Stringing together some odds and ends that may interest you:
-- Belated congratulations to well-known Charley Whiston of Westover, who recently celebrated his 98th birthday. The longtime friend is remembered as a five-time sheriff of Monongalia County. Whiston also served several years as voluntary manager of Morgantown’s American Legion baseball teams in state summer competition.
-- The recent four-game suspension of Tom Yester as Morgantown High boys’ basketball head coach still bothers me. He’s accused of an assault charge which he denies. I have known this gentleman for more than 30 years as an outstanding, successful coach with seemingly good character. Yester also served a stint as coach at University High in Morgantown.
-- The thought herein is that WVU desperately needs to find winning ways and restore its badly sagging football program than spend $5 million updating with a new auditorium for watching film. That has to be laughable to some coaches and players that were so successful for many, many years.
n I’m told by a friend that a Charleston sports writer, in what the friend interpreted as an obvious attempt to justify WVU’s 2012 entry into the far-away Big 12 Conference, said it was its only option. OK, if the Big Ten or another major conference considerably closer to WVU offered a berth, it would have cost $50 million in the league’s exit fee.
-- The late Fred Schaus, a great and very knowledgeable WVU athletic director in the 1980s, envisioned a group of six or eight mega conferences. He thought that each would have at least 16 schools, or maybe 18. I don’t think there’s more than 14 in any of the majors today.
-- In that connection, Marshall University seems to be content — at least for the present time — as a member of the Conference USA. As one who took six credit hours there in 1942, I know I’m perfectly pleased with the Thundering Herd’s 10-4 record in football last fall.
-- John “Doc” Holliday obviously did a great job in his fourth year at the Huntington school. He was an outstanding linebacker here in the 1970s and also is a former assistant on Don Nehlen’s coaching staff, too.
-- Have you noticed that the increasing cost of football and men’s basketball game tickets may be beginning to hurt attendance for games at WVU and other major universities? Having to pay $20 or more for parking — which used to be free — could be another factor keeping more longtime season-ticket buyers home watching games on TV.
-- My friend George Bright tells me that the late Mike Barrett, an all-time great basketball player at West Virginia Tech in the 1960s, was honored on Jan 25. A portrait of him was unveiled at the school before former teammates, his wife and longtime friends.
-- Barrett, a Richwood native, went on to win a gold medal in the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. He also played in the old American Basketball Association. He’s remembered as not only a terrific player in Montgomery, but as a great person.
-- I really didn’t have a favorite in this year’s Super Bowl. But I turned it off at halftime because Denver didn’t perform like it was one of the NFL’s top two teams. Seattle certainly did, though, winning 43-8 with quality plays, or so I’m told by a friend who stayed up to see the finish.
--That reminded me of another NFL championship one-sided contest way back in 1940. The Chicago Bears, with two former Mountaineers as starters, routed the Washington Redskins 73-0. That of course, was before it was called the Super Bowl.
-- WVU all-time great tackle Joe Stydahar and halfback Harry Clarke were major contributors for the Bears. In fact, Clarke reportedly was the only player to score two touchdowns in that game.
Stringing together some odds and ends that may interest you:
- College Sports
WVU finishes season today at home vs. Kansas
The NCAA Tournament bubble seems to have popped on West Virginia’s men’s basketball team thanks to a string of five losses in seven games — including a 72-62 defeat Wednesday at Oklahoma.
Mountaineer women open Big 12 Tournament play today
The No. 7 West Virginia women’s basketball team enters the 2014 Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championship quarterfinal round as the No. 2 seed, and will take on either No. 7 seed TCU or No. 10 Texas Tech at 7 p.m. Eastern today.
Women’s finale was all-time Coliseum great
If you weren’t among the thrilled, extremely vocal 5,502 fans at the WVU Coliseum last Tuesday night, you missed one of the most memorable sports events in that 44-year-old arena’s history.
Lusk, WVU Tech start title defense today
Cheyanna Lusk has seen improvement in her basketball game this year.
WVU hopes it’s found another receiving duo
At West Virginia, wide receivers often come in pairs.
WVU ladies pile up Big 12 awards
After one of the best seasons in school history, West Virginia’s women’s basketball team racked up Thursday when the Big 12 Conference announced its postseason awards.
Ex-WVU star loves coaching at Fairmont State
Joe Mazzulla, a native of the Providence, R.I., area, now is in his first year as an assistant men’s basketball coach at Fairmont State University.
Clark leads No. 23 Oklahoma past WVU 72-62
Cameron Clark had 19 points and 10 rebounds in his final home game to help No. 23 Oklahoma defeat West Virginia 72-62 on Wednesday night.
Gee, other prexies studying possible athletics rollback
Dr. E. Gordon Gee, now the acclaimed permanent president of West Virginia University for the second time, has a history of national involvement in intercollegiate athletics as well as academic affairs.
WVU’s Crook trying to find right mix on O-line
Perhaps no spot on the West Virginia University football team will be as important this spring as the offensive line, where second-year coach Ron Crook is working to piece together a unit that can protect whomever is behind center taking the snaps — the Mountaineers gave up 2.33 sacks per game last year — and open holes for the stable of WVU running backs.
- More College Sports Headlines
- WVU finishes season today at home vs. Kansas