The Great WVU Power Struggle

Over the past few weeks, West Virginia University has been locked in the middle of a massive power struggle.

Since the last whistle of the Pitt game, turmoil has been the modus operandi at every level of WVU, from the Governor to the President down to the athletic department and the coaches — not to mention the boosters.  It would be easy to say nothing has gone to plan, but that would be to assume there was only one plan.

In fact, with each participant trying to advance his own agenda, we have seen this coaching search pulled in many different directions.  When we have been close to reaching a logical conclusion, one side exerts just enough power to derail the proceedings.  As things stand now, this looks to continue indefinitely.

Here is a quick run-down of the participants:

Governor Joe Manchin: He has been at the center of most of the events in this coaching search. Any statements by his office to the contrary are at best misleading and at worst simply false. The Governor was right in the middle of both the efforts to hire Jimbo Fisher as well as the efforts to thwart the hiring of Doc Holliday. He has stepped into the power vaccuum at the highest levels of WVU. Which brings us to…

President Mike Garrison: Garrison becoming President was a clearly political hire by Manchin. Garrison has been a good foot-soldier for the Governor and was rewarded with the Presidency at a very young age (he’s 39). Unfortunately, with the circumstances surrounding his election (by the BOG) and his age, Garrison has very little political capital left. He, this early into his reign, can exert very little power in situations like this coaching search. Manchin has stepped right into that opportunity and conducted this coaching search as if he were President.

Athletic Director Ed Pastilong (and Mike Parsons): Pastilong has bungled this coaching search from the start, putting his own objectives above the University’s. Pastilong spearheaded the almost-hiring of Doc Holliday, only to be overruled by both Manchin and some of the highest donors. Pastilong then completely destroyed the slam dunk hiring of Jimbo Fisher late last night. It is obvious that both Pastilong and Parsons are attempting to wrestle control back into the AD’s office. As reported before, the low-ball offers to both Rodriguez and Fisher are clear examples of this.

The donors: This is not one single group. Factions of donors loyal to Pastilong (think: Puskar) and Rodriguez (think: Reynolds/Kendrick) have pulled and pushed this hiring in many different directions.  To move forward and accept any coaching hire, there must be some consensus between our largest contributors. Of course, when there is zero consensus in the administration, this is highly unlikely.

Basically, what we have here is a giant clusterfuck. There is no such thing as a compromise choice at this point. What will end up happening is either 1) one party absorbs enough power to overrun the others; or 2) this search ends in nuclear holocaust. Right now, it’s even money.


12 Responses

  1. Might as well book hotels in Toronto in January for the next 10 years. We are watching the next great college program crumble before our very eyes.

  2. It is truly sad and it breaks my heart to see WVU’s football program crumble before our very eyes. We have an AD who, as I see it, doesn’t care in the least for the WVU football players, donors, and fans. He is only interested in advancing himself. How long are the board of governers going to let this continue? How many more recruits and present football players are we going to lose before the board of governers takes care of the AD problem? It looks like, if things continue the way they are, we better get use to 12 game seasons. No bowls for the next few years. Come on WVU do something NOW before it is to late!!! Get rid of Pastilong and Parsons! Do we want to take, Lord knows, how many steps back!
    Merry Christmas! and Remember keep CHRIST in CHRISTmas! Maybe Santa Clause Would make a better AD. It’ worth a try!


  3. Somewhere along the line all of the above mentioned seem to have lost the great Mountaineer spirit. I want what is best for the University, the team and the State that I call home. I think everyone knows what is best in this scenerio. Let’s get it taken care of move on and get back to business….kicking the sh*& out of Oklahoma.
    LET’S GO……..

    Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year to all the Mountaineer faithful wherever you may be!

  4. I refuse to accept the destruction of what is becoming an elite football program. Now is the time for the fans and alumni to make their voices heard.

    Let all parties know that we will accept nothing less than a bonafide, top-notch hire. We don’t want something from the bargain bin. And we don’t give a rat’s @$$ about EP or MP and their loss of power. Had they been strong administrators all along, they never would have had their positions compromised by the coaches. It’s been survival of the fittest in the Athletic Department, and those two are headed the way of the dodo bird.

  5. So…………how can we go about making our voices heard?

  6. My gosh… guys remind me of the guy that sat behind me at a game this year…..every play sucks…..if it was a good play….then it was about time….he was negative until he left at the end of the 3rd quarter……it was the freaking UCONN game……where we scored 66 points. Just freaking relax. The same guy that hired Huggins and RR is going to hire the next guy…….under his administration WVU has enjoyed its most successful run in HISTORY……even great strides in minor sports…….So have a strong egg nog and chill out……

  7. Nice shot of Woodburn Hall though!

  8. Hey moon, just wondering if you consider great strides in minor sports cutting 5 of those sports in 2003? That doesn’t sound positive to me… I guess you can thank ARR’s raise for that but Eddie P could’ve said no to such a big raise.

    Don’t forget that this is the same guy that hired Dan Dakich too.

    We are just being realistic at this point in time. If you keep coming back, which we hope you do, you will realize that we are normally overly optimistic about Mountaineer sports. We didn’t pick WVU to win by less than 14 points all season and I didn’t leave the wins until after country roads.

    So take a straight shot of Jack and come back for more quality info about Mountaineer sports tomorrow!

  9. Men’s outdoor track, men’s indoor track, and men’s cross-country were all considered separate sports even though its the same athletes. So really only 3 sports were cut (along with men’s tennis and rifle), and rifle has been reinstated. And the main reason the programs were cut was because of Title IX. I wrote my capstone paper on it and Pastilong wouldn’t grant me an interview….Jerk.

  10. Excuse us for not going along with the antics of the WVU Stasi, Gregg…we want answers.

  11. I agree that it is embarrassing that we no longer have those minor sports. Unless and until someone has the guts to interpret Title IX as a benchmark “after” football is taken out (because there is not a girls equivelant sport)….Universities will have to make these kinds of decisions. Having said that…..if you want to have a first class University and say you are among the elite….then you have to underwrite these sports. Heck my son is on the D2 hockey team which is club because of Title IX so I am well aware of the issue……by the way, my wife was the first woman in WVU history to get a full athletic scholarship… I also am aware of the benefit of Title IX and support it… has just run amuck.

  12. Like many things these days Title IX is great in theory and was once very necessary but it has been perverted by idiots.

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