The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

December 10, 2013

Another chance for players to go home

Pittman suspended indefinitely from basketball team

The game won’t be played in Florida, but the Miltary Bowl will still provide a homecoming for a sizeable portion of Marshall’s roster.

Ten members of the Thundering Herd are from the Washington, D.C., area, where Marshall will be Christmas week for its second bowl appearance in the Doc Holliday era. The game, against Maryland, will be played Dec. 27 at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md., but many of the weeklong festivities will be in the nation’s capital.

Leading rusher Essray Taliaferro and senior defensive lineman Alex Bazzie (Silver Spring, Md.) are among the Herd players who could have sizeable cheering sections at the game (2:30 p.m., ESPN).

Trips to Florida International and FAU afforded the more than 30 Florida natives on the Herd roster to see their families in the regular season.

“We have several kids from the state of Virginia, but this is a good opportunity,” said Holliday, now 26-24 in four seasons as Marshall’s head coach. “I think the team as a whole is excited to be able to play a team the caliber of Maryland.”

n n n

Unlike the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Little Caesars Pizza or Belk bowls, the Military Bowl serves a purpose beyond corporate sponsorship.

According to the bowl’s website, “Funds raised from the bowl help thousands of military personnel and their families through the game’s partnership with the USO. Last year, the Military Bowl donated $100,000 to the organization and provided more than 5,000 game tickets for service members and their families.”

That donation will be met, if not exceeded, this year.

The chance to honor the nation’s veterans is an added attraction to the bowl atmosphere, agree Holliday and Maryland head coach Randy Edsall.

“It’s extremely important. Our veterans have done so much for us,” Holliday said. “I’ve had the privilege of playing games in that particular stadium, and there is not a better setting for college football than what that will be.”

“We’re excited to play Marshall University, but also to play a game that allows us to show our appreciation for all the military does,” Edsall does. “They have allowed us to be able to play this game.”

n n n

Gift packages for players are a part of every bowl, and the Military Bowl is no different.

Marshall and Maryland players will receive Sony Playstation 4 systems, a winter hat and an Ogio backpack, according to a story in The Baltimore Sun. The NCAA limits gift packages to $550, but the Sun article attributed a quote from Sports Daily Business, “bowl committees and gift brokers can negotiate a lower rate on products because they are buying in bulk.”

n n n

Marshall fans are urged to purchase tickets for the bowl through its ticket office. Tickets are $77 each and will allocated in priority point order for all orders placed before 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Seats are in the lower level of the stadium in sections 1-5 on the west side.

To purchase tickets, call 800-THE HERD, or go to HerdZone.com.

n n n

The Marshall basketball program got some good news and some bad news Monday.

First, the good: Point guard Kareem Canty was named the Conference USA Freshman of the Week for the second consecutive week. The 6-1, 180-pound Harlem, N.Y., native was honored after averaging 23 points in losses at Vanderbilt (69-67) and Penn State (90-77). He was 8 of 13 (61.5 percent) on 3-point attempts.

Canty scored a game-high 28 points against the Nittany Lions, and had 18 points, four assists and two steals against the Commodores.

Canty’s 6.7 assists per game lead the league and are tenth in the nation. He is also averaging 18.3 points.

Now, the bad: The team announced Monday that senior forward Elijah Pittman has been suspended indefinitely.

Marshall Athletics issued a brief statement: “Elijah Pittman has been suspended indefinitely from the men’s basketball program. The department will have no further comment on this matter.”

Pittman, the team’s leading scorer at 21.4 points per game, has been in trouble more than once. He was indicted on misdemeanor battery charges in August stemming from an October 2012 off-campus fight with a fellow student, and last month was ejected from the Herd’s win over Western Kentucky after receiving a flagrant-2 foul for hitting a Hilloppers player in the throat with his elbow.

Marshall (4-5) takes on West Virginia in the Capital Classic at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

— E-mail: gfauber@

register-herald.com and follow on Twitter

@GaryFauber

1
Text Only
College Sports
  • 041714 millard Kickoff time set for WVU-Alabama

    West Virginia football fans can now start counting down to the exact minute, instead of just the day.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Questions raised about Turnbull’s firing

    Dr. Stephen Graber, an associate professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, is among the latest WVU teachers to deplore Oliver Luck’s firing of veteran wrestling coach Craig Turnbull.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041714 wright Former Red Devil star realizing dream of playing D-I basketball

    When former Oak Hill High School standout Kalif Wright was a kid, he would play EA Sports’ NCAA March Madness video games and dream of one day getting a chance to play in the NCAA Tournament.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mountaineers beat Buckeyes 4-1 in lefty Vance’s first career start

    In his first career start for the WVU baseball team, sophomore left-hander Ross Vance struck out 14 en route to a 4-1 victory over Ohio State on Tuesday evening at Hawley Field.

    April 15, 2014

  • Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage last Saturday.

    April 15, 2014

  • Wesleyan edges CU twice in softball

    The Concord University softball narrowly dropped a pair of games to No. 17 West Virginia Wesleyan, 2-1 and 4-3, Sunday afternoon at Culpepper Field.

    April 14, 2014

  • Concord baseball shuts out Cardinals

    The Concord University baseball team posted two shutout victories on Sunday, extending its winning streak to seven games by beating conference foe Wheeling Jesuit.

    April 14, 2014

  • dana Much still to be answered this fall

    In Saturday’s paper, I compiled a list of five things to watch at West Virginia University’s annual Gold-Blue Spring Game. Now, after watching the football scrimmage that concluded this year’s spring drills and taking some time to process what I saw, it’s time to go back and revisit those five points and how they turned out on Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni speculation now seems to have legs

    Kareem Canty got what he wanted, and Marshall fans should find out this week if they will get what they want.

    April 13, 2014

  • millard Specials teams shine at Gold-Blue Game

    The scoreboard said the Gold (offense) beat the Blue (defense) 37-27 in Saturday’s Gold-Blue Spring Game at Milan Puskar Stadium using a modified scoring system that rewarded the defense for stops and turnovers and the offense for scores.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video