Meeting in Morgantown amounted to nothing
THE VIEWS from here:
The venom has been flowing. The fur, it’s been flying.
Over a simple and — from all accounts cordial — meeting.
Another dose of silliness over the prospect of a Marshall-WVU football game.
Here’s the deal, with input from officials from both schools.
A couple of weeks back, MU athletic director Bob Marcum learned of or decided to act on West Virginia’s previous football openings in 2004 and 2005.
“I called [WVU athletic director] Ed [Pastilong],’’ Marcum said. “I asked if I could come up and visit. He said yes, so I did. He told me, though, he had a lot in the works. He said there really was nothing there.’’
A contract between Virginia Tech and West Virginia was being drawn up.
“There was really nothing there,’’ Marcum said. “So once we got that out of the way, we visited about other things. ... There were no dates for us. So there was nothing to put forth.’’
Media squabbles, however, ensued. Charleston’s afternoon paper suggested MU put a two-games-at-Morgantown-with-no-return offer on the table. (“At the end of the day,’’ Pastilong said, “two games in Morgantown for ’04 and ’05 with no return to Huntington was not presented.’’) The Statewide Sportsline radio show reported MU offered a 3-for-1. Host Tony Caridi apparently attributed some of the info to WVU assistant AD Mike Parsons. Said Parsons participated in the meeting. (“If Mike was in there,’’ Marcum said, “he must have been invisible.’’) Parsons did not, in fact, participate.
The point, however, is nothing of significance happened. So why the hubbub?
“Bob came up,’’ Pastilong said. “He called and said, ‘Let’s visit a little.’ I was receptive, but said, ‘Bob, we’re almost past the 11th hour on a commitment [with Virginia Tech].’ He said, ‘Let’s talk anyway.’ Which we did.’’
After a few minutes spent on the possibility of a game, the two shot the breeze.
“If there would have been something in ’04 and ’05,’’ Marcum said, “we would have been accommodating.’’
“We left it as ‘Let’s see how the conference alignments unfold,’ ’’ said Pastilong. “If we someday have a chance to help both schools, we’ll sit back down again.’’
What should have happened, in my humble opinion, is a meeting of the minds over future possibilities. If WVU’s ’04 and ’05 schedules were filled, so be it. Move on. Try for something in 2008 and beyond.
I asked Marcum if he got any hint Pastilong wished to work on future games.
“No,’’ was the simple response.
There was also no hint, though, that Marcum broached the issue.
MU’s athletic director, by the way, thankfully injected some humor into the situation.
“[WVU president David] Hardesty said that ‘someday the stars will align,’ ’’ Marcum said of a possible contract. “I’m calling Miss Cleo.’’
Enough of that. The Gazette informed you the teams wouldn’t meet in ’04 and ’05. They are not.
You may remember that in last Friday’s Gazette, yours truly cornered Miami athletic director Paul Dee in South F-L-A. Dee said the Hurricanes would be interested in future contracts with West Virginia.
“Those are the types of games we have to take a good hard look at,’’ responded WVU’s Parsons.
The assistant AD said that at an appropriate time WVU will dial up the ’Canes.
“We have to protect our strength of schedule and provide TV with [Big East] inventory,’’ Parsons said. “We need BCS teams on our schedule to sell to ESPN and ABC.’’
Parsons warned, however, that his school “can’t overload’’ on Atlantic Coast Conference teams. The Mountaineers regularly play Maryland. Virginia Tech is back on the schedule. There’s the possibility of playing Miami.
The problem is, bowls with Big East-ACC ties — the Continental Tire and Gator — wouldn’t want rematches.
Quick recruiting shot. WVU has offered a scholarship to a teammate of Mortty Ivy, a 6-foot-2 athlete from Gateway High in Monroeville, Pa., who earlier committed to the Mountaineers.
The offer went to junior Justin King, a 6-0, 178-pound tailback.
“He’s a legitimate 4.2 [40-yard dash] kid,’’ said Gateway coach Terry Smith. “He’s quick. The best thing coming up in Western P.A.’’
Aside from WVU, Iowa, Penn State, Pitt and Boston College, among others, have offered King.
Back to Conference Realignment Land.
Which school would replace Boston College if the Eagles, as expected, fly to the ACC?
Sources conflict a bit. Some from Big East circles north of the Mountain State tell me Central Florida or South Florida. Others more adamantly say East Carolina would be No. 1, followed by Memphis.
For the record, Marcum said he has contacted Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese over the possibility of joining the league.
Don’t, however, bet on it happening.
Thought: Wouldn’t Temple be a good fit for the Mid-American Conference?
And finally . . .
You may remember that Sports Illustrated named Huntington the top sports city in West Virginia.
WVSPN.com voters beg to differ. According to the Internet site’s unscientific poll, Morgantown is tops (36 percent), followed by Wheeling (24), Parkersburg (22), Bluefield (5) and Charleston (4). Huntington is ranked seventh (2).
Which goes to show ... absolutely nothing.
Have a nice day.