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Chuck Landon: By missing media day, Marshall looks silly

Aug. 05, 2011 @ 12:00 AM

Marshall's athletic department already has plenty of team physicians.

It really shouldn't need to add the "Travel Doctor."

But, alas, it appears to be a necessity considering the recent traveling snafu, which culminated in Herd head football coach Doc Holliday and star player Vinny Curry not reaching Memphis for the annual Conference USA football media event.

Puzzled?

Join me for some cross words.

Marshall's traveling party not arriving in Memphis was unconscionable. Marshall being the only absentee among the 12-member schools in C-USA was inexcusable. Marshall making inept travel arrangements was unpardonable.

Travel is the life-blood of major college athletics.

It is essential.

That's what makes this snafu so unforgiveable. Marshall officials knew better than to schedule a flight to Charlotte and, then, a connecting flight to Memphis on the same day (Sunday) as the event.

Yet, they did it anyway.

Why?

To save a little money.

What a sad commentary on not having priorities in order.

Instead of worrying about saving money, Marshall should have been concerned about saving face. And because Herd officials weren't, now there's egg all over MU's face.

Remember, there are C-USA coaches already posing the rhetorical question: What does Marshall bring to the league? This inexcusable no-show at the conference's football media event just fuels that controversial fire.

To make matters worse, Marshall made the very same travel arrangements for the 2010 C-USA football media event and just barely made it to Memphis.

That's when MU officials should have said, "Phew, we're not going to make that mistake again."

But they didn't.

Instead, Marshall repeated the poor judgment. And this time the mistake caught up with the Herd.

When will Marshall learn?

Not soon enough for Vinny Curry, unfortunately. Marshall's star senior is the one I really feel sorry for. Curry was robbed. He had been waiting his entire career to be "that" guy. He wanted to be acknowledged as one of the 12 marquee players in C-USA. He wanted to mingle with his elite peers.

Curry earned that right.

To have it taken from him by his very own school is reprehensible.

This was Curry's moment to shine. It was a chance for the media to see the smiling face inside the helmet worn by No. 99. It was a one-time public relations opportunity that could influence post-season honors.

But thanks to Marshall's ridiculous travel arrangements all that was unrealized.

That is wrong on so many different levels.

When preseason practice begins Friday at Edwards Stadium, let's hope the players make better decisions on the field than Marshall officials made off the field.

That's a no-brainer.

ROSTER ADJUSTMENTS: A published report claimed MU lost 10 members of its 2011 recruiting class. That's untrue. Actually, the only casualty appears to be junior college offensive tackle Colin Munro, because of academics.

There will be two or three academic non-qualifiers. The list includes running back Steward Butler, who is enrolled; late recruit Steve Dillon, a defensive tackle who had committed to Southern Cal, and was scheduled to arrive Thursday; and, perhaps, athlete DeAndre Reaves.

Also, there could be as many as six grayshirts. Expected to enroll for the spring semester are defensive end Robert Mincey, who tore a labrum this summer; wideout Chris Alston, rehabbing a knee injury; wideout Lavern Jacobs; defensive back Deontae West; juco defensive end Terry Franklin, academic issues; and offensive tackle Jamar Lewter, who is enrolled at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy.

Chuck Landon is a columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2827, or email him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.

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