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 ESPN.com 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 Scout.com, while Rivals.com 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.