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.