ATLANTA — West Virginia University football notebook:

West Virginia and Georgia Tech received no more than $50,000 each — if that — for playing in the Jan. 1, 1954, Sugar Bowl at New Orleans.

No joke!

The payout to WVU and Georgia for Monday night’s displaced Sugar Bowl renewal in Atlanta will be a cool $14.9 million each.

But neither school will get anywhere near that much. Giant-size shares are going to the Big East and Southeastern conferences.

WVU is expected to receive about $2.4 million, with the remainder going into the league’s member-sharing pot. From that, the Mountaineers will get the largest amount.

Although the athletic department is mainly self-sufficient now, it was generously supported by the state 52 years ago. And all receipts generated went into a general fund at Charleston.

But little, if any, of that $50,000 payout remained after WVU’s 42-19 loss to Georgia Tech. Coach Art “Pappy” Lewis spent nearly all of it on his team during its more than two weeks of preparation in the New Orleans area.

That prompted a public outcry by state Auditor Edgar Sims, who clamored, “What happened to the sugar from the Sugar Bowl?”

WVU defensive coordinator Jeff Casteel thinks preparations for Monday night’s contest are going pretty well.

“I think our guys have done a good job and have hit the ground running once we got into Atlanta,” he said.

“We’re really excited. It’s almost like an opening game ... They’re so tired of battling on each other the last couple of weeks that they’re excited to play.”

Linebacker Marc Magro doesn’t think the WVU defense has played its best game yet.

“Now we still have this one to do it in, and that’s exciting,’ he said. “Hopefully, this will be it.”

But Magro rates Georgia’s offense comparable to that of Louisville and Virginia Tech. “The Bulldogs are just as good or better,” he said.

D.J. Shockley, Georgia’s outstanding quarterback, concedes that WVU’s 3-3-5 defense can be confusing.

“It’s a defense we have not seen all year long,” he said. “We call it a Gamecock front. It has caused teams a lot of problems this year.

“I think it’s a defense that has people at the right places at the right time.”

Dan Mozes, WVU’s All-America center, thinks Georgia’s defense is much like Virginia Tech’s.

“The Bulldogs are probably better the way they come off the ball and the size and speed that they have,” he said.

He noted it has been hard for the scout team to simulate the speed that Georgia has.

“They’re an SEC team, and with the success they’ve had, we expect to take their best shot.”

React to this story:


Trending Video