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Is U.Va. ducking the Mountaineers?
First, a little background.
I was born and raised in West Virginia and attended WVU for six years. I obtained both a bachelor's and master's from there, but I also got my start in journalism in Morgantown. In the fall of 2001, my first gig as a sports reporter for the school's student-run newspaper, The Daily Athenaeum, was attending Rich Rodriguez's first press conference during fall practice.
I spent approximately five years on the WVU football and basketball beat before graduating. About a year after receiving my diploma, I ended up in Strasburg covering high school sports.
That said, I obviously remain intimately connected and genuinely interested in WVU athletics. Just under a year ago, there were rumblings from sources in and around the WVU football program that the Mountaineers wanted to start up a yearly football series with a program from a bordering state: Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland or Kentucky. There seemed to be some find candidates there, such as Ohio State, Penn State, Kentucky, Virginia Tech, etc. But what really piqued my interest was the possibility of U.Va. and WVU meeting on the gridiron.
How convenient for me, right?
I even went as far as writing a fictional column six or so months ago, describing the details of a game betweeen the Wahoos and Eers, with Handley graduate J.J. Dorsey and Virginia signee Ross Metheny competing against each other. Not long after I wrapped up that column, news trickled down that Dorsey was not going to make it to WVU, thus spoiling my splendid column.
But according to the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette, WVU coach Bill Stewart is none too happy after U.Va. released its football schedule with Southern Miss and TCU as additions.
"And we're right over the mountain and they don't want to play? Are you kidding me?'' Stewart told long-time WVU beat writer Dave Hickman. "Why would you not want to play West Virginia, especially in this economy? Shoot, we'd probably take a bus at least one way.''
Instead, WVU will open its 2009 schedule with Liberty. I don't think that's what Stewart or anyone else had in mind when he said he coveted playing bordering state schools, but I guess that'll have to do.
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