Posted by: mseewv | April 15, 2010

Are We Ready For This?

Don’t put your WVU Basketball gear away just yet…

We are just into spring football practice and it looks as though we may be in for a long fall/winter.

After looking down from what seemed like Heaven with WVU baseketball this year with winning the Big East Tourney and making it to our first Final Four in 51 years, it seems that we were thrown back into reality this week.

First story hot off the press…The return of Rich Fraud. Oh yeah back like a nightmare from 5th grade, we learn that not only did Rod commit NCAA violations at Michigan but shocker – he possibly did the same at WVU. On April 2nd, NCAA officials started their investigation at WVU to see if Rich was in fact doing the same thing at WVU. If this rings true, and some WVU officials turned their head, we too could be looking at a bit of a smack on the wrist. The entire story from the Detroit Free Press will be posted below for you to take a gander at.

The second reason for you to possibly purchase the WVU Men’s Basketball 2009-10 Season Highlight DVD and put it on repeat all fall/winter long is that just 6 days into Spring practice Granpappy Stew is already not happy with their performance.

In the interview, which I will post below, he notes that there is a total lack of leadership and that our team was practicing no better than a .500 football team. That could spell disaster folks. Pat White is long gone. Jarrett Brown is long gone. All of our leadership is gone. There is still talent on that field but our on-field leadership is gone. Some one has to step up. And right now I am not seeing it. I really hope that Granpappy Stew can get these boys motivated. If he doesn’t, this could not only be his last year, but also a very grimm year for the Mountaineer Football team. We will just have to wait until after the spring game on April 30th to see if there is any improvement. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

On one cool note. Stew did announce in the video below that the team will be dedicating the 2010 season to the families of the miners who lost their lives at the Upper Big Branch Mine on April 5. So at least there is one shining light in all of this.

Strap in folks this could be a bumpy ride…

MountaineerTV: Bill Stewart

MSNsportsNET.com
April 14, 2010

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said he was not happy with the performance of his team on day six of spring drills Wednesday. According to Stewart, there were too many busted assignments and some of that was because of the large number of players wearing red and green practice jerseys. The team will be off on Thursday and will have a 6 a.m. workout on Friday morning.

And Now the Rich Fraud story!

Posted: 10:02 p.m. April 13, 2010

West Virginia meets with NCAA

BY MICHAEL ROSENBERG, JIM SCHAEFER and MARK SNYDER
FREE PRESS SPORTS WRITERS

The NCAA has accused the Michigan athletic
department of a failure “to adequately monitor
its football program” and has accused coach Rich
Rodriguez of failing “to promote an atmosphere
of compliance.”

These are official NCAA terms.
But what do they mean in the context of the U-
M case?
That is in dispute. And that might explain why
the NCAA has extended its inquiries all the way
to Morgantown, W.Va., where Rodriguez used to
coach.
After the NCAA alleged in February that U-M had
committed five potentially major rules violations,
Rodriguez said, in a statement, that “I’ll do all I
can to carefully monitor all the program’s
activities. I look forward to working with
(athletic director David Brandon) and the
compliance office to ensure there is no question
of Michigan football’s compliance with NCAA
rules.”
That is one interpretation of the NCAA’s failure
to monitor charge. However, the NCAA could
determine that U-M and its coach intentionally
violated the rules.
On April 2, the Free Press asked West Virginia

 
officials whether the NCAA was investigating
there, after a person familiar with the Michigan
investigation told the newspaper that questions
were being asked at WVU. WVU did not respond
to the Free Press until releasing the following
statement Tuesday afternoon:
“The NCAA has met with individuals involved
with the West Virginia University football
program to identify any potential rules
violations.
“The University has fully cooperated with the
NCAA during this process. West Virginia
University and its Department of Intercollegiate
Athletics is committed to operating its athletic
program in conformance with the legislation and
policy of the NCAA and the BIG EAST conference 
.
“No additional comments will be made regarding
the matter at this time.”
Mike Fragale, West Virginia’s assistant athletic
director for communications, said WVU officials
would not elaborate on that statement, citing the
NCAA’s request for confidentiality. Rodriguez
coached at WVU in 2001-07.

U-M athletic director David Brandon released a
statement Tuesday, saying: “There is no new
NCAA investigation involving the University of
Michigan. Any question regarding an NCAA q
uery should be directed to the NCAA. … There
is nothing new that would cause me to change
my position. Rich will coach our team this fall.”
It is unclear what, if anything, the NCAA
uncovered in its inquiries in West Virginia. It is
plausible that the answers from staffers there

 
could either help or hamper Michigan.
The key issue, as it relates to U-M, appears to be
whether Rodriguez knowingly and intentionally
instituted a system that violated the rules, or
whether his staffers inadvertently committed
violations.
In its Notice of Allegations to U-M, which was
made public in February, the NCAA wrote that:
“During the winter of 2008, shortly after head  
football coach Rich Rodriguez’s football staff
was hired, compliance services office staff
members became aware that the football
program employed quality control staff members (
noncoaching sports-specific staff members) and
were concerned about the duties and activities of
those individuals.”
However, the NCAA alleges that U-M’s
compliance office “failed to gather appropriate
information” about whether the quality-control
staffers’ duties were permissible.
Rodriguez, in his February statement, said: “Our
philosophy has always been to be very
transparent with our programs and to have an
open relationship with our compliance office. I
need to monitor more closely in the two areas of
concern — and I will.”
In his 2008 deposition regarding WVU’s lawsuit
over Rodriguez’s buyout, WVU athletic director
Ed Pastilong testified that he had met with
Rodriguez in October 2007 to “discuss coaching
limits, personnel that were involved with
practice.”
“It was a preventive-type meeting,” Pastilong
testified, “to make sure that we did not have
graduate assistants, people that were not
accountable with regards to the nine coaches,
and two assistants, that are permitted to coach,
to make sure that we didn’t make an error, to
protect us, to protect Rich.”

In Rodriguez’s deposition for that lawsuit, he
said he was never told his request for additional
graduate assistants in the strength and
conditioning program had violated NCAA rules.
He pointed out that “you can have as many as
you want,” as long as they only work in strength
and conditioning.

 
Rodriguez was then asked: “But if you’re using
them to help do other things, including
coaching, it’s a violation of the rules, isn’t it?”
Rodriguez’s response: “Right. You have to only
use the 12 on the field for coaching. We
understood the rules.”
The NCAA has alleged that Rodriguez’s program
at Michigan violated those rules. And by
extending its inquiry to West Virginia, the NCAA
could determine that Rodriguez’s program at
West Virginia violated those rules as well.
Rodriguez was asked Tuesday about the NCAA’s
inquiries at West Virginia but was not permitted t
o answer the question by U-M media relations.
Michigan has said all spring that officials will not
answer anything related to the NCAA
investigation while it’s ongoing.
If Rodriguez is found personally liable for
anything as the Mountaineers coach, penalties
such as probation or recruiting limitations could
hinder him at Michigan.
“It could potentially impact Michigan because
they won’t have full access to somebody they are
paying good money to coach,” said Michael
Buckner, a Florida attorney who has represented
universities in NCAA investigations.
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