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Chuck Landon: Luck again casts pall over series with WVU

Dec. 02, 2010 @ 12:19 AM

Don’t let Oliver Luck push your buttons.

That is precisely what West Virginia University’s loquacious athletic director is trying to accomplish.

By consistently spouting arrogant rhetoric laced with demeaning comments toward Marshall,

Luck is hoping that the Herd universe et al along with Marshall officials will gnash their teeth, sneer with defiance and tell WVU and its football series to go straight to the opposite of “Almost Heaven.”

That would get Luck and the Mountaineers off the hook for a Marshall-WVU series extension.
And that’s why he keeps trying to jerk your chains.

The most recent attempt came on Tuesday in a story written by Geoff Coyle for wvillustrated.com. The article was presented as a story about TCU joining the Big East Conference, but in actuality it was merely another thinly disguised attack on the series.

Oh, and of course it conveniently included a few well placed insults directed at Marshall.

“So what happens to a game like the Friends of Coal Bowl?” wrote Coyle. “If two non-conference games are stripped from the schedule, where does Marshall fit in the shake out? Luck says he has respect for the Thundering Herd, but the future of the now annual game is uncertain with the changes occurring in the Big East.”

Basically, Luck is trying to use Big East expansion as an excuse to play Marshall only once in a green moon.

“The expansion of the Big East will make it a little more challenging (to schedule Marshall),”

Luck was quoted. “Not impossible, but a little more challenging. It very well may be that we can only do a Marshall game every now and then as opposed to every year or four out of five years.”
Luck went on to say he wanted WVU’s non-conference schedule to continue featuring, “power teams out of some of the power conferences,” after playing a season-opener against a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponent such as 2010’s Coastal Carolina.

Then came the insult.

“Maybe every now and then we can replace a (Division) I-AA school with Marshall,” Luck told the web site, “but those are difficult questions that I’m not sure we’re in a position yet to answer because it’s really going to depend on how quickly we pick up the 10th team.”
Angering, isn’t it?

Makes you want to shake your fist at Luck, doesn’t it?

Conjures up satisfying thoughts of hiring a plane to fly a banner with a few well chosen words printed on it over Morgantown, huh?

Don’t do it.

Don’t succumb to Luck’s rhetoric.

Instead, take a deep breath and peruse the conclusion of the forum that wvillustrated.com so graciously provided to Luck.

“The future of the in-state clash is still in the works,” it read, “but with TCU and mystery member No. 10 taking up a spot on West Virginia’s schedule, it is a future in doubt.”

What’s really in doubt is the success of Luck’s adolescent mind games. It’s no coincidence that Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick hasn’t responded to any of his jabs.

Hamrick agreed not to negotiate the contract extension in the media and has kept his word even if Luck hasn’t. Marshall fans need to follow Hamrick’s lead because a 3-for-2 extension remains doable.

Besides, what does it accomplish to respond in kind to Luck’s torrent of demeaning remarks?

He wants us to react. He wants us to get emotional. He wants us to get mad as hell and take our ball and go home.

That is Luck’s ploy.

Don’t fall for it.

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




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