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Mitch Vingle: WVU football, stock options, tidbits

Ye olde notebook:

n You may or may not be impressed with WVU’s newest defensive end, Shaquille Riddick.

His home town, however, certainly is impressed.

At 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Riddick is being honored by the Summit County Council in Akron, Ohio, with a commendation for his rise and work in education.

When’s the last time you read a sentence like that about a transfer/recruit/football player?

Riddick, you might know, has signed to play in Morgantown after a standout career at Gardner-Webb University, where he was named an FCS Defensive End of the Year.

“They’ve been impressed with what Shaquille has been accomplishing,” said Santura Pegram, a mentor to Riddick, about the honor. “His mother is a staunch educator and he’s accomplished a lot on the field and off.”

Indeed, Riddick simultaneously graduated from Buchtel High in Ohio as well as Akron Early College before hitting Gardner-Webb.

“I graduated with an associate degree in political science,” Riddick said of the Akron Early experience.

He’s now completing his undergraduate degree in order to play at WVU this coming season. On the field, Riddick has moved from a 175-pound high school player to a 245-pound rush end gunning to be 255 — and in the NFL.

“I see myself coming to Morgantown in a dominating role when I hit campus,” Riddick said.

Off the field?

“Education is the most important thing to me,” Riddick said. “Football is just an activity at which I excel. I’m proud of my accomplishments.”

Again, when’s the last time you read sentences like that?

Good for him.

n A true tidbit. The West Virginia Golf Association has moved its offices to the second floor of the Charleston Town Center by Macy’s.

n Another true tidbit. Appalachian Power recently signed a new deal to be the sponsor of Charleston’s baseball park for another 10 years. Thus, the APP lives on.

n A quick story in regard to the decision by Terry Henderson to leave WVU’s basketball program.

Last season I was sitting at the Civic Center for one of the hoops tournaments and I met a junior college recruiting bird dog. We began talking about the Mountaineers and the name of Henderson surfaced.

“He’ll never stay there,” said the bird dog. “He’s from Raleigh [N.C.]. Once those guys on Tobacco Road see he can play they’ll never let him go back to Morgantown.”

Whether Henderson lands at N.C. State or Wake Forest or elsewhere, apparently the bird dog wasn’t simply blowing smoke.

n I received a call this past week wondering why St. Albans native Randy Barnes wasn’t invited to be a guest at the 100th celebration of the state track and field meet.

Good question, I thought. I likewise wondered why James Jett, the fastest man I’ve ever seen in person, was not there.

After making calls, I found out Jett wasn’t there, in part, because he couldn’t be located by the appointed committee.

Barnes was a different story. You might remember he not only holds the state meet records for shot put and discus, but he also won silver medal in the 1988 Olympics and gold in ’96. He wasn’t invited to the ceremony, though, because of his IAAF bans stemming from positive performance-enhancing drug tests. Officials felt that wasn’t a good message to send to the kids in the meet.

n And finally . . .

If you don’t think college football has become big business, get this: Fans wanting to see their favorite teams in the national championship game can do so via a tradable ticket market that mimics a Wall Street financial derivative.

It works as an option for a stock or commodity would. You buy the right (but not obligation) to purchase a ticket at a fixed price ($450) via a contract. (I’m not making this up.) And the setup is through the official College Football Playoff website. You can purchase a “TeamTix” for your team at the opening price of $20. Prices can then fluctuate through the season based on team performance.

You can trade to other fans in the market on the probability the option finishes “in the money.”

Just know that all trades incur a 10 percent transaction fee.

And that your team probably won’t finish “in the money.”

Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, or follow him at

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