion with this:
"There's a particular coach in my league who wants to invite every team in the country," Tranghese said, referring to Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim, who is advocating a 128-team NCAA tournament field after his Orange were snubbed in each of the past two seasons.
The next shot at even broaching the subject will be in 2014 if Fox picks up the BCS contract.

At WVU the Heather Bresch controversy is in full swing. First Lang and Sears stepped down. Then it inevitably was released that since they were tenured they would keep teaching. So Lang will make $199,627 as a professor which is 82 percent of his before salary for teaching 9 months which is 75% of the time. So he got a raise. Plus both Sears and Lang get 6 months to "readjust" to teaching. So they got a 6 month paid vacation. Sears will earn $159,862 for 9 months which is 80% for 75% of the work. Meanwhile the scandal has alumni working to make a change in the presidency and the only way they can directly cause change is to withhold donations. They are doing this now. Of course to this outcry the Board, which Garrison put in place to put him in place, still backs Garrison. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sued WVU for lack of FOIA compliance and can't be happy about the results.
The university can provide no records of phone calls Mr. Garrison made during the critical five-day period when WVU decided to award the governor's daughter a degree she did not earn.

The university does not have landline records for Mr. Garrison, assistant general counsel Shea Browning said. According to Mr. Browning, records of local landline calls are maintained for only 30 days and no long-distance calls were made using the identification number assigned to Mr. Garrison by the university.

The university's cell phone provider has been unable to produce a copy of Mr. Garrison's cellular records, Mr. Browning said.
So WVU is saying that there are no phone records available for the 5 days in question including cell phone because cell phone companies lose records all the time.

Finally, in an election year someone is courting an under represented group for votes: Nazis. Tony Zirkle is running for Congress and is getting the message of the effect of porn and prostitution on young, white women and girls out anywhere possible including a birthday party for Hitler which included a cake with a photo of Hitler and the words "Seig Heil." Probably not even an ice cream cake. Zirkle is all about his message though:
"If the Black Panthers or the Jewish Zionists want me to speak about these issues, I'll do it."
Yes, two groups that really want to talk about how porn is hurting young white women. BTW, more about the Zirkle message is available here including "The Great Porn Jihand War Tax: Prolific Porn Mule Serial Woman-Womb Slaughterers."