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Chuck Landon: MU sent wrong guy to C-USA media day

Jul. 27, 2013 @ 12:33 AM

Pardon me for asking, but. ...

Why didn’t Marshall take star quarterback Rakeem Cato to the recent Conference USA football media day?

It should have been a no-brainer, but for some inexplicable reason it wasn’t.

Instead, senior defensive end Jeremiah Taylor joined Herd head coach Doc Holliday at the 2013 C-USA Football Kickoff in Dallas.

No offense to Taylor, who is a remarkable success story in his own right, but he didn’t win C-USA Offensive Player of the Year honors last season. He also wasn’t named the league’s 2013 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.

Both those awards went to Cato.

That’s why it should have been unthinkable not to take the junior quarterback to the festivities at the Dallas/Fort Worth Marriott earlier this week. Especially since the huge banner welcoming everyone to the event featured a large photograph of — who else? — Cato.

That fact alone made Marshall look ridiculous. And don’t forget Cato’s distinction of being the most decorated Marshall player since the Herd joined C-USA in 2005.

Bottom line?

Cato should have been there.

That makes the decision not to take him very questionable. And here are a couple of the questions.

Did Marshall take star quarterback Chad Pennington to Mid-American Conference media days? Yes. Did the Herd take star quarterback Byron Leftwich to MAC media days? Yes.

Get my drift?

What’s worse, there were six other quarterbacks at C-USA media day.

The list included Shane Carden (East Carolina), Taylor McHargue (Rice), Jake Medlock (FIU), Logan Kilgore (Middle Tennessee State), Eric Soza (UT-San Antonio) and Taylor Heinicke (Old Dominion).

Other representatives included Tulsa star running back Trey Watts, FAU linebacker Randall Johnson, Louisiana Tech defensive lineman I.K. Enemlsplai (Lombardi Award candidate), North Texas linebacker Zach Orr, Tulane place-kicker Cairo Santos (2012 winner of the Groza Award), Southern Miss linebacker Alan Howze, UTEP defensive lineman Adam Ayala and UAB linebacker Patrick Bastien.

Are there a few head-scratchers on that list? Certainly. But none as big as Marshall’s decision not to bring Cato.

Let’s put it in perspective.

Can anybody imagine WVU not taking star quarterback Geno Smith to the 2012 Big 12 media day? Of course not. Well, this wasn’t any different.

When WVU shows more common sense than Marshall there’s a problem.

n Did WVU decide not to renew the contract of long-time associate athletic director Mike Parsons?

That appears to be the case.

And that creates some intriguing scenarios. Wonder what Parsons knows about the controversial Panasonic scoreboards or the recent media rights deal?

I’m guessing Parsons knows where lots of secrets and bodies are buried in Morgantown.

n Wouldn’t former Marshall player Adam Williams be a great choice as the University of Charleston’s new men’s head basketball coach?


Williams has a history with UC since his father, former MU star Tex Williams, was the Golden Eagles’ head coach. So, the UC job means more to Williams than any other candidate.

That speaks volumes.

n Is there any reason to vote in the newly designed Marco sweepstakes?


None of the three resemble the old Marshall mascot.

Enough said.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at clandon@herald-dispatch.com.



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