Although the 2011 season does not begin until September, it is an exciting time right now for West Virginia fans—there is still a lot going on in Mountaineer nation. For those who may not know, here are 6 things happening right now.
WVU received its first verbal commitment of the 2012 season—Jarrod Harper, a running back from Frostburg, Maryland. Jarrod has no rating by Rivals yet, but it may be too early for that. Here are his stats:
Wt: 200 lbs
Runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds
Benches 300 lbs, squats 500 lbs
Shuttle time was 4.1
2. NCAA Violations
On January 12, Chuck Landon of the Herald Dispatch reported that Mountaineer athletic director, Oliver Luck, had negotiated a settlement with the NCAA over 5 major and 1 minor rule violations—which happened under the tenure of former head coach Rich Rodriguez and current coach Bill Stewart. The settlement, according to sources, involves a reduction of scholarships for the football program as well as a reduction of graduate assistant coaches and practice time during a 2 year probation. WVU will only lose two scholarships during each of these two years. If you wish to read the entire article, here is the link: http://www.herald-dispatch.com/sports/x5954094/WVU-gets-break-from-NCAA-for-violations
If this is accurate, my hat is off to Oliver Luck for keeping us from more severe sanctions.
3. 2011 Football Schedule Released
The Big East Conference and West Virginia University released their football schedules earlier today. WVU will play 7 home games—most of them happening during the first half of the season. West Virginia will also play a Thursday night game for the ninth straight season when it travels to USF for the season finale.
Sat. 3 Sept. Marshall
Sat. 10 Sept. Norfolk State
Sat. 17 Sept. @ Maryland
Sat. 24 Sept. LSU
Sat. 1 Oct. Bowling Green (Homecoming)
Sat. 8 Oct. UCONN
Sat. 22 Oct. @ Syracuse
Sat. 29 Oct. @ Rutgers
Sat. 5 Nov. Louisville
Sat. 12 Nov. @ Cincinnati
Fri. 25 Nov. PITT
Thur. 1 Dec. @ USF
4. Geno Smith's Foot
As most of you already know, Geno Smith had to have yet another surgery on his left foot—the same left foot that held him out of spring training last spring. It didn't seem to affect Geno or the Mountaineers that much, though, as he had a respectable first season as a starter in his sophomore season. Smith played with a stress fracture most of 2010, and neither he nor the team let it be known until after the Champs Sports Bowl. Smith is due to be out of his walking boot in about a month—about the same time that spring training starts. Holgorsen has said that he will test Geno, but will exercise caution with him.
5. WVU Spring Training
Spring training starts March 28th and ends with the gold and blue game on Friday, April 29th. Last year, Coley White was the QB for both the gold and blue teams. This year may be somewhat the same if QB Geno Smith's foot has not healed in time. Give Geno credit, though—he was in the same situation last season and handled it fairly well. But with Holgorsen's new offense, he will need all the reps he can get. Everyone needs to come out and watch the spring game and cheer on the Mountaineers! I was able to attend last year's game, and it was a good event. The proceeds go to the WVU Children's Hospital, and they always have past Mountaineer players there to sign autographs and play in the old timers game.
This number is the profit WVU earned from the Champs Sports Bowl. Mitch Vingle of the Charleston Gazette reports that the current bowl system "is almost like evil geniuses Dexter, The Brain, Skeletor and Simon Bar Sinister got together, hatched the plan and have since been rubbing their hands, twisting mustaches and laughing loudly. The plan worked! Bahahaha!" He quotes the book Death to the BCS: The Definitive Case Against the Bowl Championship Series which claims that a playoff system would approach more that $750 million in annual revenue—more than $600 million ahead of the current system and the old bowls would be basically unchanged. Read more at http://www.wvgazette.com/Sports?MitchVingle?201102241541