The Mountain State’s TRUSTED news source.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.


Learn more about HD Media

1207_mu football_

Marshall coach Doc Holliday hoists the Conference USA Championship trophy after a 26-23 victory over Louisiana Tech in the 2014 title game.

Welcome to “Second Guess” Tuesday.

Here are the soggy opinions du jour.

n It was the right decision.

When 11-year veteran Marshall University head football coach Doc Holliday announced on Twitter on Monday morning that MU President Jerome Gilbert had decided not to extend his contract, it was a move whose time had come.

Since Holliday’s contract lapsed at the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2021), an extension was the only way he could have remained MU’s head coach.

Again, it was time for new blood, new leadership and new direction.

And yes, it was a Marshall official who called the shot. Some media members, who present themselves as mavens with inside sources, would have people believe Gov. Jim Justice and former Marshall coach Bobby Pruett had a hand in Holliday not being extended.

That is hogwash.

The fact of the matter, according to knowledgeable sources, is Gilbert and Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick informed Holliday before the 2020 season that he had to win a championship in order to get an extension.

That didn’t happen. Marshall lost the Conference USA championship game to UAB, 22-13, and then was defeated 17-10 by Buffalo in the Camellia Bowl.

That meant no extension.

So now it’s time for Marshall to move forward.

n The headlines in The Herald-Dispatch say it all.

“Hornets rally to beat Redmen, 58-48.”

It referenced Coal Grove’s win over Rock Hill in boys basketball.

“South Point survives Ironton in double OT.”

That headlined a story about South Point defeating Ironton 68-63 in double overtime.

“Multi-talented Anderson starring for Panthers.”

It was about Chesapeake junior guard Blake Anderson.

The point is there are plenty of boys and girls high school basketball games being played in the state of Ohio. That has been the case since Nov. 25.

Meanwhile, high school hoops in both Kentucky and Pennsylvania were scheduled to begin Monday.

That raises an intriguing question: If three states that border West Virginia believe it is safe to hold high school basketball games now despite COVID-19 concerns, why are Mountain State hoops programs being pushed back to March 1?

That’s a two-month hiatus. And that, folks, makes absolutely no sense.

Why are our prep basketball players being penalized when right across the Ohio River high school basketball is being played with no problems?

What’s worse, there doesn’t seem to be any reasonable explanation coming from West Virginia authorities. That’s simply not acceptable.

n The first weekend of Friday-Saturday basketball games in Conference USA offered somewhat surprising results.

Rice was the lone league member that was able to sweep its opponent, defeating UTSA 95-86 on Friday and 84-69 on Saturday.

Otherwise?

The four other matchups all yielded splits. Louisiana Tech defeated Marshall 75-68 on Friday but lost 80-73 on Saturday in Ruston, Louisiana. Charlotte lost to Western Kentucky 67-63 on Friday but upset the Hightoppers 75-71 in overtime on Saturday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

FIU defeated visiting Old Dominion 82-67 on Friday but the Monarchs turned the tables, winning 71-66 on Saturday. It was a similar scenario at Southern Miss. The Golden Eagles defeated UTEP 74-66 in overtime on Friday but lost 77-62 to the Miners on Saturday.

That meant the home teams were 4-1 on Friday, but the visitors held the upper hand on Saturday with a 3-2 record.

It will be interesting to see if this trend continues.