The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

April 22, 2013

Was Geno Smith a racial bias victim?

MORGANTOWN — You may recall that recently a guy writing in Pro Football Weekly assaulted the talent, practice habits and character of WVU quarterback Geno Smith.

That damaging garbage, all untrue in comparison to my knowledge and coverage of the greatest passer in WVU football history, caused considerable feedback from people who knew better.

That came to a head in yesterday’s edition of USA Today sports section. The headline over the article read: ‘Racial bias builds hurdle for Smith.’ Beneath that is this subheading: ‘West Virginia QB is latest target of unfounded reports.’

Jarrett Bell, a member of the newspaper’s sports staff, was the thoughtful writer of that very fair story.

Bell was responding to allegations written by Nolan Nawrocki that Smith was “Not a student of the game. Not committed or focused. Marginal work ethic.”

Here is how the USA Today’s Jarrett Bell started his article:

“When a Pro Football Weekly scouting report of West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith surfaced recently, containing damning proclamations by analyst Nolan Nawrocki about the habits of the top-rated passer in the NFL draft, it made me shake my head.

“Here we go again.”

Then Bell went on to cite two or three strikingly similar cases in which other great African-American quarterbacks also were victims in much the same manner.

It seems such an outrageous shame that anyone could commit in today’s society.

n n n

 I hope those West Virginia University football fans attending last Saturday’s annual Gold-Blue intra-squad scrimmage were really excited by what they saw at Mountaineer Field/Milan Puskar Stadium.

I wasn’t. But I didn’t expect to be. As customary each spring, the Mountaineers show simple, basic plays with just an occasional play which really resembles a spectacular show of football brilliance.

But Dana Holgorsen, in his third year as WVU’s head coach, said afterward that “we accomplished what we wanted to.” He didn’t say what that was, though.

“The team we field in September is going to look a lot different,” he noted. “We have so many new guys coming in, and we have so many that are going to continue to develop.”

Holgorsen admittedly has been saying all spring, however, that “we’ve got a long way to go. (But) it was nice to see a couple of guys step up and make some plays offensively and defensively.”

The Mountaineers obviously were playing under wraps, though the coaches can’t afford to unveil the new stuff they’ve been working on all spring.

After 14 days of spring skirmishing and 75 plays (Saturday), Holgorsen thought what fans saw “resembled football.” But he hastened to add, “I don’t think it resembled high-level football.”

Happily, his players came out of the ho-hum effort healthy.


Text Only
Latest Sports
  • WVU rifle coach competing in native Scotland

    West Virginia University rifle coach John Hammond is competing in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in his native Scotland.

    July 24, 2014

  • 072414 WV Open.jpg Familiarity with Cobb helps Hess take lead

    It wouldn’t be a stretch to say Kenny Hess is comfortable playing the Cobb Course at Glade Springs Resort.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Golf and motocross are Jude’s passions

    Motocross and golf have very little in common.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU’s Worley clear starter at cornerback

    There were few bright spots in West Virginia University’s 4-8 football campaign last year, and even fewer on the defensive side of the football, where the Mountaineers gave up more than 455 yards and 33 points per game.

    July 24, 2014

  • How to discover and love Major League Soccer

    When I began my soccer fandom following a missions trip to Brazil in 2000, I didn’t know what my next step was. I knew I loved watching the game, but there weren’t a lot of options for seeing it in the U.S. I knew of Major League Soccer — mostly from my friend and current FC Dallas beat writer Drew Epperley — but it was hard to find.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen to appear on ESPN special

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen will appear Wednesday on ESPN’s annual mid-summer college football coaches’ “car wash” — in which guests appear across multiple programs and platforms over one day.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 brand Bradshaw or the field?

    If a betting window were set up on the Cobb Course at The Resort at Glade Springs for the 81st West Virginia Open Championship, which begins at 8 a.m. this morning, the most popular wager would probably be David Bradshaw against the field.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Holgorsen: WVU getting comfortable in new league

    Dana Holgorsen remembers the glory days of West Virginia University football — the ones that included conference championships and BCS bowl wins. In fact, he was part of one of those, leading the Mountaineers to a Big East championship and an Orange Bowl victory in his first season as head coach in 2011.

    July 23, 2014

  • 072314 justice Home sweet home away from home

    When Greenbrier owner Jim Justice was handed a copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch Sunday, his eyes lit up like a Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on a cold December night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Saints Training Camp