8.09.2010

Mountaineer Monday

Four years ago, in the 4th quarter of the home opener, a {true} Freshman running back stepped onto the field for his first snap in a Mountaineer uniform.  Twenty-three yards (and mere seconds later), he was treated to a standing ovation of welcome from the home-team crowd.  A few plays later he scored his first touchdown and an era had begun - the Noel Devine era of Mountaineer Football.

He's small in stature but large in heart.  Both of his parents died of AIDS before he was a teenager and two children call him Daddy, but when the opportunity to leave college a year early to go to the NFL he declined it and chose to wear his #7 jersey one more year.

The impact of Noel Devine on WVU Football may not be as legendary as that of Pat White or Major Harris yet, but I am excited to see the mark he leaves as a Senior.  He's no longer a young kid and everyone in town is talking about how he's grown into a real Leader.  Leadership is one element that was lacking in last year's Mountaineer team and I am encouraged to know that Noel is rising to the occasion.

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If you follow College Football at all, you know that WVU's Football program has come under scrutiny lately for Violations of NCAA Regulations - specifically for non-coaching staff employees performing coaching actions.  These actions are similar to those that Michigan was accused of; fortunately it does not seem that WVU is guilty of the additional violations that were severe (and cost UM scholarships and coaching positions).

What concerns upsets me most is that Coach Stewart, who presents himself as an honest, rule-following, God-fearing man is guilty of continuing these violations past his first season.  While there is no excuse, I would be more forgiving/understanding if it had just been his first season as Head Coach following Rich Rodriguez's leaving.  Unfortunately, the NCAA alleges that the violations continued through the second season (last year).  This from a man who preaches integrity.  It just really leaves me wondering.

And while I'm on the subject of Coach Stewart, I am typically a staunch defender of his and I believe he was the right man to immediately follow Rodriguez.  I am starting to feel as if it his tenure as WVU's head coach might need to come to an end.  What has prompted this change of heart?  Coach Stewart himself, in a tweet (that interestingly enough has been deleted) he stated that 'getting over the two-digit win hump would be real neat'.  Personally that makes my stomach turn, not because it wouldn't be neat, but because it should be an expectation.  Every. Year.  We all know my feelings on Rodriguez, but the one thing I will give him credit for is bringing an atmosphere of winning and expecting to win to Mountaineer football.  I pray we haven't gone backwards and will now just be happy with any bowl game.

5 comments:

  1. I'm sooo ready for the season to start.

    The violations are violations, but kind of petty. The NCAA rules are so vague and hard to interpret sometimes. I'm giving Coach Stew the benefit of the doubt thinking he didn't know any better and just picked up where Rodriquez left off. Plus we have a compliance officer who's job it is to make sure we are in compliance..where was this person? For those that call it cheating..it's hardly cheating..it was STUPID..that is what it was.

    Bring on the Mountaineers!!

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  2. You know that I am not a huge Stew lover. I won't go into my rant!

    But I can't wait for the season to start!Did you read the article talking about how Noel can't run till he gains weight? If nto let me know I will forward it to you :)

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  3. Staff members acting as coaches? This doesn't sound like a terrible thing. Enlighten me. Oh, and happy Monday. :)

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  4. That is such a great story about Noel Devine.
    Bring on the football!

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  5. Rebecca - award for you on my blog. :)

    I'm not as into college football as i am basketball...but I can really sense your enthusiasm!

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