www.wvgazettemail.com http://www.wvgazettemail.com Gazette archive feed en-us Copyright 2016, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers Funerals for: July 19, 2016 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT01/307199972 OBIT01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT01/307199972 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Alley, Carol A. 1 p.m., Henson & Kitchen Mortuary, Huntington.

Barnett, Patricia 11 a.m., Grandview Memorial Park, Dunbar.

Bennett, Agatha J. 1 p.m., Dodd & Reed Funeral Home, Webster Springs.

Carte, Dorothy M. Noon, Good Shepherd Mortuary, South Charleston.

Conrad, Bernadette 11 a.m., Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, South Charleston.

Cooper, Roger D. 1 p.m., Leonard Johnson Funeral Home, Marmet.

Duffield, Mildred G. Noon, McGhee

Hendricks, Bruce D. 1 p.m., Pineview Cemetery, Orgas.

Ooten, Patricia 1 p.m., Duncan Fork House of Prayer, Duncan Fork.

Rock, Franklin D. 1 p.m., Tyler Mountain Funeral Home, Cross Lanes.

Charles A. Baughman http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199979 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199979 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Charles A. "Raymond" Baughman, 80, of Glenville, formerly of Tioga, passed away Sunday, July 17, 2016 at his home with his wife by his side. Born Jan. 29, 1936, he was a son of the late Virgil and Ruth Norman Baughman. He was also preceded in death by his first wife, Ida Mae Ellison Baughman; daughter, Tina Rae Shaver; three brothers, Robert, Steve and John; and three sisters, Alice, Phyllis and Sherry.

He was baptized and was a member of the Tioga House of Prayer since March 1996. He had been attending the First Baptist Church at Glenville. He was president of Local 1466 District 31 of the UMWA, and was an Army veteran and a member of the American Legion and VFW. He was retired from Island Creek Coal Company with 32 years of service. He was an avid sports fan and followed Notre Dame and the New York Yankees. He was also an active Democrat of Nicholas County and a member of the Democratic Committee.

Survivors include his wife, Bettie Ruth Baughman; two sons, Raymond and his wife, Shelly, of Tioga and Virgil and his wife, Megan, of Tioga; grandchildren, Charles, Sheldon, Colton, Mallory and Duane Shields; one brother, Joe Baughman and his wife, Patti; and two sisters, Carmen and her husband, Dowl Johnston, and Verla and her husband, Dale Taylor.

Funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at White Funeral Home, Summersville, with Pastor Bob Friend and Pastor Bernell Morris officiating. Interment will follow in Mount Olive Cemetery, Tioga.

Friends may call from 1 p.m. to service time Wednesday at the funeral home.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.whitefuneralhomewv.com.

Muriel Kay Peal Coen http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199998 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199998 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Funeral service for Mrs. Muriel P. Coen will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, in the Chapel of Gallagher Funeral Home, Ball, La., with the Revs. Timothy Peal and John A. Jackson officiating. Interment will be in Graceland Memorial Park, 100 Graceland Circle, South Charleston, W.Va., under the direction of Gallagher Funeral Home, Ball, La.

Mrs. Muriel Kay Peal Coen, 78, of Pineville, La., entered eternal rest on Sunday, July 17, 2016 at Rapides Regional Medical Center, Alexandria, La.

She was born in Marmet, W.Va., on May 26, 1938 to Walter O. and Myrtle S. Peal. She attended Charleston High School in Charleston, W.Va. She was co-owner of The Book Inn with her sister-in-law, Thelma Peal. She was a lifetime member of Beta Sigma Phi and had perfect attendance for 27 years. She loved all her sorority sisters dearly. She held all offices possible throughout the 36 years she was member. She was also a member of Eastern Star in West Virginia. She was an avid reader, loved her politics, enjoyed traveling with family and friends and especially enjoyed going to the casino.

Mrs. Coen was preceded in death by the love of her life, her husband, Gordon D. Coen, on July 22, 1988. She was also preceded by her parents; her brothers, Donald V. and Hugh Peal; sister-in-law Thelma A. Peal; niece, Kay Morrison; and nephew, Harry B. Dolin, Jr. (Ellie).

She is survived by her daughter, Debora Caletka; grandson, Aaron K. Caletka (Taylor); her beloved pet, Fiona; two brothers, Willie V. Peal (Velda) and Calvin W. Peal (Dawn); and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and many friends.

Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. until service time Tuesday, July 19, in the Chapel of Gallagher Funeral Home, Ball, La.

Friends may post online messages of condolence for the Coen family by visiting www.gallagherfh.com.

Marie Cottrill http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199978 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199978 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Marie Hartwell Cottrill, 66, of Nitro, passed away July 16, 2016 after a long illness.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 48 years, Gary Cottrill; parents, Morris and Eva Mae Hartwell of Nitro; and sister, Charlotte Hartwell Skaggs of Nitro.

Marie is survived by her sons, Gary Cottrill of St. Albans and Kenny Cottrill of Poca; brothers, Morris Hartwell of King's Mountain, N.C., and Mike Hartwell of Red House; sisters, Linda Owsley of Poca, Terry Weaver of Bancroft and Ellen Clough of Coppabella, S.C.; granddaughter, Kristina Cottrill and great-grandson, Owen Cottrill.

Visitation will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at Keller Funeral Home, Dunbar, with Jerry Wayne Reed officiating. Burial will follow in Fox Hill Cemetery, Spring Hill.

William R. Counts http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199993 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199993 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 William R. Counts, "Banjo Bill," 86, of Charleston, went to be with the Lord on July 16, 2016 in Charleston.

Bill was a custodian with the West Virginia Board of Education. He enjoyed playing banjo at church and with his family. Bill had a wonderful sense of humor and he especially enjoyed keeping everyone entertained.

Preceded in death by infant sons, Mark and Richard; wife, Marian; parents, Albert and Mary Counts; brothers, John, Joe and Sheldon Counts; and sisters, Lilly Hunt, Emma Hackney, Anna Parsons and Hazel Stire.

Left to cherish his memory are sister, Alice Hackney of South Carolina; son, Ricky Counts (Tracy); stepdaughters, Debra Holstein and Della Young; grandchildren, Sierra Counts (fiance, Mike), Christopher, Joshua, Wayne, Ian, Savannah, Rita and Aaron; 11 step-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Service will be 11 a.m. Wednesday, July 20, at Long & Fisher Funeral Home, Sissonville, with Pastor Bob Dunlap officiating. Burial will follow in Sissonville Memorial Gardens.

A gathering of family and friends will be 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home.

The family would like to thank CAMC Memorial MICU staff for their wonderful care of Bill.

Condolences may be sent by visiting www.longfisherfuneralhome.com.

Herman C. Dunlap http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199994 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199994 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Herman C. Dunlap, 76, of Winfield, died Monday, July 18, 2016.

Born May 17, 1940 in Alum Creek, he was a son of the late Guy Charles and Marie Jane Smith Dunlap. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Rozetta; his daughter, Paula; and his brother, Charlie.

Herman was a longtime member of the Loyal Order of the Moose No. 868, St. Albans, for 58 years. He was a former linesman with Appalachian Power Company, a self-employed contractor with Dunlap Excavating and owner of the former Dunlap's Market.

Surviving are his daughter, Renee Wheeler and her husband, Mike, of Winfield and Ramona Raines and her husband, Scott, of Winfield; his brother, John Dunlap of St. Albans; grandchildren, Jennifer, JC, Michael and Ravae; and great-grandchildren, Sarah and Elyse.

At his request, there will be no funeral service. If you would like to remember him, drink a beer.

Bartlett-Chapman Funeral Home, family-owned and located at 409 Sixth Ave., St. Albans, is honored to serve the Dunlap family.

Alice Sue Edwards http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199999 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199999 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Alice Sue Edwards, 69, of Elkview, went home to be with the Lord on July 17, 2016 at home after a long illness.

She was the daughter of the late Oscar Adams and Dora Leola Smith Adams. She was also preceded in death by her daughter, Teresa Ann Craft Paxton and her husband, Tony Paxton; brothers, James Adams and John Q. Adams; and sister, Mary Mankin.

Alice was a member of Smith Memorial Church, Blue Creek.

She is survived by husband, Donald A. Edwards of Elkview; sons, David (Sandy) Craft of Walton, Neil (Julie) Craft of Elkview, Martin Edwards of Nampa, Idaho, and Erin (Joey) of Rand; grandchildren, Brian, Becky, Brandy, Kaylee, Ciara, Maddix, Berkley and Tyler; and great-grandchildren, Brianna, Autumn, Brycen, Emma and Colton.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 20, at Thorofare Community Church, Clendenin, with Pastor Jimmy Rucker officiating. Burial will be in Proctor Cemetery, Elkview.

Visitation will be two hours prior to the service, from noon to 2 p.m., at the church.

Matics Funeral Home, Clendenin, is in charge of the arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.maticsfuneralhome.com.

Dennis Ray Evans http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199973 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199973 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Dennis Ray Evans, 68, of Charleston, died July 17, 2016. Arrangements are in the care of Elk Funeral Home, Charleston. A full obituary will appear in Wednesday's edition.

Christopher Hayes http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199984 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199984 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Christopher Hayes, 58, of Charleston, passed away at his home Saturday, July 9, 2016.

Christopher worked in the maintenance department with Mardi Gras Casino, Cross Lanes. He grew up in the Springhill area of South Charleston.

He loved to hunt and fish.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Everette Ray and Bertha Mae Hayes.

He is survived by his children, Lisa Stalnaker (Kenny), Christopher Hayes, II and Travis Hayes; eight grandchildren, Treston, Jasalynn, Jaydon, Zander, Konner, Skylar, McKenzie and Sara; sister, Glenna; and brothers, Roger and Ronnie.

Celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 23, at the Wine Cellar Park, Dunbar.

You may send condolences to the family at www.barlowbonsall.com.

Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home has been entrusted to handle the arrangements.

Bruce Donald Hendricks http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199987 OBIT http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/OBIT/307199987 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 00:01:00 -0400 Bruce Donald Hendricks, 84, of Raceland, Ky., passed away Thursday, July 14, 2016 at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Ky.

Mr. Hendricks was born Nov. 9, 1931 to the late Bruce Hendricks and Janet May-Hendricks in Keith, W.Va.

Donald was a proud veteran of the United States Army. He was formerly employed by C&O Railroad as an engineer and was an avid reader.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Richard Hendricks.

Left behind to remember him are his wife of 51 years, Rose Hendricks; children, Tracey Miller, Mary Hendricks, Don (Michelle) Hendricks, Joseph Hendricks, Billy Hendricks, Donna Morrison, Pam Travis and Diane Hendricks; grandchildren, Jacob Miller, Carissa, Drew and Tyler Hendricks; sisters, Phyllis Totten, Jewel Rader and Sandy Ervin; two nieces and a nephew, Debbie, Vickie and Dempsey; a special friend, Carolyn Webb; and a host of other family and friends.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at Pineview Cemetery, Orgas, W.Va.

Roundup: Weese's 67 best on Callaway Junior Tour this summer http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ02/160719484 GZ02 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ02/160719484 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 22:06:27 -0400 Fairmont's Mason Weese carded a 4-under-par 67 to win the boys 17-18 age group and earn low round of the day honors as the West Virginia Golf Association's Callaway Junior Tour wrapped up Tuesday at Big Bend Golf Course in Tornado. Weese's 67 was the lowest round on the tour this summer.

Fairmont's Nicholas Moroose won the boys 15-16 division with a 70, Charleston's Jace Ranson (75) won the 13-14 age group and Charleston's Mario Palumbo took the 12-and-under division with an 81.

On the girls side, Vienna's Whitney Milhoan shot a 73 to win the 15-18 age group and take home low round of the day, while Mount Hope's Mary Denny (92) won the 10-14 division.

The Callaway Junior Championship is set for Monday at Parkersburg Country Club.


AREA GOLF: Tony Brown of Ashland, Kentucky shot a 141 to edge Buffalo's Cory Hosher and win the Riverside Amateur Golf Championship last week at Riverside Golf Club in Mason.

Hosher missed a putt to tie on the 18th hole to finish with a 142. Parkersburg's Ben Palmer (144), Huntington's Thomas Frazier (145) and Gallipolis, Ohio's Mike Haynes (146) rounded out the championship flight.

Charlestown's Christian Boyd won the first flight with a 142, while Wayne's Chris Adkins (157) won the second flight and Point Pleasant's Michael Anderson (167) won the third flight.

n Crawford Goldman of Charleston and Maddox Potter of South Charleston advanced to the upcoming Drive, Pitch and Putt subregional with their finishes Tuesday in a qualifying event at the Golf Depot in Gahanna, Ohio.

Crawford won the age 7-9 group with a score of 110 and Potter placed second at 106. They'll compete next in the subregional on Aug. 13 at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio.


HERD SPORTS: Marshall's Chase Boster, Ally Kiekover, Alexandra Phares and Morgan Zerkle have been named recipients of the Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards for their respective sports, C-USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod announced Tuesday.

The C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year awards are presented to the top student-athletes in each conference-sponsored sport, determined by a vote of the league's 14 Faculty Athletics Representatives. The award is based on academic achievement (grade-point average), athletic achievement and service.

Marshall led the league with four Scholar Athlete award-winners. Boster earned the honor for baseball, Kiekover for volleyball, Phares for women's cross country and Zerkle for softball. Boster, Kiekover and Zerkle are first-time recipients, while Phares has received the award twice.

n Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick announced Tuesday that Brooke Bellomy will serve as interim head coach of the women's golf program. Bellomy served as a volunteer assistant last season in addition to her duties as Marshall softball's Director of Operations.

Bellomy, the 2012 West Virginia Women's Amateur champion, played collegiately from 2011-15 at Campbell University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in sports management. During her four years at Campbell, she earned nine top-10 finishes and was named to the All-Big South Conference Team in 2012-13 after concluding the season with a career-best five top-10 finishes, including finishing tied for eighth at the Big South Championship.

The Ona native helped the Camels win the conference title in 2012, 2014 and 2015, and advance to the NCAA Championships twice (2014 and 2015). As a senior, she tied for fifth in the Big South Championship was named to the all-championship team.

A former standout at Cabell Midland, Bellomy was named the West Virginia Golf Association junior girls player of the year four times.

Photos: Jennifer Garner brings it home at fundraiser for flood victims http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ01/160719485 GZ01 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ01/160719485 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 22:02:20 -0400 Actress Jennifer Garner makes her way to the podium through a sea of people Tuesday evening at a fundraising event for flood victims. The event, held at the University of Charleston, gave fans the opportunity to mingle with the starlet and George Washington High alum. Save the Children, the international nonprofit for which Garner serves on the Board of Trustees, will collect the money and distribute it to Herbert Hoover High School, which suffered more than $12 million worth of damage. The organization waived its administrative fee and will donate all proceeds from Tuesday's event to the school.

Mollema takes another shot at catching Froome at Tour de France http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ0210/160719486 GZ0210 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ0210/160719486 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:54:01 -0400 By Andrew Dampf The Associated Press By By Andrew Dampf The Associated Press BERN, Switzerland - Bauke Mollema has been in this position before: Second in the Tour de France on the second and final rest day.

The difference from three years ago, when Mollema faded over the final week due to illness, is experience.

"Now I know a little bit what to expect with all this kind of things," Mollema told a packed news conference on Tuesday. "It's not only cycling. Also, my level is better than it was three years ago."

While he's still largely unknown outside his native Netherlands and cycling circles, Mollema is shaping up as the top challenger to defending champion and race leader Chris Froome.

Two-time Tour runner-up Nairo Quintana was supposed to be Froome's top rival but the Colombian sits fourth, behind by 2 minutes, 59 seconds.

Mollema was 1:47 behind in second, with Adam Yates of Britain third, 2:45 back.

Flying under the radar was fine with Mollema, a father of two from Zuidhorn in the northern part of the Netherlands, where much of the land is below sea level.

There is a Dutch saying, "Doe maar gewoon, dat is gek genoeg," which translates as "Act normal. That's crazy enough." It applies especially to people from the north, who are usually considered more down to earth than their southern counterparts. The saying fits perfectly with Mollema, who came late to cycling and didn't enter his first race until he was 18.

"I always did a lot of sports - football, tennis, running. We were always a sports family but my family was not into cycling," Mollema explained. "I rode my bike to school, 12 kilometers (7 1/2 miles) every day up and down, and that's when I started to like riding my bike.

"My first years as a pro it was a disadvantage, especially technically, but now it's more than 10 years later so maybe I'm more fresh compared to other riders."

Mollema has been able to stay with Froome in the mountains, and moved up to second with an exceptional time trial in Stage 13.

The race resumes on Wednesday with four grueling stages in the Alps before the mostly ceremonial finish in Paris on Sunday.

"I still have something to prove," Mollema said. "I'm happy where I am right now but in the end I will only be happy with a good result in Paris."

Mollema's top support riders on the Trek-Segafredo team are Haimar Zubeldia of Spain and Frank Schleck of Luxembourg. Froome, meanwhile, has been able to rely on four or five lieutenants up the climbs with Team Sky.

"Froome is, of course, the big favorite. He has all the pressure," Mollema said. "For them, it would be disappointing with a team like that and the budget they have if they don't win the Tour."

Stage 17 on Wednesday should particularly suit Mollema, with the beyond-category uphill finish to Finhaut-Emosson.

"If there's opportunities I will go for it. That's for sure. If I see any weaknesses with Froome for sure I will attack," said Mollema, who prefers uphill to downhill finishes. "In the last years, he always had a bad day in the Alps or the Pyrenees, where he lost some time, so it can also happen this year.

"It will be a big war until the end."

Mollema might have been leading at this point if Froome hadn't been allowed to keep the yellow jersey after the chaotic climb up Mont Ventoux in Stage 12.

"We were in disagreement with how the rules were applied but we need to turn the page and focus on what's next," Trek general manager Luca Guercilena said.

Guercilena extended Mollema's contract before the Tour to keep him through 2018.

"We gave him total confidence," Guercilena said.

While cycling is a passion across the Netherlands, only two Dutchmen have won the Tour: Jan Janssen in 1968 and Joop Zoetemelk in 1980.

Yet, Mollema is part of a generation of outstanding Dutch cylists.

Countryman Tom Dumoulin won two stages in this Tour, and is also considered a future overall contender, as is Steven Kruijswijk, who finished fourth in this year's Giro d'Italia after losing the lead two stages from the end. Robert Gesink has finished in the top 10 of several major races, and Wilco Kelderman is another rising star.

"This is the results of a school, a methodology that is in Holland for some years," said Guercilena, who is Italian. "They let them ride more easy and relaxed when they are young. ... In some other countries, Italy included, very often there's so much pressure and so much attention on the junior and the under-23 levels that it makes them explode when they turn pro."

Mollema has finished in the top 10 on the Tour in each of the past three years.

Now he wants to see if he can take the next step.

Associated Press writer Peter Dejong contributed to this report.

Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/asdampf

UC hires new men's volleyball coach http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ02/160719487 GZ02 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ02/160719487 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:51:00 -0400 Derek Redd By Derek Redd The University of Charleston hired as its new men's volleyball coach a former ACC women's volleyball coach who resigned in April facing a second investigation into treatment of his players. UC's athletic director said Tuesday that, despite the investigation, she is confident that her new hire is a good addition to the athletic program.

Ken Murczek, who spent the last three seasons as Wake Forest's women's coach, recently was hired by the Golden Eagles as their new men's coach. Murczek resigned from Wake Forest in April after the university announced it would conduct a second investigation into allegations of player mistreatment. The allegations came from unnamed members of the volleyball team and members of their families. Following Murczek's resignation, the committee to investigate those allegations did not form.

Murczek was investigated in the fall of 2014, according to a Winston-Salem Journal report, after a complaint by an unnamed member of the volleyball team. WFU athletic director Ron Wellman announced after that investigation that Wake Forest did not find that Murczek violated the university's sexual harassment policy or Title IX regulations.

UC athletic director Bren Stevens said that, through her vetting process, she was confident Murczek was the right coach for the job. She talked to Wake Forest's senior associate athletic director, Barbara Walker, about the investigation. Stevens said Walker told her she met with each member of the volleyball team and felt none of the accusations were substantiated. Stevens also reached out to other areas of the volleyball coaching community.

"He was up-front from the very beginning, telling me what happened," Stevens said of Murczek. "And at the same time, I knew his mentor really well, the head of the American Volleyball Coaches Association, Kathy DeBoer. We've been friends for many years. She talked to me about the situation and had been working with Ken the entire time.

"I'm not going to bring a coach in who I feel will, in any way, be abusive to our athletes," added Stevens, who spent 19 years as UC's women's volleyball coach. "We would not stand for that. I believe he's a really good hire for us. His experience and the places he's coached will be helpful for us."

Murczek went 44-52 during his Wake Forest tenure, after winning 63 games and two Sun Belt West Division titles in three seasons with the University of North Texas.

Murczek replaced Michael Crane, who led the Golden Eagles men's volleyball team in its first two seasons of existence. Murczek could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Contact Derek Redd at 304-348-1712 or derek.redd@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

Marshall strange games, No. 5: Louisville coach's impending departure overshadowed Herd romp http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ02/160719488 GZ02 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ02/160719488 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:50:25 -0400 Doug Smock By Doug Smock The first thing that stuck out to me in the Marshall-Louisville GMAC Bowl matchup on Dec. 18, 2002 was the bright full moon illuminating the sky over Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

For this matchup between the Mid-American Conference and Conference USA, the bowl people in Mobile, Alabama had to have Marshall. For one thing, Thundering Herd fans were the only ones in the MAC who could find the place in the pre-GPS era.

For another, gunslinger Byron Leftwich came back to town.

The Herd's 2001 GMAC Bowl game against East Carolina - Marshall's last game before I took over the Gazette's Herd beat - was one for the ages. Books could be written about MU's 64-61 double-overtime miracle, one which capped a comeback from a 38-8 halftime deficit.

Leftwich returned a hobbled man, yet he still had that cannon of a right arm and was headed for the NFL. Behind a nasty offensive line willing to get ejected to protect him (as Steve Perretta did), Leftwich threw for 404 yards and four touchdowns in MU's 49-45 win over Toledo in the MAC title game.

The bowl brought in Louisville, which had a down season at 7-5 but was still entertaining. The Cardinals were led by quarterback was Dave Ragone, three-time C-USA offensive player of the year.

Unlike the year before, when Leftwich battled ECU's David Garrard, the QB battle didn't materialize. Chalk that up, in part, to Marshall's defense, which held the Cardinals to 35 total yards in the 20 minutes it took for the Herd to go up 17-0.

But that was overshadowed by what transpired on the sidelines.

Cell phones were still primitive by today's standards. I bought my first one that year and it had a tiny monochrome screen and an antenna, and I was given all of 200 anytime minutes. I could call long distance from anywhere on the network, which was groundbreaking.

By that time, almost all football players had their own cell phones. And when a team is invited to a bowl, all team members come along, redshirts and all.

The redshirts don't dress out, so they had their phones - and they lit up in the first quarter with news that Louisville coach John L. Smith was contacted by Michigan State hours before the game. The Cardinals were discombobulated and the Herd was happy to compound matters.

"We knew about it in the first quarter," Ragone said. "I tried to put some water on the fire, but the guys had a lot of different emotions at that time, and it was hard to regroup."

The news may have swirled behind me in the Ladd-Peebles press box, but I didn't hear it. Game to watch, you know. But Louisville AD Tom Jurich called a halftime press conference, so I was obligated to take the elevator down.

I don't even remember what Jurich said, but it rang hollow the next day when Michigan State announced Smith's hiring. All I know is it cost me 13 precious minutes of typing for a game that was going to go past 11:30 p.m. Eastern.

This unnecessary incident overshadowed Leftwich's performance in the Herd's 38-15 win, in which he became the first major-college QB to threw for four TDs in two consecutive bowl games. Two went to Denero Marriott and two went to little-used Demetrius Doss - he of the "looks like Moss, plays like Doss" jab.

Also overshadowed was the Herd defense, which held the Cardinals to 261 yards and didn't allow the second touchdown until there were 13 seconds left.

As for Smith, he led Michigan State to a 22-26 record in his four years. In the fourth year of 2006, the Cardinals finished fifth in the nation, and downed No. 3 West Virginia in what was at the time the largest audience to watch an ESPN college football game.

Contact Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsmock@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougsmock and read his blog at http://blogs.wvgazettemail.com/dougsmock/.

Big 12 media days notebook: WVU coach Holgorsen favors expansion http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ0201/160719489 GZ0201 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ0201/160719489 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:47:04 -0400 Mike Casazza By Mike Casazza DALLAS - The Big 12's presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday to further explore expansion candidates. Count West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen among the underlings who approve.

"I'm in favor of expansion," he said during a news conference at the Omni hotel for the conference's media days. "I'm on the side of my boss, President [Gordon] Gee, who is in favor of expansion as well. Who? That's not for me to say. There's a lot of things that go into it that I don't have the knowledge to be able to discuss."

Given everything else that was discussed and made headlines here, from the chaos at Baylor that head coach Jim Grobe stoked Tuesday with a defense of the university to the conference championship game that returns in 2017, expansion was barely discussed during the two-day event.

In fact, commissioner Bob Bowlsby never said the word in his annual address Monday, choosing instead to comment briefly on "conference composition." Holgorsen, though, said before Tuesday's announcement that he wouldn't mind seeing the Big 12 make a move and that it "wouldn't hurt" the Mountaineers to have a nearby conference compatriot.

"I would like to see two teams added," said Holgorsen, who spent eight years as a Big 12 assistant at Texas Tech and one season as the offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State. "I would like a good, round number of 12. I was in the Big 12 for a long time when we had 12. It makes those divisional breakups easier and it makes trying to get a championship together a little easier as well."


Holgorsen said in April he liked the Big 12's setup with a nine-game round-robin regular season and nothing beyond that, but Tuesday he said he was "in favor of a championship game."

"There's no question," he said. "I've said this for a couple years: The thing I don't like about not having a championship game is having these regular-season games that first week of December. I think that hurts the teams that are playing from a recruiting perspective and it helps the teams that are playing if it's a situation where you're being considered for [the College Football Playoff] or a top-tier bowl game."

That said, Holgorsen isn't sure what format the league should pick to determine what teams make the championship game. Two five-team divisions are likely, but Bowlsby said the league will consider a single division as well.

"I think you need to find the best two teams," Holgorsen said. "I got all the confidence in the world with the Big 12 administration and Commissioner Bowlsby to figure that out. I don't have the answer, and it really doesn't matter what I think anyway."


Offensive line signee Craig Smith, a junior college All-American last season at Tyler (Texas) College, will not join the Mountaineers. He didn't qualify academically and is the only member of the 2016 recruiting class who isn't enrolled.

Holgorsen said the available scholarship went to Tennessee transfer Ray Raulerson, who committed to joining the Mountaineers earlier this month.

Raulerson is a candidate to replace senior Tyler Orlosky next season. Orlosky and classmate Tony Matteo are the only centers Holgorsen trusts right now. Ja'HShaun Seider can play the position, but running back coach JaJuan Seider's younger brother is a redshirt freshman, and Holgorsen said the Mountaineers are "never going to count on a freshman [offensive lineman], especially at that position."

Raulerson will sit out this season and be a redshirt junior in 2017.

"We have to have an older guy," Holgorsen said. "Now this kid can come in and he can learn for a whole year before we count on him. It made sense to me to give him that scholarship when the other guy wasn't qualified."


WVU finished 8-5 last season, the first time the Mountaineers won eight games and a bowl game since joining the Big 12 in 2012. Holgorsen said his team was "two points away from winning 10."

WVU did lose to Kansas State by one point, but its other four losses were by at least seven points.

"Oklahoma State," Holgorsen said of the 33-26 loss in overtime. "We have one more than them at the end of regulation, we don't go to overtime. It sounds good. How's it not true? It's technically true."


Absent from the two-deep depth chart WVU revealed when it posted its media guide online Sunday is arguably its top recruit. Safety Kyzir White isn't included at any of the three safety positions. His one older brother Kevin was an All-American receiver at WVU and his other older brother Ka'Raun is listed on the depth chart as a starting wide receiver.

"We really didn't work with him in June," Holgorsen said, noting that Kyzir came to WVU with a minor injury. "It's nothing serious, and he's 100-percent cleared right now, but he came in and had a tweaked leg. We're limited [by NCAA rules] with what we can do with him anyway, but we really couldn't do anything with him. But he'll have a shot to be the spur."

Junior Marvin Gross is the starter on the depth chart and is backed up by redshirt freshman Deamonte Lindsay.


Holgorsen groups White with a number of other players he's eager to see in action when the Mountaineers begin practice Aug. 2. He rattled off a list of names - all newcomers, like junior college cornerbacks Mike Daniels and Elijah Battle, junior college running back Justin Crawford and freshmen safeties Jovanni Stewart and Toyous Avery - that he was impressed with during the restricted offseason workouts, but Holgorsen said those early impressions are only worth so much.

"There's a bunch of them we worked with and coached up and kind of started teaching what to do, but we got nothing out of them from an evaluation standpoint," he said. "We got to know them better. We were there when they needed us. We were watching them in strength and conditioning stuff and we taught them some football in the classroom, but we had no feedback. We're going to get quicker feedback now that we know what they can do."

Contact Mike Casazza at 304-319-1142 or mikec@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikecasazza and read his blog at http://blogs.wvgazettemail.com/wvu/.

Brand, Bradshaw favorites as West Virginia Open begins http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ02/160719490 GZ02 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ02/160719490 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:44:46 -0400 Ryan Pritt By Ryan Pritt HURRICANE - Hurricane's Sam O'Dell drew first blood at the Coca-Cola Shootout at Sleepy Hollow Country Club on Tuesday, besting two-time defending West Virginia Open champion Christian Brand on the 9th and final hole to win.

The Shootout consisted of the top six professional and top six amateur finishers in last year's Open, with three being eliminated on the first hole and one on each hole thereafter until O'Dell survived as the winner.

While Brand came up just short in the event on Tuesday, it was merely a blip on the radar as the favorite to win the 83rd West Virginia Open has come home to the Kanawha Valley smoking hot.

The Shootout is part of the festivities for the Open, which will get underway Wednesday with the first of three rounds in three days. The Open champion is crowned Friday.

Brand, a former Capital standout and Marshall golfer, along with seven-time Open champion and fellow touring professional David Bradshaw of Bakerton, each enter coming off some big moments in recent weeks.

Brand is coming off his first win as a professional at the Grand Island Club Classic on the Swing Thought Tour last week in Albany, Georgia. As part of that win, Brand fired a professional-best 61 in the third round, and when the dust had settled on the final round he finished at 27 under par, good enough for a seven-shot victory.

"Things are flowing well, everything I've been working on has been going well, all the mental processes," Brand said. "It just seems like the game has risen a little bit. It's more status quo than 'I got really hot.' "

Winning the West Virginia Open has become status quo for Brand, who will try to defend his two-year streak against Bradshaw and other past winners like Craig Berner, Jonathan Clark and Barry Evans.

But Brand and Bradshaw, as touring professionals, have a decided advantage when the pressure is ratcheted up in the Open's final round.

That trend has continued since 2004. Those two players have combined to win nine of the last 12 West Virginia Opens.

"We're more comfortable with it, with the nerves," Brand said. "We get on the first tee and we're nervous in every tournament, so again, it's more status quo, that's just what we expect. Some of these guys, they may only play two, three or four tournaments a year, so it's kind of foreign to them. This is our job. It's like you going to work and sitting down in your office. If you have something to do, you may go ahead and do it, but there's a comfort level there."

Bradshaw, meanwhile, picked up a win at the Frank B. Fuhrer Invitational at Pittsburgh on June 29, his third win at the event.

But the victory came in dramatic fashion, with a hole-in-one on the 76th and fourth playoff hole to end it.

"Iced it," Bradshaw said with a grin. "It was shocking. It's just a weird feeling. You hit it and you expect to play the hole out and the damn thing goes in. Just luck."

The shot came on a 208-yard par-3 with a 5-iron and loomed as the highlight of the year so far for Bradshaw, who has seen mixed results.

He's played a couple of events in Latin America and played in four Monday qualifiers, but in spite of shooting in the 60s all four times, only got through one.

Bradshaw said his game has been off lately, but he squared it away a bit on Monday at Fairlawn Fairways, a driving range in Dunbar.

"I wasn't playing great, but seemed to have turned it around," Bradshaw said. "Yesterday I had a good range session; I went to a place called Fairlawn.

"I kind of started hitting it really good and I hit it great for the holes that we played [in the Coca-Cola Shootout], and then I went out and played some more and kept hitting it good, so now I'm looking forward to it. Before, I was dreading it."

Bradshaw was eliminated on the sixth hole Tuesday in a chip-off with O'Dell (in case of a tie, players chipped from a designated location with the closest to the hole advancing).

The win for O'Dell came in his backyard, in terms of golf course location, and provided the 2013 and 2015 West Virginia Amateur winner with some confidence heading into Wednesday.

"I kind of felt like honestly all year, I've been close," O'Dell said. "Every one of my amateur rounds I felt like I was close to getting there. I never play as much as most of the guys, but I'll get out seven days before a tournament and hit some balls but I haven't been able to because of [coaching baseball].

"Now, I'm like, 'Maybe, you never know.' Look, if I play my best and Christian plays his best, I'll lose. But that's not how it works. It's golf. I don't have more expectations for [Wednesday] but I'm more confident, I think."

Brand recently moved from South Charleston to Scott Depot, and he and O'Dell shared some friendly banter on the course.

Brand started with a birdie on No. 1 to move him safely on and O'Dell immediately announced, "Christian Brand's 46th birdie in his last 73 holes," making a light-hearted reference to Brand's win last week.

As Kanawha Valley natives and Marshall golfers, the two have a lot in common and O'Dell said he always looks forward to playing alongside Brand.

"I played with him last year and he shot 63," O'Dell said. "I felt like I'd shot 90. If you get paired with somebody like that and you beat that person, they'll shake your hand and they'll take that. A champion, a really good player, they'll take that. That's why he's probably going to keep winning stuff.

"I'm not going to beat him by playing bad, but if he can just not play quite as good ..."

Contact Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948 or ryan.pritt@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @rpritt.

Big 12 to start exploring expansion candidates http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ0201/160719491 GZ0201 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ0201/160719491 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:42:50 -0400 Derek Redd By Derek Redd The 10-member Big 12 Conference could grow to 12 - or even 14 - in the future.

Expansion is on the table for the conference after its presidents and chancellors voted unanimously Tuesday to have commissioner Bob Bowlsby "actively evaluate" the interest of universities who have contacted the Big 12 about joining.

Bowlsby and University of Oklahoma president David Boren would not say which schools are on the Big 12's radar, but there have been many that have contacted the conference to see if they might join. Adding both two and four teams to the conference will be on the table.

"I would say, yes, it's a forward step," Boren said in a Tuesday evening conference call. "It's a positive step. It's not yet a decision, if any particular university or college - or even a definite decision about when we expand or the way, the form this would take. But it's definitely a forward step, and I think it shows momentum on the board to very seriously consider this as a possibility."

The conference will look at several factors in the right candidates - athletic program strength and competitiveness, fan base, access to media markets, reputation for integrity and academic standards. Bowlsby said any new member would have to bring stability to the conference and have a "high top end."

"You know, they're going to join a family," Bowlsby said. "And it's important that they strengthen the family and we strengthen them."

The announcement comes on the heels of news that the Atlantic Coast Conference and ESPN have agreed to a 20-year deal and rights extension that would lead to the creation of the ACC Network - a linear network by 2019 and a digital network beginning this fall. Boren said the news of that agreement played a factor in Tuesday's vote.

"We try to keep an eye on the changing environment at all times," Boren said, "and we did want to be brought up to date in terms of potential impact that the ACC matter could have."

The vote also was another move to fortify the Big 12's position in the college football landscape. At 10 members, including West Virginia University, the Big 12 is the smallest of the power conferences. The conference uses a round-robin football schedule, and has been the lone power conference without a championship game. That led to Baylor and TCU being named co-champions in 2014 and both being left out of the inaugural College Football Playoff.

The league recently announced it will play a conference title game beginning in 2017. Exploring expansion candidates was another step to solidify the Big 12's spot.

"We want to do everything possible to put this conference in a position to play for national championships," Boren said. "We want to do everything we can to add a data point. ... We're evaluating what expansion of the league might contribute to that process, as well as what it might contribute to financial stability and general stability of the conference."

Bowlsby said the process likely will come in two stages - preliminary work, then perhaps a fact-finding or negotiation stage. It's not a fully fleshed-out plan, but Boren said the conference has a number of suitors eager to talk to the Big 12.

"It's certainly nice to be in a situation where you're made to feel wanted," Boren said. "And we've certainly been made to feel wanted by a lot of colleges and universities around the country."

Contact Derek Redd at 304-348-1712 or derek.redd@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.

Mike Casazza: Hit by WVU's Joseph an example for targeting call http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ020407/160719492 GZ020407 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ020407/160719492 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:37:47 -0400 Mike Casazza By Mike Casazza DALLAS - When he was here in 2013 and college football announced targeting penalties would be accompanied by ejections, Karl Joseph was said to be at risk. Three seasons and 29 games later, maybe the best safety in West Virginia history was never ejected and never even assessed a personal foul for hitting a defenseless opponent.

But on Tuesday, the conclusion of the Big 12's media days, we were made to revisit the past and revise Joseph's record.

As Big 12 coordinator of officials Walt Anderson explained broadened authority for reviewing targeting, which is new to the sport this season and gives the replay official the ability to stop a game, review a play and assess targeting, he pointed out Joseph's vicious hit last season against Oklahoma receiver Dede Westbrook.

It wasn't targeting that day. It was called targeting Tuesday.

"It should have been called on the field," Anderson said. "We missed this, and this would be one that this year we would want the instant replay official to stop."

To call it targeting, it seems, wasn't enough. Anderson said it was "clear and obvious and evident and egregious," thanks to an angle afforded by a camera on the sideline. With that in mind, it made sense for the NCAA to give officiating crews the ability to access the replay official, who can use all the available tools to not only hand out targeting calls but to review whether a defender used the crown of his helmet or hit a defenseless player in the head or neck area.

Anderson said it wasn't fair to say Joseph's hit was at the center of the national discussion that led to the addition. That instead went to a needless targeting ejection in the Michigan-Michigan State last season. But Joseph's hit was the Big 12's lone contribution to the conversation.

To be sure, that does not sit well with WVU's following, the most vocal still insist Joseph did it right and was not in the wrong. But Anderson said there's no arguing it was targeting. The officials tell coaches and coaches now tell players that there are four "low-risk indicators" that can be taught, learned and remembered to avoid targeting:

Keep your head up. Wrap up. Move your head to the side. Lower your strike zone.

"He pretty much had all the negative indicators on that," Anderson said.

Anderson batted down all the possible defenses. Joseph's helmet did hit Westbrook's, proving his head was not up, but some argue Joseph would have hit Westbrook in the torso if the receiver wasn't on his way to the ground.

Anderson said officials allow for "position change" to sometimes grant defenders exceptions. If a defender's head is to the side or his arms are out to wrap up and he then hits an offensive player in the head or neck because that offensive player changed the position of his body, the defender can he forgiven.

But Anderson said this was not one of those plays and that Joseph had an opportunity to change his attack. He could have used more of his body or his arms to make the play or he could have backed off when ­- or, more accurately, if - he saw Westbrook couldn't protect himself.

"It is their responsibility to avoid unnecessary contact," Anderson said.

That had to be difficult in the moment, because it was such a sudden play and happened with a speed that made it hard to police. But you could see it coming as Joseph tracked the flight of a pass headed to Shepard, and officials, who Anderson said were in motion when the contact occurred, still didn't throw a penalty flag.

"It wasn't that I couldn't believe they didn't call it," Anderson said. "I was just very disappointed that they didn't."

Others were not, and they believe Joseph was innocent. Some believe he hit the ball, if not first, then certainly immediately. Ordinarily, a helmet to the ball and a fumble or an incomplete pass is a good play. Anderson said a rule change from three years ago redefined that, and officials no longer consider the point of initial contact.

"It's the direction of the forcible contact," he said. "If the forcible contact ends up around the head and neck area, regardless of where it was initiated, it still meets the targeting components."

Joseph made matters worse by what happened when he made contact, first with his approach and then with his finish.

"Go back and look at that play," Anderson said. "When he comes in, watch where his hands are."

Joseph's hands are inside his shoulders and up around his neck. Anderson said just about every targeting penalty has that in common.

"They're going to bring their hands in to provide self protection," he said.

Joseph then used his arms as part of the finish, when his facemask hits Westbrook in the chest and the top of his helmet fits under Westbrook's chin.

"He's thrusting upward," Anderson said. "That's another thing you don't want to do. If you're going to thrust, thrust downward in terms of lowering your strike zone."

Contact Mike Casazza at 304-319-1142 or mikec@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikecasazza and read his blog at http://blogs.wvgazettemail.com/wvu/.

Grobe trying to steady the ship at Baylor http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ0201/160719493 GZ0201 http://www.wvgazettemail.com/article/20160719/GZ0201/160719493 Tue, 19 Jul 2016 21:36:22 -0400 Mike Casazza By Mike Casazza DALLAS - On a few occasions Tuesday, Jim Grobe, the new and likely temporary head football coach at Baylor, reminded his audience at Big 12 media days that there's no manual that will guide him through his situation.

"There was," he said, "no road map for this."

Grobe is now leading the program at the center of a scandal that's come to engross the university, never mind the athletic department. The school's president and athletic director have resigned and the football coach was fired in the midst of allegations Baylor and its athletic department mishandled alleged sexual assaults committed by football players.

Grobe was plucked out of inactivity to give Baylor a respected presence and a steadying influence. The former Ohio and Wake Forest coach, who improbably led the Demon Deacons to the 2006 ACC championship, must now continue the ascent of a program that skyrocketed to a 32-7 record the past three years under Art Briles with one BCS bid as league champion and a share of another Big 12 title.

"I've been so impressed with what Art and the football program have accomplished over the last few years," said Grobe, who was born in Huntington in 1952. "I'm an old West Virginia hillbilly, and we got that feeling if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

That will do just fine on the football field. Off the field, that will not suffice. It cannot suffice. The Bears probably know that, but it can't be definitively stated that they do after Grobe's comments Tuesday, when he did things like dutifully and dubiously defend his program.

"We don't have a culture of bad behavior at Baylor University," he said.

There's nothing wrong with saying that, no matter the accuracy of his words, no matter how many people may disagree, because a big part of Grobe's job now is to restore Baylor's reputation, or at least not make it worse. But he further tried to support his employer in a manner that implicated so many others.

"What I want to do is let people know that the majority of our kids are fantastic kids, and the problems that we're dealing with at Baylor or have dealt with at Baylor to this point are probably problems at every university in the country," he said. "I hate to say every one, but I'm guessing most universities are having some of the same issues we've had at Baylor.

"You can make a call as to whether you think Baylor was too strong in the way they dealt with it. Unbelievably, I've had people tell me they don't think they dealt with it strongly enough."

It's quite believable some of those voices either came from within the Big 12 or at least echoed what some inside the conference believe.

On Monday, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby expressed frustration about Baylor's lack of transparency in addressing the Big 12's questions and concerns. He said the league's members feel their reputations have been "sullied" by Baylor's behavior. A conference call between Baylor representatives and Big 12 presidents and chancellors Tuesday was designed in part to let the league's board of directors ask questions and insist on answers.

But in his question-and-answer session with the media Tuesday, Grobe, who to his credit did not decline or dance around any question, offered unusual replies that couldn't have helped the school's image.

The Bears, for example, kept all of the assistant football coaches. In May, a law firm Baylor hired to conduct an investigation released a report it called a "Findings of Fact" detailing objectionable actions by "football coaches or staff." In one instance, they're described meeting with an accuser or an accuser's parent without disclosing the alleged misconduct to the university. In another, they're said to have diverted cases away from student conduct or criminal processes.

Briles and two staff members of the football department are the only individuals who have been fired. Asked why all of the assistant coaches were allowed to return, Grobe said it was in the best interest of his players but that it was also a logical decision for him in his situation.

"I've had nobody tell me about assistant coaches' misbehavior," he said. "If our assistant coaches' conduct had been bad, if anybody told me that, if anybody can come to me and point out that the coaches have not behaved properly, then I would have no problems making changes.

"But I think from our players' standpoint and from our players' perspective, we lost our president. We lost our athletic director. We lost our football coach. We lost some other staff members. So for me to come in and make changes without reason made no sense to me whatsoever."

And so the shame of it all, Grobe said, is that "a few guys can really hurt a large group of people in such a devastating way."

The reactions were prompt and pointed on social media and inside the Omni hotel here. When Grobe met hours later with reporters, he realized his message was misguided and sought to more clearly state his position.

"My real point was there a problem before I got to Baylor with the way issues were dealt with? Absolutely," he said. "I don't mean to speak to that at all. What I want to speak to is the kids I've been associated with since I've been at Baylor, I've seen just a bunch of great kids.

"That's really all I wanted to say. I want to support the good kids in this program who are doing the right things."

Contact Mike Casazza at 304-319-1142 or mikec@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @mikecasazza and read his blog at http://blogs.wvgazettemail.com/wvu/.