Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Blog Entry

Son of Weekend Watch List: WV power broker speaks

Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:14 pm
 

Admit it, you couldn't get enough of Weekend Watch List so here's Son of ... comin' right at ya. 


No matter what conference West Virginia lands in, Ken Kendrick will be consulted.

The 68-year-old managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks is an alum. Let's just say he has given a few bucks to the university. He is a member of the school's governing board, the WVU Foundation Board of Directors.

Kendrick is a power broker who doesn't flaunt it. Not even when his school is one of those being held hostage in the Missouri-SEC-Big East crisis situation. West Virginia has been mentioned as a prime candidate to join the SEC at the same time the Big East considers it a cornerstone moving forward.

So when there were rumblings this week that West Virginia had received an invitation from the SEC -- turned out to be a false alarm, for now -- it seemed like it was time to pick Kendrick's brain.

His wife Randy is an Auburn grad. They were "front and center" for the Tigers' national championship win in Glendale, AZ. Kendrick believes that given a few years with access to SEC recruits, West Virginia could be on a par with Auburn.

You have to respect his opinion. Kendrick is a close friend of former coach Rich Rodriguez. The Mountaineers, as you might have noticed, haven't been the same since. Since Kendrick took over for Jerry Colangelo in 2004, the franchise has both bottomed out and soared. It went from last in the NL West n 2010 to a division title this year under Kirk Gibson, a likely manager of the year winner.

But his university is near and dear to Kendrick's heart. Here he talks about the various conference realignment issues that face his school

 

 

SOWWL: What is your reaction to this latest round of conference shuffling?

Kendrick: "There are a lot of rivalries that are at the cornerstone of sports that are kind of going away. It's part of the revenue streams that can be created.

"I'm in professional sports and revenue streams are what it's all about but something is getting lost in what the college experience should be.

"As a student back at West Virginia, the teams that we played -- Pitt and Penn State, the Syracuses and Virginia Tech -- all of that has kind of gone by the wayside and I'm sad about it."

 


SOWWL: Will the Big East survive?

Kendrick: "It's hard thing for me to even know other than just from afar. As it loses more and more teams, there is some chance that could happen and that would be sad .

"While they wouldn't be the SEC as it relates to football, which seems to be the driver, they've been pretty darn successful. For it to go away would be very sad for me."

 

 

SOWWL: What is the attractiveness of West Virginia to another conference?

Kendrick: "That's a really good question. I think West Virginia is attractive because it's had great success across the sports landscape. Success on the field should be appealing to any conference. We have a very rabid fan base. If you're a Mountaineer fan it's a real, real commitment.

"There isn't any professional sport in the state. West Virginia is the leading institution in the state. There are some downsides. It doesn't have that big city or large population that is more attractive to the media world and the purchasers of media rights.

"That's somewhat of a deficiency for the university ... We're maybe not as desired as some of these schools would be by larger conferences. If results on the field mattered, and they should be, we're a player in many sports."

 


SOWWL: You were talking about your knowledge of Auburn ...

Kendrick: "If you and I were to make a bet on it, and took all sports and all records, I would bet West Virginia's results would be ahead of theirs.

"I'd think we'd be very competitive [in the SEC]. When we went into the Big East in basketball, we had an era where we weren't as competitive. Once they got into the Big East in basketball, it allowed them to recruit better. The kids were looking at, 'OK, we're going to be playing the best competition.'

"We attracted [Bob] Huggins back, ... I think the potential, not on Day 1, but if you were an SEC team, it will enhance their recruiting opportunity. I think they'd be very competitive in the SEC. But the SEC is clearly the most elite football conference by far. If West Virginia right now today were playing in the SEC, I wouldn't predict them to win the championship.

"But given a few years of competing and recruiting and playing those schools, I think they'll do fine. Why not upgrade the competition if you have the opportunity?"

 


SOWWL: So what is your preference for West Virginia conference-wise?

Kendrick: "I think I don't have a preference. What I clearly don't want to see is West Virginia in a place where you're not playing top level competition. More likely, we're going to be in a good place no matter how this ends. I think it's unsettling to the whole world of college athletics that this is going on right now."

Comments

Since: Oct 15, 2011
Posted on: October 15, 2011 2:10 am
 

Son of Weekend Watch List: WV power broker speaks

You're an idiot who doesn't know his facts.  Penn State stopped playing us because they moved to the Big 10.  Virginia Tech decided not to continue the series.....not WVU.  And finally, the Backyard Brawl with Pitt will continue, as both schools want the series to continue.  So get over yourself and stop the WVU hate!



Since: Apr 1, 2010
Posted on: October 14, 2011 10:46 pm
 

WVU deserves it's isolation

WVU does not like to lose. More than that, WVU is a poor loser. What does WVU say? "Penn State deserts us....do not play those traitors. Virginia Tech deserts us....do not play those traitors. Pittsburgh deserts us....do not play those traitors." WVU sits alone in a dark room. "Why?"....



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: October 14, 2011 8:08 pm
 

"Unsettling?"

College football needs to be stirred up.  It has professional athletes who aren't allowed to take money.  It has a Sham-pionship game that is nothing but the result of a beauty contest.  And now, it has exactly what it needs: a bunch of schools saying they are sick of the status quo.  
 
I want to see a breakaway division with a true champion determined by a playoff involving conference champions.  Four, five, or even six conferences could play this just fine.  The conference championship games would count as a de facto first round, meaning that the championship would involve eight, ten, or twelve teams.  
 
As for indies and wannabes, the message would be simple: join a major conference or play for your own "championship."  If the top 60-75 D-1 schools broke away, the rest of them might decide to play for their own divisional championship.  
 
As for the bowls, they could have the semis and the finals, and proceed as usual for the rest of the games.  They just wouldn't get to run college football anymore. 



Since: Nov 10, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2011 7:47 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List: WV power broker speaks

If you look beyond football and basketball, WVU also has men's and women's soccer teams that have been or are currenlty nationally ranked. The rifle team (I'll go out on a limb) has won more national championships than any other. The track and cross country teams are hard to beat. I went to the WVU-Pitt men's soccer game this week and our defense was inpenetrable (we won 2-0). No offense intended but just wait until Pitt has to play UVA (who we beat this year) or Duke. They've got a long way to go. At any rate, it's not just football that makes WVU great in athletics.



Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:14 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List: WV power broker speaks

i will just let you know being on the WVU Foundation Board of Directors and being on the WVU Board of Governors are two different things. The Foundation is the fundraising arm of the university, being on that board means you are directing fundraising efforts on behalf of the university. The WVU Board of Governors are the governing body of the university, on which Mr. Kendrick does not have a seat.



Since: Jul 22, 2010
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:12 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List: WV power broker speaks

i will just let you know being on the WVU Foundation Board of Directors and being on the WVU Board of Governors are two different things. The Foundation is the fundraising arm of the university, being on that board means you are directing fundraising efforts on behalf of the university. The WVU Board of Governors are the governing body of the university, on which Mr. Kendrick does not have a seat.



Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:23 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List: WV power broker speaks

Save us Ken!!



Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: October 14, 2011 2:21 pm
 

Son of Weekend Watch List: WV power broker speaks

People should listen to their elders ... but sometimes you have to read between the lines.

Kendrick's Translation ... bye-bye Big East.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com