The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest Sports

March 29, 2013

Are governor, legislature aware of mess with WVU?

MORGANTOWN — Has Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin seen fit to look into what seems to be the worst turmoil athletically in many, many years at West Virginia University?

I don’t know. I’m just asking.

Has anyone in the West Virginia state legislature looked into that mess?

I don’t know. I’m just asking.

WVU officials revealed that the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics finished in $13 million dollars of red ink for fiscal 2012 and that word came nearly eight months after June 30, 2012.

For at least most of my 67 years covering the university’s sports beat, that information was usually available no later than August 31.

To my knowledge, that $13 million dollar debt for athletics in one year is thought to be the greatest ever in the athletic department’s history.

The powers-that-be obviously have been spending for athletics more millions than ever before. I happen to believe that it is a considerable cause for concern.

The WVU Board of Governors has admitted, through chairman Drew Payne, that the members voted long ago to allow Athletic Director Oliver Luck, with WVU President James Clements approval, to spend whatever they needed for what the two considered best for the university.

So one has to assume that the Board of Governors really isn’t worried about this season’s monetary matter.

There is a growing number of long-time, loyal season ticket buyers that admittedly no longer can afford to buy tickets for football and men’s basketball games.

Ticket prices have soared out of control along with required gifts to the Mountaineer Athletic Club for the right to purchase tickets.

Couldn’t everyone interested have expected that eventually to happen after college presidents and athletic directors allowed coaching salaries to get out of control!

In my opinion, the continuing athletic financial costs at WVU are the worst since 1981 when the department, like now, was dripping in red ink. The late Dick Martin was on his way out then.

Then, as now, WVU had budget problems, and the spending was greater than the revenue. But the bottom line wasn’t anywhere near what it is today.

You might say it was more a matter of thousands — not millions.

Martin was blaming men’s basketball head coach Gale Catlett, saying low December game revenue was a major factor in the deficit. But it was no more then than it is now, percentage-wise, during that season’s first month.

What’s more, Martin’s assosiates in charge of finances confirmed he was “forced” to include a hoped-for $135,000 fee from a bowl appearance in the current athletic budget that never materialized.

But Martin resigned eventually, and the late Fred Schaus was named A.D. And he got the department out of debt and in the black, and left his successor with a cushioned result.

The governor and Legislature helped too. Both showed enough interest then to look into it that mess.

1
Text Only
Latest Sports
  • 041914 old white Old White to celebrate 100 years

    The home of The Greenbrier Classic will be having a birthday today, and the celebration should be something special.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mullens, Pineville to meet in Anderson Memorial

    After many years away from the sideline, legendary Mullens High School coach Don Nuckols is returning to the game of basketball.

    April 19, 2014

  • 041914 D'Antoni Lakers mum on D’Antoni

    Mike D’Antoni was still the Los Angeles Lakers’ coach when he left their training complex to spend the Easter weekend out of town with his family.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041914 gibby WVU trying to find speed on defense

    Tony Gibson took over as West Virginia’s new defensive coordinator over the winter with the goal of trying not to do too much to rock the boat. As the fourth coach to hold that spot in as many years, the Van native — in his second stint as a Mountaineer assistant — knew that his players needed some stability.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041814 Sisler Diamond Classic continues today

    Fayetteville pitcher Kaitlyn Sisler pitched five innings of shutout softball as the Pirates beat Oak Hill 10-0 Wednesday in the Diamond Classic in Fayetteville.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • D’Antoni’s Lakers future still unclear

    With the Los Angeles Lakers season officially over — the Lakers beat the Spurs 113-100 Wednesday but finished 27-55 overall, the most losses in the club’s history and the franchise’s worst winning percentage since the Minneapolis Lakers in 1957-58 — Marshall fans will be keeping a close eye on what’s going on in Tinsel Town over the coming days.

    April 17, 2014

  • Turnbull’s tenure dominates WVU wrestling history

    Did Oliver Luck really do a thorough job in deeply evaluating Craig Turnbull’s 36-year career as wrestling coach before firing him?

    April 17, 2014

  • WVU’s top football prospects working out for NFL teams

    As we draw ever closer to the NFL Draft, the prospect workouts for teams are picking up steam for former Mountaineers. Both running back Charles Sims and defensive end Will Clarke have a busy road ahead.

    April 17, 2014

  • 041814 james monroe Crusaders make history in loss to James Monroe

    The first season for Greater Beckley Christian’s baseball team has been met with growing pains — to say the least.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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