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West Virginia forbids coaching staff to speak to anyone from Michigan
By: Baker Cronin
Leading up to its Friday game against Oakland, West Virginia Athletic Direct Oliver Luck announced that its coaching staff would not be allowed to speak to anyone from the state of Michigan in attendance at the game. Afraid that he would lose more personnel to colleges from the Great Lakes State, Luck decided to play it safe by simply banning all contact between the two parties.
Many people are aware of the bitter feelings Mountaineers have towards the University of Michigan for the departures of their football coach Rich Rodriguez and basketball coach John Beilein. However, the problem is far more wide spread than simply these two coaching changes for Mountaineer athletics.
This past year alone saw the departure of the men’s rowing assistant coach to Michigan State, the women’s soccer equipment manager to Western Michigan, the men’s gymnastics trainer to Central Michigan, the women’s wrestling water boy to Michigan Tech, the entire track and field staff to Northern Michigan, and even their primary mascot to Rochester College.
Several players and fans expressed their frustrations with the current situation.
“It’s aggravating, not being able to depend on coaches for your entire collegiate career. One day, they are your coach… The next, they have found some college in Michigan to coach for.” Says junior forward Kevin Jones (Yes, actually, the former lions running back)
Dr. James Pepper, the father of sophomore guard Dalton Pepper, stated “I personally don’t see what is so attractive about Michigan. You would think our staff would be perfectly happy here at West Virginia, but they keep insisting that the whole mining, hillbilly, and inbreeding lifestyle just isn’t for them”
Senior forward Cam Thoroughman wanted to comment on the issue, but ironically declined an interview, insisting he did not have a comprehensive enough viewpoint on the matter.