Tag:West Virginia
Posted on: September 21, 2011 12:33 am
 

Big East will be aggressive in expansion

Before the Big East’s meeting of the league’s presidents and athletic directors in the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, someone noticed a familiar face in the hotel: Henry Kissinger.

“Someone joked, he should come up here,” Big East commissioner John Marinatto told CBSSports.com.

However, the former Secretary of State wasn’t needed on Tuesday night – three days after the sudden announcement that Pittsburgh and Syracuse would depart the Big East –when the presidents and athletic directors of the seven remaining Big East football-playing schools gathered.

The league “will be aggressive” in replacing Pittsburgh and Syracuse and the Big East will continue talks with Navy and Air Force as football-only members, an official in the meeting told CBSSports.com. On Tuesday, CBSSports.com reported that Big East was in the final stages of adding Navy as a football-only member before Pitt and Syracuse abruptly left for the ACC. Air Force also was expected to come on board.

Marinatto would not discuss specific expansion candidates, but said “there’s no urgency to expand. We don’t need to make a quick decision. We need to make the right decision.”

Another official that attended the meeting said the league’s members made a commitment to work and stay together.

“It went well,” the official said. “I think those schools that thought they were going somewhere now realize they have no where to go.”

There have been multiple reports than UConn and Rutgers are interested in the ACC. The Newark-Star Ledger also reported Rutgers “had discussions” with the Big Ten. West Virginia also hoped to go to the ACC or SEC, but both leagues indicated they were not interested in the Mountaineers, CBSSports.com reported.

“Part of the purpose of the meeting was getting everyone’s commitment,” Marinatto said. “At some point, you have to take people at their word.”

The presidents and athletic directors from Cincinnati, UConn, Louisville, Rutgers, South Florida, TCU and West Virginia attended the meeting. Marinatto said the membership discussed increasing the withdrawal fee from $5 million.

“I don’t know if there’s a price you can put on for breaking your word and lying,” Marinatto said. “That’s priceless. I don’t know high enough of a figure to charge for being disloyal or untruthful.”

Marinatto also reiterated that the league plans to make Pitt and Syracuse honor the league’s by-laws, which require 27-month notice to withdraw from the league.

“They are with us until June 30, 2014,” Marinatto said. “I think our membership is firm on that. There is no intention of granting [an early] release.”

Marinatto said he was “hurt and disappointed” about Pitt and Syracuse’s decision to leave the league, especially since both schools kept their dealings with the ACC secret until announcing their departure.

“I don’t want to use words that go over the edge,” Marinatto said. “Let’s just say I was very disappointed.”

Representatives from the Big East’s non-football member schools – DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Villanova – were not in attendance. The athletic directors of those schools, with exception of Notre Dame, held a one-hour conference call on Monday morning.

“Everyone was frustrated with the way it [Pitt and Syracuse] went down and the fact no one had any idea Syracuse and Pitt were bailing,” said an official from a Big East’s non-football member school.

That individual added that it appears some of the “basketball schools are willing to leave.”

Marinatto, however, said that he held a conference call with the presidents of the non-football members on Monday.

“I went around the horn and asked each one if they were in support of keeping the conference together,” Marinatto said. “Unanimously they said they support what the football schools want us to do.”

Following the football-member schools meeting, the Big East issued a statement:

“Our membership met this evening and we are committed as a conference to recruit top level BCS caliber institutions with strong athletic and academic histories and traditions. We have been approached by a number of such institutions and will pursue all of our options to make the Big East Conference stronger than it has ever been in both basketball and football.”

Rutgers president Richard McCormick would not comment to the Newark-Star Ledger Tuesday night, but said he felt “very good” about the league’s future. “Certainly from our standpoint.”

The president’s next meeting is scheduled for Oct. 2.


Posted on: September 20, 2011 12:35 pm
Edited on: September 20, 2011 1:06 pm
 

West Virginia turned down by ACC, SEC

With the uncertainty of the future of the Big East, it's no secret several schools are seeking conference membership elsewhere. West Virginia, however, appears like it will remain in the league as Big East sources told CBSSports.com that the Mountaineers will not be accepted into either the Atlantic Coast Conference or Southeastern Conference.

WVU had enquired with both leagues, but WVU officials told representatives of the Big East those overtures had been denied and they were remaining in the Big East.

West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck released a statement on Sunday concerning conference realignment and ironically did not mention the Big East once in his statement.

"There is no question that the landscape of college athletics is once again changing," Luck said. "West Virginia University has great tradition as the state's flagship land-grant institution and we will continue working to do what's best for our University and its athletic teams. No matter how the college athletic landscape changes, there is no doubt WVU is and will remain a national player."

After Saturday’s news that Pittsburgh and Syracuse were headed to the ACC, there have been various reports that UConn and Rutgers are likely candidates to join the ACC

Both schools have released statements about conference realignment, leaving open the possibility either or both would leave the Big East if extended an invitation to the ACC.

Also, Monday Big East commissioner John Marinatto told the New York Times that he expects to make Pitt and Syracuse honor the Big East’s withdrawal agreement - $5 million and 27 months notice. If true, that means the Panthers and Orange could not join the ACC until July 2014.

Posted on: August 3, 2011 9:18 am
 

Big East move should help keep Patterson at TCU

NEWPORT, R.I. – Besides all the obvious benefits of TCU’s move to the Big East – money, better BCS bowl access, money, more television exposure, money and money – another plus for the Horned Frogs is it could make it easier to keep Gary Patterson in Fort Worth.

Patterson has been mentioned as a candidate for multiple openings in past years, but has remained at TCU. He begins his 12th season with the Horned Frogs on Sept. 2 against Baylor. The Horned Frogs are playing their final season in the Mountain West before moving to the Big East next season.

“Gary has an opportunity to create his own shadow,” TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte said. “You can go somewhere else and you’re following some one else’s footsteps.

“You go to Alabama, it’s still Bear Bryant. You go to Texas, it’s still Darrell Royal. You go to Arkansas, it’s Frank Broyles. It’s still Woody Hayes at Ohio [State] and Bo Schembechler at Michigan. Gary is that figure for us. He is our iconic figure.”

The Horned Frogs are in the process of $105 million expansion and renovation of Amon Carter Stadium. It’s scheduled to be completed for the 2012 season. That’s only one piece of the puzzle, Del Conte said.

“The one thing we have to continue to do is invest in facilities, invest in staff and invest in our program,” Del Conte said. “But Gary’s created that iconic figure for us. That’s something to be said.

“The grass isn’t always greener. That whole field is riddled with people who thought it was greener and they’re now skeletons littered in the weeds.”

The Horned Frogs first game in the renovated Carter Stadium in 2012 will be against Grambling on Sept. 8. TCU’s first season as a Big East member also will include home games against Oklahoma, Virginia, Cincinnati, Louisville, South Florida and West Virginia and road games at Pittsburgh, UConn, Rutgers and Syracuse.

Even though the Horned Frogs aren’t members of the Big East yet, Del Conte has an opinion on the league's expansion.

“Whatever we do, you have to have significant value to the mosaic that is already there,” Del Conte said. “If not, keep the league at what it’s at. Nine, 10, 12 [teams] – I have no dog in that race. Our forefathers do. My opinion is you have to add significant value and preserve the Big East’s tradition and history in basketball and what Dave Gavitt created way back in the day.”

Del Conte said he’s confident a Big East team will be playing for a national championship – in football – in the very near future and referenced near misses by Cincinnati in 2009 (if Texas doesn’t edge Nebraska in the Big 12 title game) and West Virginia in 2007 (if the Mountaineers defeat Pitt in regular season finale).

“There will be a Big East team playing in the national championship game soon enough,” Del Conte said. “There will be.”

Posted on: July 20, 2011 3:00 pm
 

Slive says you can win without cheating

HOOVER, Ala. – In the past two weeks, CBSSports.com has reported in depth on cheating in college athletics. And even since the series began three more schools – West Virginia, Georgia Tech and LSU – have received major NCAA sanctions.

So I posed the question Wednesday to SEC commissioner Mike Slive that our series sought out to answer: Can you win in college football these days without cheating?

The commissioner’s answer: “Yes.”

“There’s a tendency to overstate – if there’s a school on probation for phone calls or text messaging, you’re going to lump that in with another school who might had done something very different,” Slive said.

“We need to figure out what we really want to stop and go from there.”

In the past 25 years, SEC programs have committed the most NCAA major infractions of any conference. Since 1987, every SEC football program, except for Vanderbilt, has received a major infraction.

SEC football programs are hardly the only guilty parties. Since 1987, only 21 of the 67 automatic qualifying BCS conference schools have not committed a major infraction. That number likely will reduce to 20 after the NCAA rules on the various allegations concerning North Carolina.


Posted on: July 13, 2011 1:30 pm
 

Another one bites the NCAA infractions dust

And then there were 73.

For the past two weeks, CBSSports.com has been reporting on various elements involved with cheating in college football.

During the series, we had referenced that there had been 72 major violations at 56 schools since SMU received the Death Penalty in 1987.

Well, it’s now up to 73 major infractions and 57 schools after West Virginia's July 8 violations, stemming from failure to monitor charges against former coaches Rich Rodriguez and Bill Stewart, are now included in the database of NCAA infractions.

West Virginia had been one of 23 automatic qualifying BCS conference teams that had not committed a major violation since 1987, so now that number is reduced to 22. That also means 45 of the 67 AQ BCS schools - 67.1 percent of the schools from the six power conferences.

The final and fifth installment of our series is Friday, so it’s doubtful the NCAA would rule on any major infractions before then. But, then again, you never know.

Here’s the updated list of the 22 AQ football programs without a major infraction since 1987:

ACC–Boston College, Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest.
Big East–UConn, Louisville, South Florida.
Big Ten–Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue.
Big 12–Iowa State, Missouri.
Pac-12–Arizona, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA.
SEC–LSU, Vanderbilt.


Posted on: July 12, 2011 4:10 pm
Edited on: July 12, 2011 5:58 pm
 

BYU doesn't deserve automatic BCS access - yet

PROVO, Utah - Since BYU joined the indepedent ranks, should the Cougars now receive automatic access to a BCS bowl like Notre Dame?

BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe says not yet.

“I don’t think we deserve the same access as Notre Dame,” Holmoe said. “I don’t. I just have an incredible amount of respect for Notre Dame. What they have accomplished over decades and decades. I’m not talking 20-30 years, I’m talking about 100.

“The BCS folks brought them in at even keel and I agree with that. They belong. It’s their responsibility once they’re there to continue to be good.”

Leaving the Mountain West should give the Cougars a better shot at reaching a BCS bowl, though, Holmoe said.

“You have to start winning games,” Holmoe said. “TCU, Boise State and Utah – as hard as it is for me to say that – they’ve earned respect of the nation by going to BCS games and winning. I think if we play well – we’re going to have a better schedule now than in the Mountain West – if we can be undefeated with our schedule, we’ll be in a BCS game.”

The Cougars are one of only seven Football Bowl Subdivision programs to win 10 or more games in at least four of the past five seasons. But that won’t mean anything from here on out: especially with future schedules featuring games against Texas, Ole Miss, Utah, Oregon State, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and West Virginia.

“If we win, we’ll get noticed and we’ll earn people’s respect and people will take notice,” Holmoe said. “I think we belong in a BCS conference, but I’m not going to kick anybody out and we haven't been invited. There’s reasons we haven’t been invited.”

Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:24 pm
 

AD: Holgorsen's actions 'inappropriate behavior'

Following reports that West Virginia offensive coordinator and coach-in-waiting Dana Holgorsen had been escorted from a Charleston-area casino by casino security last week, Mountaineer athletic director Oliver Luck released a statement Wednesday afternoon calling Holgorsen's actions "inappropriate."

"After looking into the details and thoroughly investigating what took place last week, I believe inappropriate behavior did occur," Luck said. [Current head] Coach [Bill] Stewart and I have made it clear, and will reiterate, that our coaches and staff are representing the University and the state at all times. We expect them to always display appropriate behavior.

"I take this matter very seriously, but I do not plan on commenting on it further.”

Holgorsen also released a statement through the school.

"I learned a valuable lesson from this incident," Holgorsen said. "As a football coach I am always in the public eye and I have to hold myself to a higher standard, which is what I ask our players to do.  I'm sorry that this incident has put the University and the football program in a difficult position. I will not put myself in that situation again."

Ironically, West Virginia's statements were released shortly before news broke of USC's denied appeal by the NCAA. I guess Holgorsen and USC learned that when dealing with a casino or the NCAA never forget: the house always wins.
Posted on: May 25, 2011 10:33 am
Edited on: May 25, 2011 11:38 am
 

No Luck, so Big East AD meeting cancelled

PONTE VERDA BEACH, Fla. – Wednesday morning’s Big East athletic directors meeting at the league’s spring meetings was cancelled because some of the league’s ADs, including West Virginia’s Oliver Luck, had to return back to their schools earlier than expected.

Luck returned to Morgantown, WVa., to apparently deal with an incident at a casino involving Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia’s new offensive coordinator and head coach in waiting. Pittsburgh AD Steve Pederson and Rutgers AD Tim Pernetti also left early and were unable to attend the meeting.

On Tuesday, Big East commissioner John Marinatto said the league ADs would address several subjects on Wednesday including the league’s bowl payout situation, scheduling, television and BCS matters.

“Routine stuff,” Marinatto said.

Those items have now been pushed back to be discussed at the league’s football media days in Newport, R.I., Aug. 1-2.

 
 
 
 
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