The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

College Sports

April 4, 2014

Ex-WVU SID Henry says ‘Shame, shame on NCAA’

Three Big 10 schools were all in a position to make the Final Four, getting to play in different regions

MORGANTOWN — Stringing together some odds and ends about sports that may interest you:

Rene Henry, a friend who was WVU sports information director in the mid-1950s, recently posted the following on Facebook:

“Shame on the NCAA (re: men’s basketball tournament) for putting Louisville and Kentucky not only in the same region but the same brackets. The yahoos on the selection committee certainly made sure that three Big 10 schools (Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin) were all in a position to make the Final Four and playing in different regions.

“Shame on the NCAA for scheduling the Louisville-UK game to start at 9:45 p.m. This was a disservice to players on both teams as well as fans in Indianapolis and those watching on TV on the East Coast.

“Shame for giving multiple (five-six-seven) bids in five power conferences but limiting to one from some mid-major conferences. They overlooked one college that had 28 wins and a 31 RPI.

“Unbelievable!”

“Shame for having play-in games. But it’s all about money, money, greed and power. That ultimately will cause the implosion of the NCAA and destruction of college sport.” …

In that connection, WVU may have set a record for 9:30 p.m. starts in both men’s and women’s basketball games during the 2013-14 campaigns. Isn’t that showing lack of consideration for Mountaineer players and fans who must get up early on weekdays?

-- Are you aware that Fred Wyant, the highly successful WVU quarterback from 1952-55, wasn’t the only Mountaineer athlete who excelled in that well-known Morgantown area family? His younger brother, Bill Wyant, lettered as a standout swimmer for the university in 1957-58 and 1958-59 before being called to military service in the Army. Bill Wyant’s specialties in the pool were backstroke and butterfly. Teammate Dan Cavanaugh was the first swimmer in 2012 to be inducted into the WVU Sports Hall of Fame. …

-- We have received more responses via e-mails to my column of last Sunday than normal. Those referred to Oliver Luck’s firing of Craig Turnbull, head wrestling coach for 36 years … Not one respondent disagreed that it was a cruel, needless hatchet job … One e-mailer did suggest changes in two major sports. …

--- I’m told that Oliver Luck is being quoted in the Charleston newspapers, among others, that he’s trying to schedule more football games on faraway neutral sites. Isn’t that lack of consideration to WVU season-ticket buyers?

In that connection, why doesn’t the $700,000 A.D. call a press conference to make such announcements and let all reporters ask questions and get answers? …

-- Sonny Moran, the most hard-luck men’s basketball coach WVU has ever had (1970-75), was named West Virginia College Coach of the year when at Morris Harvey College (now the University of Charleston). He’s now about to turn 90 and lives in Gulf Shores, Ala. …

-- Matt Wells, assistant athletic director for marketing and sales, says requests by WVU fans for 2014 football season tickets are going “pretty well.” He’s hoping total sales will at least equal last year’s number. …

Higher ticket prices generally, along with parking costs on and off school property, reportedly are keeping more people home and watching games on TV. …

-- The Dominion Post in Morgantown finally got confirmation for a Thursday story that WVU is planning to play Tennessee and Virginia Tech in football games. That came from Mike Montoro, director of football communications, not from Oliver Luck. Those games would be on national fields, the A.D.’s latest idea. …

-- In my recent column about aforementioned Sonny Moran, I neglected to say that in friend Norman Julian’s excellent book, “Legends,” WVU basketball great Ron “Fritz” Williams is quoted as saying he wished Moran had been his coach — not Bucky Waters. Williams thought Waters’ style of coaching hampered his tremendous scoring ability he had. Moran had served as Bucky’s assistant.

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