The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

December 11, 2011

Cook expects end to Backyard Brawl

MORGANTOWN — Beano Cook thinks the Backyard Brawl between West Virginia and Pitt might well be a thing of the past.

While he lacks inside information, Cook has kept a close tab on the university for which he served many years as sports information director in the 1950s-60s.

As everyone who’s interested now knows, the Mountaineers are headed for the Big 12 and Pitt for the Atlantic Coast Conference. So both will be leaving the Big East as soon as WVU lawsuits are settled.

Cook, who still lives in Pittsburgh, continues to do some work for the ESPN Network. He makes frequent appearances on radio but no longer on TV.

“Since the two schools are parting company, they could decide to play now and then,” Cook said. “But I don’t think it would be every year.”

West Virginia needed a strong second-half rally to eke out a 21-20 victory over Pitt this season. That gave it a three-game winning streak in the ancient series.

The Mountaineers also had won in 2010 by 35-10 in Pittsburgh and in 2009 by 19-16 on a game-winning field goal by Tyler Bitancort, who’s now a junior.

Pitt last won in 2008 by 19-15 at Pittsburgh. The Panthers lead the all-time rivalry by 40-61-3, dating back to its beginning in 1895.

Cook said, “I thought at one time the Backyard Brawl football series would continue, but if I had to make a prediction now I don’t think it will survive on a regular basis.

“(WVU Athletic Director) Oliver Luck took some pot shots at Pitt when it announced it was jumping to the ACC, and I felt sorry (for Pitt).

“If they don’t play again, I think that would be the reason.”

-------------

Speaking of the Backyard Brawl, it appears to have been the late Russ Franke who first used the term in the 1960s.

That was Google’s response when his name was typed on the Internet recently. Franke was a longtime sports writer for The Pittsburgh Press (no longer in existence).

Cook had mentioned him some time ago as the likely writer who first coined the term.

“Yeah, but we still don’t have positive proof,” legendary Cook said. “Russ was gone when we first brought up the matter.”

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