YE OLDE (bursting) notebook:According to WVU athletic director Oliver Luck, there won't be many new sights at Mountaineer Field when his school's football season opens Saturday.
There might, however, be a new sound.Luck said the school is trying to organize and do a better job with the Mountaineer Mantrip, a team walk into the stadium before home games."We're trying to find an Air Raid siren to alert the fans the Mantrip is about to begin," Luck said.That, of course, would play off the "Air Raid" nickname applied to Dana Holgorsen's offense. Otherwise, Luck said, WVU fans won't notice much difference, aside from new beer carts.The gray walls around the stadium, he said, will remain so for this season. An idea was to add color and branding, but only one company responded to the idea and that proposal apparently wasn't satisfactory.WVU football tickets moved briskly this season, the school's first in the Big 12.
"I think we have a few hundred left for the Kansas game," Luck said. "The other six home games have been sold out. Having said that, some schools return tickets. We have waiting lists and so on."One thing we're excited about is the use of ticket scanners. It's the same system pro teams use and hopefully our fans will get used to it. You can buy tickets online. If you're not using them, you can email them to someone else or donate them back to the university. You don't have to arrange to meet someone."Saturday, of course, is the last football meeting with Marshall for the foreseeable future.
"You never want to say never," Luck said when asked if the series might resume. "Things change. But in the near future I don't see us playing."The Mountaineer AD said he'd like to get former rivals Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech back on the non-conference schedule.It is a shame the only two Division I programs in West Virginia can't play annually, but perhaps it was time for a break. There was so much bad blood over the politics of the series that it took away from what should be an enjoyable experience.
Of course, the death of the series will be felt by Marshall's athletic department. When the game was held in Huntington, it was a boon for athletic director Mike Hamrick and company.
MU supporters still point to WVU's series with East Carolina. Both teams are in Conference USA. Why the Pirates and not the Thundering Herd?"That was a six-year commitment made before I was here," Luck said. "We canceled one of those [ECU] games for the opportunity to play Alabama [in 2014]."
Don't be surprised if other ECU games disappear now that WVU is in the Big 12."We're trying to look at it and see what makes the most sense," Luck said. "I don't think when [ex-AD] Eddie [Pastilong] made the commitment he could foresee we'd be in a different conference."WVU's football recruiting received a bump recently when four-star defensive lineman De'Asian Richardson of Orange Park, Fla., committed to the Mountaineers. You might remember reading in this space West Virginia coaches are also looking to junior colleges for defensive line help. That effort is continuing, but on hold now.
Richardson also had offers from schools like Alabama, Florida State, Louisville, Michigan State, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina. Rivals.com also claims WVU has a four-star recruit in linebacker Darrien Howard of Dayton, Ohio. Scout.com has WVU's 2013 class currently rated No. 34.
But word is the Mountaineers could receive some help from one of its current commitments. It seems quarterback recruit Chavas Rawlins is from Monessen, Pa. - and one of his buddies happens to be Tyler Boyd, a four-star wide receiver and safety recruit from Clairton, Pa.While on the subject of recruiting, WVU's basketball staff has cut through the red tape and Ukrainian big man Volodymyr Gerun is expected to be on a late flight to Morgantown tonight.
The staff was also looking at former Rhode Island big man Jonathan Holton, who landed in a couple nasty legal messes. While Gerun is a nice player, Holton would have made a serious impact after sitting out a year.Apparently, though, Bob Huggins and company decided against the move. Holton will not be enrolled at the school.If you're fishing for scoop, here's some: Huggins and his daughter Jacque recently shot a fishing segment in the eastern panhandle for the Outdoor Channel. The air date apparently has not been set.
Bet you didn't see that note coming.And finally . . .
It's unfortunate the upcoming Charleston Distance Run is being held on the same morning as the Marshall-WVU football game. It has to be affecting the draw, and serious thought should be given to moving the race date off the first football Saturday. That should especially be true now that prize money has been de-emphasized.Anyway, give Poca High girls soccer coach Mike Shrewsbury credit. When he realized his team's game with Charleston Catholic was set for the same noon start time as the Frontyard Brawl, he switched it to 10 a.m."I think I made a lot of people happy today," Shrewsbury said.Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, email@example.com
or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.