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West Virginia fans dropped the ball after victory

October 28, 2003

Shame on West Virginia!

Shame, shame, shame on you!

Last Wednesday, West Virginia, in front of a national television audience, went out and methodically destroys third-ranked Virginia Tech.

This was the highest-rated team the Mountaineers had ever beaten and it turned into one of the lowest-rated moments for the school and the city of Morgantown.

As the game neared its conclusion, you could see students hanging over the front row walls ready to storm the field.

There was a quick interview at the conclusion of the game as fans hurried the field, and then a commercial. When ESPN returned the cameras panned the field, showing security surrounding both goalposts, which you knew was going to be an eventual target of the rowdies.

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Shortly after the ESPN cameras had turned off the red light, the students went absolutely berserk inside the stadium, around campus and on into the streets of Morgantown to begin their own destruction.

It was almost like there was an "eye in the sky" that would give the word for everyone to go wild once the cameras were off. And, that's exactly what happened.

Head Coach Rich Rodriguez even implored the students to refrain from the ritual of burning couches around town.

I can only imagine what would have happened around campus and the town if the Mountaineers would have beaten Miami two weeks earlier.

This was a deplorable episode of behavior that should have the university administration in a state of sickness.

I'm told the same type of behavior went on in College Park following both appearances by the University of Maryland in the Final Four.

What gets in the minds of kids today?

College football is one of sport's great settings and a great way to release energy, but not in the form of destruction.

I'd suggest to the WVU administration that ALL students be prohibited from attending the next home game, but then again, that would probably instigate another upheaval.

Last week the MPSSAA conducted its state golf tournament and for the second year in a row it was merely a one-day, 18-hole event.

Prior to last season, it had been a two-day, 36-hole event but was adjusted due to the Washington-area sniper shootings. Organizers decided to continue the tournament in that fashion.

Wrong!

There was no reason for the state's directors not to go back to a 36-hole event, and in talking to many area coaches, they would like to see it go back to the regular format which is standard throughout most states.

Just take a look at Pennsylvania.

The case is made that any golfer should have the opportunity to rectify an insufficient outing the first day and have the chance to come back for the second 18 holes.

Waynesboro's Kevin Reiber did just that when he rebounded from a sub-par first day and made up five strokes the second day to win the state championship.

That might not always happen, but each golfer should have the chance to win over a two-day period.

Area coaches indicate they want the change. Whether it's made won't be known until next spring at the annual meeting of the state's directors.

I don't have enough room within this column to continue talking about the MPSSAA and what it should do with the golf tournament, and if I did, I doubt they'd listen. So, we'll just see what happens for next year.

We'll see if the state scores a birdie or bogey.

n Another mistake by ESPN hit the morning time slots last week.

I'm not a fan of leftover cold pizza, and I'll throw the new ESPN show "Cold Pizza" into the same loss column after catching a couple of the shows during the first week.

What is supposed to be an entry into the morning array of limelight with news and interviews is nothing more than two hours of cue-card reading by hosts Kit Hoover and Jay Crawford and a very poor imitation of a desk anchor in Leslie Maxie.

ESPN is doing real well in its programming effort.

You can add "Around The Horn" and "Playmakers" to the "file 13" category.




Tim Koelble is a staff writer for The Herald-Mail. His column appears every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2311, or by e-mail at koelble@herald-mail.com

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