Welcome to the Friday Feedback, nestled comfortably on the fourth tier and free from machinations.
Who knows, because it seems like every day brings a new letter, but the letters bring almost nothing new to the table. Yesterday’s what the best, a polite request that WVU start the whole bidding process over and, hey, “We won’t even bid! Also, please ask the chair of the BOG to resign. Thanks.”
I wondered then what the end game is and then thought that maybe that was the end game. Yet why all the precursors? Just to drag a rake through the muck? I don’t subscribe to the sour grapes theory. I honestly believe they’re too smart for that and I think, on some level, they knew the outcome. So they were part of the process, though to what extent we don’t yet know, and witnessed much of it up close.
Something really bothered them and their response was to object and protest. That’s entirely acceptable, so much so that we’ve since learned WVU has a built-in reaction to these challenges. And maybe that built-in reaction answers questions that were raised. Still, it’s really hard to envision something that derails the process and the progress, especially relative to the questions asked. But why those questions?
What happens when, let’s say, people donated services for free on the scoreboard project or, perhaps, if WVU declined a profitless offer from ESPN in favor of a profitable offer from West Virginia Media? Trying to connect the dots here and all it would seem to do is establish some sort of a loose pattern that, my hunch is, could be explained. It might look or sound odd and could bother people, and that’s to be expected, but what does it accomplish?
I guess we’ll know, eventually. We have another 10 or so days until the procurement officer finishes the evaluation, and then there’s the wake after that. Try to stay awake until then.
Onto the Feedback. As always, comments appear as posted. In other words, RELAX!
AND YOU GET A FOUL! AND YOU GET A FOUL! AND YOU GET A FOUL! AND YOU GET A FOUL!
And we’re off.
The Artist Formerly Known as EER96 said:
I haven’t seen officiating this bad since WVU’s last Big 12 game…
For the past few years, I knew enough about the Big East and the officials to expect certain things from certain matchups and crews. Though I was warned about how shoddy the officiating was in the Big 12, I’m only beginning to grasp it now, and I’m not sure there’s a pattern that can go back to the official or the teams. It could just be that it’s bad. I haven’t done a full catalog, and I’m not sure I will, but I went through a lot of box scores — too much time in a hotel! — and the home-road splits and the ranked-unranked splits were interesting.
Bobby Heenan said:
They’ve got this new Walter Sobchak/Doomsday Prepper/Teaparty manager on Raw now, which is funnier than what’s on ESPN.
When Gary Browne is logging major minutes at the two for your D-1 team, you’re in a lot of trouble. He’s a ~10 minute back up point or defense two guy. He’s not a 25 minute guy on a team where the other PG (Staten) can’t shoot threes either.
This isn’t a critique of Huggs sub patterns. It’s just a cold hard reality that sucks way more than this new manager who may ask for a birth certificate and review of transcripts from David Otunga.
I still think he does some things well — he’s always near the ball, he can rebound, you’re not going to push him around without an equal and opposite reaction — but I’m inclined to agree with you in that he’s not a major minute guy. Not yet, at least. He has limitations on offense and defense. The truth is he’s a better option than what else is available and he has an odd skill to get the ball to Deniz, which is kind of vital now, ironic as it may be for a guy who otherwise has trouble passing the ball.
I don’t know anyone who watches basketball because they love the sound of whistles and get jazzed up watching free throws. Is the B12 at all concerned about the product?
That’s a good question. I really wonder how loud the cries against officiating have grown this season. I think we can agree, if on nothing else, it is not consistent when consistency is what the league should strive for.
Larry Harrison said:
When do I get credit for holding Huggy back? DeRosa should send me a Valentine because if I let go it wouldn’t be pretty!
Little things are big. And since I have your attention, a point about passing: Watch tomorrow for how many passes require effort by the recipient. A stretch. A jump. A ball at the toes. A short hop. It’s hard to run WVU’s motion offense when passes aren’t clean.
oklahoma mountaineer said:
You really recognize the difference in officiating if you watched the ND-Pitt game that was on before WVU’s game. More physical, but still a lot of fouls called on both of them as well.
Let’s face it, the officiating did not cause this team to lose. They aren’t many players on this team that can do more than play defense and if you listen Huggs, they don’t do that very well either.
It may be too early to say they are all a bust, but the large Sophomore class are underperforming their hype for sure. You can legitimately say they should not be solid every night as Freshman, but this group has logged major minutes during both years and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Noreen is the best of the bunch.
I keep telling myself that Hinds and Browne are turning the corner, but 0 assists and 6 turnovers will not get it done from your backcourt. I’m not an expert, but does anybody think I’m being too hard on them???
Not at all. Huggins lost players from previous classes, but this sophomore class hung around (save Tommie McCune … whatever that guy was all about) and was supposed to be the base of this team. Major miscalculation. Miles and Brown are not reliable parts. Browne is as discussed and Hinds has had trouble maintaining a consistent level of production and effort on offense and defense all season. Where Browne can, at times, be undeterrable, Hinds has not showed that.
Bob Huggins has not put a reasonably consistent point guard on the floor at WVU since Darris Nichols. And I don’t think that is changing next year OR the year after.
You want to have some fun? Do a search and dig up an article or two that covered WVU’s defeat of Cincinatti in the NCAA’s. Everybody who remembers, remembers Jarrod West’s miracle shot. But most forget that WV fought it’s way back into the game and to the end of the game by pressing the heck out of Huggs guards in the second half. Guard play, or the lack of it, is what cost Cincy that game. (Catlett’s guards outplayed Huggs’ guards in the second half.) Go back and read Huggs’ comments. He talks about his guards. And then dig up some articles on other NCAA losses to lower seeded teams. I think you’ll find that guard play, or the lack of it, was often in the middle of his Cincy team’s losses to lower seeds in the NCAA.
His Cincy teams would blast through the regular season in CUSA, the Metro, or whatever conference they were in (I don’t really remember) with his trademark defense and rebounding. Come tournament time they often met defeat at the hands of a team with guards who knew how to play basketball. It would almost always be an ugly frustrating kind of loss. Sound familiar?
So Rugger … frustrating guard play on a Bob Huggins teams is nothing new. It’s just not. And I have said before that I think Huggs has some serious hurdles to overcome in recruiting these days.
I have often wondered why it was that Gale Catlett almost always had competent to very good guards … AND HE ALMOST ALWAYS HAD GOOD GUARDS! Then I read this … http://www.wvusports.com/blogs.cfm?blog=ccBlog&story=22930 … and I THEN realized that Gary McPherson was the man who had an eye for guards on Catlett’s staff. Huggs needs to get Gary to go with him to recruit a few guards. How is it that Gary McPherson could spot so many players who were good to very good guards. Somebody needs to pick his brain.
I have to admit, this compelled me to go back, as advised, and give it time and thought. It’s not illegitimate. Recruiting hasn’t been near expectations here, but it does seem the backcourt has been lacking and you have to have good guards in the postseason. The Final Four team is in many ways a wonderful exception, but WVU lost in the second round in the first round in 2008 and 2012 and the second round in 2009 and 2011.
How can Huggins not recruit any guards? I don’t pretend to be an NBA scout but its obvious WVU has missed the mark on recruiting guards and we don’t have 1 in the incoming class.
If I was Huggins I would donate my salary and that of my assistant coaches to charity. At least the charity will earn it!
And he knows everyone in Ohio. There are strong roots in Pennsylvania, too, and he used to get really worked up about Philly guards and how everyone had them in the Big East but his team. I can’t explain it.
People can criticize Huggy Bear all they want, but at the end of the day, he’s still one of the 10 best coaches in the country. His teams don’t have good guard play? Fine. Every coach has an element of the game that the other teams exploit to win. It’s the nature of the game.
True, though the counter is that Huggins, or any coach, should be able to adapt to a weakness and exploit a strength. The hallmark of this team is that it does not have that. It can’t play poorly and win. Oklahoma State, on the other hand …
JT, I have said to others the same thing you have said, “Even our F4 team needed a couple of forwards with NBA skills to play as guards because our guards were inconsistent and often ineffective.”
Jeff, with all due respect to you as a beloved poster on this blog, I disagree with the idea of this being a down year. This program, in my perspective, has taken a clear step down in each of the past three seasons. We are seeing a trend and not a momentary slump, in my opinion.
I know all about Devin Williams and a ranked recruiting class. And I know what I have seen on the court for the last three, even four, seasons. We’ll see which holds sway in the future.
And frankly (I know this will seem like piling on during a down year to some) I am simply tired of Bob Huggins voluminous F-bombs. I am not freaked out by coarse language in general and cannot claim to have the purest of lips myself at all times. And I know that many coaches have a less than pure vocabulary. But I am just sick and tired of his maniacal and bombastic public F-bombs. If Jim Clements, Oliver Luck, the BoG, and fans in general are OK with them then it is what it is. I have watched about a game and a half of the last six games and I can decrease that rate of attention. I suspect that I am in a minority on the F-bombs. But I also suspect that it is a growing minority.
I watched a few minutes of a lacrosse match between Jacksonville and Ohio State the other day. I enjoyed it very much. I certainly enjoyed it more than Bob Huggins’ F-bombs and his team’s characteristic poor guard play.
I also know that I am not obligated to repeatedly express my disatisfaction with the WVU basketball program in Mike’s blog. I guess I could be accused of using Mike’s blog as the place that I am coming to grips with the fact that I could be letting go of WV basketball under Bob Huggins. I’m not so sure that I would be ready to jump back on the bandwagon even if the team bounces back in the near future. I have seen too much crap and heard about too much crap. I’m just tired of it all. Life is bigger and more important than whatever little drama Bob Huggins wants to pull me into.
That’s why we’re here. We’re all adults. I think.
Ah, but there may be plenty to talk about and it appears that there is. Think back to the Mountaineer Field concessions debacle (pre-Luck era). Yes, the higher bid was accepted from Sodexho but that didn’t stop WVU from treating American Vending (i.e. an in-state vendor) like dirt and engaging in deceitful, unethical and probably illegal activity (failure to turn over documents) when they were taken to court. Casting WVU in the role of virgin queen being courted by royalty ignores the less edifying reality of how these deals are drawn up and consummated.
If Raese is serious about retaining broadcasts then he has every right to fight his corner. If the fix is in then he has every right to expose it, contest it and/or be compensated for his loss. If WVU pays up then those actions will speak much louder than their usual PR boilerplate.
There’s much more at stake here than who the announcers will be yet too many people believe the deal begins and ends with the on-air staff.
Totally agree on the last paragraph. That’s been my stance from the outset. I mostly agree with the rest — absolutely everyone should be entitled to object — but I think some of it follows or or allows others to follow the false narrative. Was this bidding fixed? Fixed in a way to shut out WVRC, which has had those broadcast rights and done a very good job for a long time? I think that’s the impression being crafted before anyone sits at the craft table. I suppose that’s savvy P.R. but it’s a little unfair, too.
Patchy, if WVU took the most money offered, then I don’t care how much impropriety is going on … no one is going to do anything about it. For one, the university can award the deal to whoever it wants. For two, from what Mike has said, IMG is the biggest company in the country that does this sort of thing. So no matter how much Raese doesn’t like it, what basis could any court possibly have for stepping in?
In what world did anyone believe WVRC could outbid IMG for the Tier 3 package? Or Learfield? Or one of the other industry leaders? I don’t for a moment believe WVRC thought that was possible. That’s not the point of protest.
Mack, you are free to be as apathetic and fatalistic as you like but your claim that ‘no one is going to do anything about it’ is flatly contradicted by the very story you are commenting on. John Raese is quite obviously doing something about it. By the same token, American Vending did something by taking WVU to court.
You make take a dim view of the cast of characters and the plot but the play is being staged regardless.
Indeed, though again, to what end? That’s my only question now because I think I know how this ends — IMG gets the contract.
After seeing the comments here, on message boards and on twitter, I have a question. Do you think that a majority of the responses are based upon the facts of the situation or is it politics, employment and previous opinions of the major players that carry the day? I hope that there is nothing to Raese’s claims, I dislike the way that the DP covers WVU and I don’t care for his politics but WVU has to be above reproach in this matter. Perception does still make a difference to the public.
It’s a good question and conversation we can have, though probably not right now. We still don’t have a lot of answers, and that’s a winning tactic for now. A lot of the stuff being stated and alleged is true or is rooted in fact, but a lot of it can be explained or defended to be free of guilt and to make sense. All of it? Probably not — and that includes the things we still don’t know.
Mr. M said:
Unlike JiA, my exposure to radio broadcasts of college sports has been limited to those provided by WVU throughout my several decades of life. Granted, the “network” could have been “marketed” better, but to what end? The state is covered fairly completely (“from Weirton to Welch” as Tony continues to say, carrying the words of Jack Fleming onward) and I suspect most people who are interested enough to listen to radio broadcasts of games do so.
We now have a few years worth of West Virginia Media’s television broadcasts of coaches shows, interviews, and “specials” during bowl games etc. There’s no question in my mind that the radio offerings are substantially more professional.
Obviously none of us know what IMG will provide. But, if past performance between the two entities now being discussed is any indication, I would opt for leaving the radio broadcasts as they have been.
You make a point that either isn’t being made or listened to: What if WVRC has a better product than WVMH? There are a lot of people who have told me that. I can’t say I’ve watched the WVMH stuff — I have DirecTV, so no local stations, and I’m not home for a lot of it — but people tell me there are undesirable elements. I think it’s clear by now some variables can be arranged in a way that makes IMG selecting WVMH above WVRC questionable.
Didn’t Mike work for the DP previously?
I don’t have a strong opinion of Raese or his motives. I do think WVU’s past indiscretions make it particularly vulnerable to claims like these. Transparency is essential here for WVU. They do not deserve the benefit of a doubt at this point, unfortunately. Raese, it seems, has to have a few cards given the specificity of his claims. I’m curious to see how this one plays out.
I did and I enjoyed it a lot. I’ve never masked that. But I worked for Dave Raese, who was great to me. I’ve never met John and never had anything to do with the radio network. And we’ve been saying this a long time: It should be a transparent process. Asking for disclosure isn’t the problem. I think the way, and not the what, is at issue.
Jeff in Akron said:
I said it last week and I’ll say it again this week, Bedenbaugh is/was a good coach. Still, he is not the hardest coach on the staff to replace and I believe he isn’t in the top three and possibly four. Plus, Bedenbaugh is not even close to the best o-line coach WVU football has seen. On that one, he would struggle to get in the top five.
The coach should remember that he has to come to Morgantown again, let’s see how that works out for him.
I’ll agree and disagree. I think WVU better be very good and maybe great on the line in the next few years or else. Teams haven’t beaten WVU the past two seasons because Geno was off or receivers were dominated or linebackers tackled the running backs. Excepting games when the defense was abysmal, WVU could be beaten because of issues attached to the offensive line. So, in that regard, the hire has to hit. Fast. On the other hand, who was the guy coaching the problem the past two years? He, the rationale would suggest, should be easy to replace. Depends on your position, I suppose.
This has the feel of an Oliver Luck hire. Can’t imagine that Holgorsen would know much about the guy. Once could surmise that Luck gave Holgorsen the name.
Eh, Crook was at Stanford for Andrew’s senior season. The Cardinal was established by then. I see the link, but I wonder how much Oliver could have swooned in that one year. And I’ve always had my doubts about Oliver telling Dana who he has to hire. That said, I’m intrigued about the way these philosophies will blend.
Dana’s hiring record to date is about as impressive as the Buckwild cast’s ability to stay out of the poke…..I hope Ollie is in the loop.
The Air Raid can use a little smash mouth, imo.
… and then there’s that. I will say this — and I don’t know much about Crook other than what I’ve discovered the past week or so … and, naturally, that’s mostly all positive stuff — but be careful about accepting the successes biographies present. SIDs make those to make a hire look good. Nothing against Crook, or anyone else, but relative to his example, do you want to grant him sole credit for two Illinois players getting drafted the season he was there? Do you want to put all tight end and tackle triumphs into his hands for two seasons at Stanford? Let’s see how it works first.
Just because there is a Stanford connection doesn’t mean that Luck brought this guy in. If that in fact happened, or even if Luck just heavily influenced this hire, I don’t like it. I want the AD making bigger decisions than O Line coaches. I also don’t want the AD meddling too much in these type things, other than the procedural stuff. Maybe Luck brought this guy’s name up, or maybe even vouched for him via any first-hand knowledge he may have had, but if it was any more than that, I’m not on board. I suspect Luck is too smart to go down that path…….
Take it for what it’s worth, and I don’t know who took part in it, but Crook’s name was rattled off to me as soon as Bedenbaugh was gone.
If its possible to tear your ACL from jumping to conclusions then some on this board might want to wear knee braces when posting. I agree with JP. Based on what I’ve read, it sounds like a good hire. Who cares if Oliver Luck recommended him?
Yeah, like, what if it works? Who then cares what got him here?
Notwithstanding the merits of the hire, the guy looks like he ate Joe Deforest, backwards hat and all:http://www.gocrimson.com/sports/fball/2010-11/photos/Ron_Crook_Photos
I don’t know, he looks like a line coach to me. And are we going to ignore the photos in which he’s wearing a backwards hat?
I’m sorry, but until I see this man in person, I choose to believe that “Ron Crook” is a fictional character from a recent Will Farrell movie.
Enjoy the weekend!