The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 21, 2014

Hiring an interim while waiting on D’Antoni would be an injustice

By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor

— The search for Marshall’s new men’s basketball coach remained in a holding pattern over the Easter weekend while the Los Angeles Lakers put off their decision on coach Mike D’Antoni’s future until this week. All the while, Thundering Herd fans who branded D’Antoni a candidate before Tom Herrion had time to finish cleaning out his desk are in a tizzy, all with their theories on what athletic director Mike Hamrick’s next move should be.

Going this late without a coach being named has some fans freaking out. It apparently was even suggested that Marshall name an interim head coach for the 2014-15 season to give D’Antoni time to take over in 2015.

That would be insulting to whomever would be asked to fill such a role, be it a current assistant or one of the seeming hundreds of candidates whose names have popped up in the last 38 days.

Besides, doesn’t that sound eerily similar to the heavily criticized move by West Virginia University athletic director Oliver Luck to name Dana Holgorsen head football coach-in-waiting to replace then-head coach Bill Stewart in 2011?

I still contend that where there is smoke, there is fire. D’Antoni leaving the bright lights of Hollywood for the slower pace of Huntington in a matter of days seemed like a dream, at best, on March 15. But the fact there is still not a coach suggests to me that the Mullens native has indicated that he has sincere interest in the job if he is indeed fired by the Lakers this week (which has been rumored to be a mere formality).

Stay patient, Herd fans. Your wish may still come true.

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Several media outlets reported that former Marshall point guard Kareem Canty commited to Auburn late Saturday during a visit. But Canty, who was granted a release from his Marshall scholarship last week, went to Twitter — imagine that — to make it clear that his future is, well, unclear:

“I wanna thank Auburn for a great time but I wanna make sure I’m 110% sure my next move is my best one and take the rest of my visits !”

One of those reportedly will be to South Florida. Canty’s name has also been linked to Penn State — which will visit Huntington next season — and Virginia Tech.

Canty will have to be granted a hardship waiver by the NCAA to avoid sitting out 2014-15 as a transfer.

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The eyes of the football world will be on Radio City Music Hall for the NFL Draft in a few weeks, but Herd fans were more concerned about the Green-White Draft that was concluded on Easter Sunday.

Marshall legends Byron Leftwich and Chad Pennington will serve as the head coaches for the annual Green and White Game coming up Saturday at Joan C. Edwards Stadium. Each drafted players from the Herd roster, and Pennington would seem to have the edge with quarterback Rakeem Cato on his team.

Of course, Cato doesn’t stand to play much, which would leave most of the Team Pennington snaps to true freshman Cole Garvin, who graduated from Sandy Creek High in Georgia in December and enrolled at Marshall the following month.

Be warned: Spring rosters were made available with the disclaimer, “Remember...trades CAN happen!”

The Green and White Game will start at 4:15 p.m. Tickets are $5 and all seating is general admission on the west side of the stadium. Parking passes are $20 apiece and will guarantee each customer a spot in the west, annex or softball lots. It is recommended that parking passes are ordered in advance to guarantee a spot. All parking lots will open at 9 a.m. on game day.

The annual turning on of the Memorial Fountain will be held at 11 a.m.

— E-mail: and follow on Twitter @GaryFauber.