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Moss airs MU sideline controversy on ESPN

It hasn't gone away.

On the contrary, the controversy involving the treatment of Marshall's 1996 championship football team recently got national attention.

After New England defeated Baltimore, 30-23, on "Monday Night Football," ESPN analyst and former Marshall star Randy Moss spoke live with ESPN's Scott Van Pelt on "SportsCenter."

ESPN showed video from Marshall's 49-29 win over Montana in the 1996 NCAA Division I-AA national championship game, while Moss provided commentary.

"We were able to win the championship and go undefeated that year," said Moss, who caught nine passes for 220 yards and four touchdowns in the title game. "And, still, to this day ... We just went past our 20-year reunion and the guys really weren't treated as well as they wanted to be treated, but at the same time they got to spend a little time with each other.

"Any time you are able to accomplish something like that, Van Pelt, to go undefeated, you always have to stay afloat and stay classy with it."

Did Moss say anything wrong or bad?


Yet, Moss still made a point of mentioning on live, national television that his '96 teammates were displeased with their treatment.

That's a national stage.

All that does is underscore the need for Marshall's athletic department to address the policies which created this still simmering controversy.

Most notably, it is the Marshall Athletic Department's stated policy that "any individuals involved in on-field presentations return to their seats following their ceremony to decrease traffic on the sideline."

There isn't anything wrong with the policy as it pertains to Marshall's fans that come down out of the stands in Edwards Stadium to be honored.

They leave their seats, then they return to their seats.

It makes perfect sense.

But it makes no sense to expect or insist on that from former Marshall football players. Did they leave their seats to be honored? No. They left their tailgate. At no point did the 1996 players sit in the stands.

So why wouldn't they expect to be able to watch the Marshall-Florida Atlantic game from the sidelines? I mean, that's where every former football player wants to be when he returns to watch his alma mater play.

What's wrong with that?

Not a thing, at most schools. But Marshall apparently has a policy that doesn't permit former players to receive sideline passes.

For example, a former Marshall linebacker who was a four-year letterman in the late 1980s says he contacted Marshall's athletic department last season and asked for a field pass to Marshall's home game against Charlotte. He was turned down.

Since Charlotte head coach Brad Lambert was the Herd's secondary coach when this linebacker was playing, he simply called Lambert and asked for a sideline pass. And received one.

So, this former Marshall linebacker watched the game from the visiting sideline because he wasn't allowed on his alma mater's sideline.

What's wrong with this picture?

Besides everything, I mean.

When former Marshall football players want to return for a game, stand on the sideline and, perhaps, mentor current players, they should be welcomed with open arms.

That doesn't appear to be happening, however. Instead, the former players — 1996 team and others — aren't allowed to watch games from the sideline, while financial supporters with field passes dangling from their necks are on the sideline.

Until that policy is amended, there will be problems.

Just ask Randy Moss.

Chuck Landon is a sports columnist for The Herald-Dispatch. Contact him at

Allison to face Dunn-Martin

HUNTINGTON — Ky're Allison and Tavian Dunn-Martin were two of the Tri-State's top high school boys basketball players last season. Allison is a Marshall Thundering Herd freshman from Portsmouth High School while Dunn-Martin joined the University of Akron Zips out of Huntington High.

They're former AAU teammates and friends, but will be on different sides Saturday when Marshall (6-3) plays a 7:30 p.m. road game at Akron (7-3) in Rhodes Arena.

Allison, a 6-foot-2, 181-pound guard, scored 21.5 points per game at Portsmouth as the 2016 Associated Press Ohio Division III co-player of the year.

In his first eight college appearances he averaged 11.6 minutes, 3.4 points and about one assist per game. His season highs were 14 points and four 3-point field goals in a game at Eastern Kentucky University.

Dunn-Martin is the 5-8, 155-pound son of former Marshall guard Frank Martin (1991-94) who also averaged 21 points and was the 2016 Evans Award recipient as the West Virginia player of the year.

He has been in all 10 games for the Zips, averaging 13.6 minutes, 6.2 points and 1.3 assists.

HERD NOTES: Following Saturday's trip to Akron, the Herd returns home to play West Virginia Wesleyan at 6 p.m. Monday. Marshall's women play Longwood at 1 p.m.

• Akron won its last six meetings with Marshall.

• NCAA statistics through Tuesday had Conference USA Player of the Week Jon Elmore, the Marshall junior point guard, seventh in scoring average (23.6) and seventh in assists per game (7.0).

• Marshall was 17th nationally in scoring average (86.6).

• Senior guard Austin Loop is third in Herd history with 211 career 3-point field goals.

WINGS CLIPPED: More-head State University's seven-game losing skid started Nov. 16 against Marshall (85-77) in Cam Henderson Center, but the Eagles have even bigger problems.

Athletic Director Brian Hutchinson said the school's review of head coach Sean Woods is nearing completion as he faces a misdemeanor battery charge in Indiana, a report by The Associated Press said.

Woods has been suspended since Nov. 22 and has a hearing set for Feb. 9 in Evansville, Indiana. Two players say in a court affidavit they had altercations with the head coach.

Sophomore Malik Maitland says Woods backhanded him in the chest and junior Soufiyane Diakite says Woods shoved him twice when the Eagles played last month (Nov. 19) at the University of Evansville. Maitland stated in the document that Woods caused pain when he struck him during halftime of the game. Diakite stated in the affidavit that Woods pushed him once during a timeout and in the locker room, and added that he saw the coach hit Maitland.

Hutchinson said Wednesday in a statement he might have more to say about the situation after the review. The AD said since "this is both a student matter and personnel issue, we intend to respect and protect the privacy of individuals and ask that rightful and appropriate due process be allowed for all involved."

Assistant coach Preston Spradlin has served as interim head coach of the Eagles, who play Saturday at home against East Tennessee State.

Morehead State suspended Woods for one game in November 2012 for berating player Devon Atkinson on the bench and appearing to make contact with him during a loss at the University of Kentucky, where he played in the 1990s. Woods apologized for his behavior in the exchange.

NO RESPECT: North Carolina Central showed what it could do in a season-opening 81-69 loss at Marshall. The Eagles verified it in their second game, a three-point loss at Ohio State.

The Eagles confirmed it with a Nov. 28 shocker, a 62-52 upset victory at Missouri from the Southeastern Conference.

Missouri's next game was Dec. 3 against Western Kentucky, and for the week leading up to it, head coach Kim Anderson used some interesting motivation. Anderson took away the Tigers' cushy locker room chairs and made the players wear plain T-shirts and shorts instead of their Nike practice gear. Missouri beat WKU, 59-56.

It seems North Carolina Central isn't getting much respect.

The Eagles opened the season with losses at Marshall (81-69) and Ohio State (69-63) before winning their next five — at Western Carolina (67-59), against Jackson State (84-75), at Northern Kentucky (82-74), at Missouri and against Southern Wesleyan (92-55). They've also lost at East Carolina (69-56), beaten LIU Brooklyn (79-56), lost at Coastal Carolina (70-67) and lost at LSU (70-66).

Coach LeVelle Moton's team is 6-5 — 3-0 at home, 3-5 on the road against a strong schedule. They deserve some respect.

Rick McCann is sports editor of The Herald-Dispatch. Call him at 304-526-2759.

MARSHALL (6-3) at AKRON (7-3)

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Rhodes Arena, Akron, Ohio

Radio: WDGG 93.7-FM, ESPN 94.1-FM and 930-AM

College football bowl season hits the ground Roadrunning, wraps up with 4-team playoff

40 bowls in 17 days

Doing its best to challenge the premise that there can never be enough college football, the bowl system gives fans 40 FBS games from Dec. 17 through Jan. 2 that include 17 teams with 6-6 records and two more that went 5-7.

Too much, you say.


Every game is special in its own way and for the third straight year we are here with a reason to watch each and every one. And to pick the winners, which may also provide a reason to watch. Strictly for entertainment purposes, of course.




UTSA (plus 6 1/2) vs.New Mexico, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

You can't watch them all if you miss the first one. Duh .... NEW MEXICO 31-20.


San Diego State (plus 4) vs.

Houston, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)

Aztecs star Donnel Pumphrey, all 5-foot-9, 180 pounds of him, can break the FBS career rushing record held by Wisconsin's Ron Dayne (6,397) with 108 yards in his last college game — and do it in his hometown ... HOUSTON 28-17.


Montgomery, Alabama

Toledo (minus 2 1/2) vs. Appalachian State, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Rockets RB Kareem Hunt is going to run for 1,000 yards for an NFL team at some point in the near future and you will look like a genius when you have him on your fantasy team ... TOLEDO 27-24.


Orlando, Florida

UCF (minus 6 1/2) vs. Arkansas State, 5:30 p.m. (CBSSN)

Disney World is in Orlando, so there is at least a chance for a Disney character appearance. Might not be a big enough game for Mickey. Feels more like a Goofy assignment. ... ARKANSAS STATE 24-17.


Southern Miss (minus 4) vs. Louisiana-Lafayette, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

The Ragin' Cajuns had gone to — and won — four straight New Orleans Bowls before missing last year's. And it just was not the same without them ... LOUISIANA-LAFAYETTE 30-24.


Miami Beach Bowl

Tulsa (minus 11 1/2) vs. Central Michigan, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The Chippewas have pulled off two of the craziest last-play of the game touchdowns in recent years, first at the Bamahas Bowl two years ago and then to beat Oklahoma State this season. Never count them out ... TULSA 42-28.



Boca Raton, Florida

Memphis (plus 5) vs. WesternKentucky, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

See the American Athletic Conference's next rising-star coach: 35-year-old Mike Norvell of Memphis ... WESTERN KENTUCKY 48-45.



San Diego

BYU (minus 9) vs. Wyoming, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Old WAC rivals playing in San Diego, so the ingredients are here for some old-school Holiday Bowl madness ... BYU 27-23.



Boise, Idaho

Idaho (plus 13 1/2) vs. Colorado State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

The other Coach Petrino had a pretty good season, too. Paul Petrino, brother of Bobby, led the Vandals to a bowl for the first time since 2009 ... COLORADO STATE 38-21.



Nassau, Bahamas

Eastern Michigan(plus 4) vs. Old Dominion, 1p.m.(ESPN)

The Eagles have only one bowl appearance in program history and it came almost 30 years ago. And now they're going to the Bahamas. Happiest. Team. Ever. ... OLD DOMINION 34-28.


Fort Worth, Texas

Navy (plus 3 1/2) vs. Louisiana Tech, 4:30 p.m.(ESPN)

Potential to be one of the most entertaining bowls if Navy's triple-option can get rolling again without injured QB Will Worth ... LA. TECH 35-28.


Mobile, Alabama

Ohio (plus 4) vs. Troy, 8p.m.(ESPN)

Ohio's 72-year-old Frank Solich tries to beat a coach half his age — 36-year-old Neal Brown of Troy ... OHIO 27-26.




Middle Tennessee(off) vs. Hawaii, 8p.m.(ESPN)

Jeopardy: This Ole Miss transfer is averaging more yards from scrimmage than Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook and Donnel Pumphrey. Who is I'Tavius Mathers of MTSU? ... MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE 38-28.



St. Petersburg, Florida

Mississippi State (minus 13) vs. Miami University, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

The RedHawks started the season 0-6 and could end it on a seven-game winning streak. Playing an SEC team is not ideal, but, hey, who thought they would have gotten this far? ... MISSISSIPPI STATE 45-21, BEST BET.



Boston College (plus 1) vs. Maryland, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Two 6-6 teams with zero combined victories against winning FBS opponents. Well, it's better than waiting in line to return those ugly sweaters you got for Christmas ... MARYLAND 16-12.


Shreveport, Louisiana

NC State (minus 4 1/2) vs. Vanderbilt, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)

Watch or Commodores All-America LB Zach Cunningham will tackle you. Actually, even if you do watch he might tackle you. He pretty much tackles everyone ... VANDERBILT 24-21.



Annapolis, Maryland

Wake Forest (plus 13) vs. Temple, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

DB-turned-DE Hassan Reddick of Temple leads the nation in tackles for loss (21.5). Wake has the second-worst offense of any bowl team. Watch to see Reddick's draft stock improve ... TEMPLE 24-14.


San Diego

Minnesota (plus 7) vs. Washington State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

The Golden Gophers threw eight TD passes this season. Cougars QB Luke Falk has thrown at least half that many in a game 12 times in his career ... WASHINGTON STATE 34-21.

Heart of Dallas Bowl

Army (minus 10 1/2) vs. North Texas, noon (ESPN)

You recorded the regular-season meeting between the Black Knights and Mean Green, but your 6-year-old erased it from the DVR to record a Doc McStuffins marathon before you could watch it. Lucky you. They're playing again ... ARMY 24-17.



Boise State (minus 7) vs. Baylor, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN)

The Bears try to avoid a seven-game losing streak in a game that will essentially bring the Art Briles era to a close ... BOISE STATE 42-31.



New York

Northwestern (plus 5 1/2) vs. Pittsburgh, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Pitt star and cancer survivor James Conner plays his last college game in Yankee Stadium. Pretty cool. ... PITT 38-31.


Orlando, Florida

Miami (minus 3) vs. West Virginia, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The Hurricanes are involved so one day this game could be the subject of an ESPN 30-for-30 ... WEST VIRGINIA 28-24.


Santa Clara, California

Indiana (plus 7 1/2) vs. Utah, 8:30 p.m. (FOX)

The first game as Indiana head coach for former defensive coordinator Tom Allen ... UTAH 24-20.



Kansas State (plus 2) vs. Texas A&M, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Get a preview of a Kansas State team that will be a trendy dark horse pick to win the Big 12 next season ... KANSAS STATE 28-23.



Birmingham, Alabama

South Florida (minus 10 1/2) vs. South Carolina, 2 p.m. (ESPN)

Like watching Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson play? Then you will enjoy USF QB Quinton Flowers ... USF 38-31.


Charlotte, North Carolina

Virginia Tech (minus 7) vs. Arkansas, 5:30 p.m. (ESPN)

If the game gets boring follow @belkbowl, the most entertaining bowl on Twitter ... VIRGINIA TECH 28-23.


San Antonio, Texas

Oklahoma State (plus 3 1/2) vs. Colorado, 9 p.m. (ESPN)

Is this the end of Mike Gundy's mullet? Or the first step toward a Bon Jovi cover band for the Cowboys' coach? ... COLORADO 34-27.



Memphis, Tennessee

Georgia (pick 'em) vs.TCU, noon (ESPN)

The Bulldogs (7-5) try to avoid their worst season since 2010, coincidentally the last time they went to the Liberty Bowl — which they lost to finish 6-7 ... GEORGIA 24-20.


El Paso, Texas

North Carolina (plus 4) vs. Stanford, 2 p.m. (CBS)

Christian McCaffrey's last game at Stanford and you won't have to stay up late to watch it ... STANFORD 28-27.


Nashville, Tennessee

Tennessee (minus 3) vs. Nebraska, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Two fan bases that seem to be in a constant state of existential crisis. And one of them will end what looked not long ago like a promising season with a two-game losing streak ... TENNESSEE 35-28.



Air Force (minus 13) vs. South Alabama, 5:30 p.m. (ASN)

Air Force DB Weston Steelhammer is exactly the type of player you would expect a guy named Weston Steelhammer who plays for Air Force to be ... AIR FORCE 35-14.


Miami Gardens, Florida

Florida State (plus 7) vs. Michigan, 8 p.m. (ESPN)

It is not a playoff game, but it feels a lot like one ... MICHIGAN 28-20.



Orlando, Florida

LSU (minus 3 1/2) vs. Louisville, 11 a.m. (ABC)

Lamar Jackson against one of the most talented and athletic defenses in the country is what's for breakfast ... LSU 28-21.


Jacksonville, Florida

Kentucky (plus 5) vs. Georgia Tech, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

This season's bowl most likely to be confused for preseason NIT basketball in the TV listings ... KENTUCKY 31-24.





Alabama (minus 15 1/2) vs. Washington, 3 p.m. (ESPN)

You are running out of chances to see Nick Saban yell at Lane Kiffin ... ALABAMA 37-14.


Glendale, Arizona

Clemson (plus 3 1/2) vs. Ohio State, 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Tigers-Buckeyes crowded bar with $100 cover charge ... CLEMSON 29-26.



Tampa, Florida

Florida (minus 2 1/2) vs. Iowa, 1 p.m. (ABC)

If the New Year's Eve party turned into a New Year's Day party, the expected Gators-Hawkeyes punt-fest should help you nap off that hangover ... FLORIDA 21-14.


Arlington, Texas

Western Michigan (plus 7) vs. Wisconsin, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

So Western Michigan is known as the Broncos and their slogan is Row the Boat? This will all make sense after you see coach P.J. Fleck give his pregame speech ... WISCONSIN 28-23


Pasadena, California

Penn State (plus 6 1/2) vs. Southern California, 5 p.m. (ESPN)

Every season there is a bowl that is almost certain to send the winner into the following season with an exorbitant amount of hype. This is that bowl ... PENN STATE 31-27.


New Orleans

Oklahoma (minus 4) vs. Auburn, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

There was a lot of talk about this being a down year for the SEC. You will be able to hear those "S-E-C!" chants all the back in Norman if an 8-4 team that stumbled into the Sugar Bowl beats the Big 12 champion ... AUBURN 34-27.




Tampa, Florida

Alabama vs. Clemson, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)

The Crimson Tide could become the first FBS team to go 15-0 and stake a claim as the greatest team in college football history ... ALABAMA 38-23.

Record: Last week 9-1 straight; 6-4 vs. points.

Season: 201-86; 126-155-3.

Upset specials: 4-9.

Best bets: 4-9.

Nicholas County WR wins Moss Award

BECKLEY — Nicholas County High School senior Carter Sebert-Sweeney went into the 2016 season with the idea of doing whatever he could to get the Grizzlies back into the playoffs.

Sebert-Sweeney's play helped accomplish that goal for his team, but it also earned him an award he had never dreamed he would win.

As a result of his stellar play, the standout wide receiver was selected as the winner of the Randy Moss Award given annually by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association to the state's best high school receiver. The award is named for former DuPont High School receiver Randy Moss, who went on to win the 1997 Biletnikoff Award at Marshall University and was a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings in the 1998 NFL Draft.

"That really sounds great. It is really a great honor," Sebert-Sweeney said. "I never thought anything like this would happen, for sure. I am really surprised."

While being overwhelmed by the award, Sebert-Sweeney, as he has all season, immediately passed the praise to his teammates.

The numbers for Sebert-Sweeney are impressive, to say the least.

On just 32 receptions he tallied 830 yards — an average of nearly 26 yards per catch. But that was not his most impressive statistic. Sebert-Sweeney scored 17 touchdowns on those 32 receptions in a season when he spent several halves on the bench during blowout wins by the Grizzlies.

"We knew coming into the season that he was a dynamic and explosive player, so we did some things to get him as many one-on-one matchups as we could," Nicholas County head coach Gene Morris said. "We are a little biased in the fact that we think he can win most of those matchups."

Sebert-Sweeney shined in the big games. In a road win over James Monroe, a team that made it to the Class AA semifinals, he scored on an 89-yard touchdown pass and finished the game with five grabs for 154 yards.

His biggest night of the season came against Westside, when he hauled in six passes for 205 yards and four touchdowns.

He displayed his versatility against Shady Spring, scoring four touchdowns in the first half. Along with two touchdowns on just three receptions, Sebert-Sweeney returned a punt 83 yards for a score and a kickoff 61 yards for another touchdown.

East Hardy's Brett Tharp was second in the voting, followed by Isaac Brown from Martins-burg and Chase Riley from Lincoln.

Online POLL


QUESTION: Pick Saturday's winner of the Marshall at Akron men's basketball game.

A. Marshall

B. Akron

Visit and click on the sportstab to record your vote.


Here are results of a poll, "Did you agree with results of the Heisman Trophy voting?"

Yes: 45 votes

No: 56 votes


2017 schedule set

MORGANTOWN — West Virginia University's 2017 football schedule has six home games and a neutral-site contest with Virginia Tech.

The Mountaineers open the season Sept. 2 against Virginia Tech at FedExField in Landover, Maryland, marking the first game between border rivals since 2005.

"I believe the 2017 schedule provides a nice low to the season," WVU Athletic Director Shane Lyons said in a release. "It gives us two home games per month in September, October and November.

"I know our fans will enjoy having Virginia Tech back on the schedule, and that is an easy road trip over to FedExField. The Big 12 will be its usual grind, but that's what makes college football so exciting."

Non-conference home games are Sept. 9 against East Carolina and Sept. 16 against Delaware State.

The Texas Tech game on Oct. 14 will be homecoming, and the Oklahoma State game on Oct. 28 is part of Mountaineer Week.

"Having six home games and a nonconference schedule that includes a rivalry game against a Power Five team like Virginia Tech once again gives us one of the strongest schedules in college football," WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said.

For the first time in six years, the Big 12 Conference has a championship game. The game will be played at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, Dec. 2.

The times and television schedule will be announced later.

WVU 2017 schedule

Sept. 2 vs. Virginia Tech-x

Sept. 9 East Carolina

Sept. 16 Delaware State

Dec. 23 at Kansas

Oct. 7 at TCU

Oct. 14 Texas Tech

Oct. 21 at Baylor

Oct. 28 Oklahoma State

Nov. 4 Iowa State

Nov. 11 at Kansas State

Nov. 18 Texas

Nov. 25 at Oklahoma

Dec. 2 Big 12 Championship-xx

x-at Landover, Maryland

xx-at Arlington, Texas


Marshall men's basketball (6-3)

Nov. 12 N.C. Central, W 81-69

Nov. 16 Morehead State, W 85-77

Nov. 19 Western Carolina, W 98-63

Nov. 21 Jackson State, W 71-61

Nov. 25 at Ohio State, L 111-70

Nov. 30 Ohio, W 98-88

Dec. 3 at Eastern Kentucky, L 89-80

Dec. 6 at Chattanooga, L 96-85

Dec. 10 Toledo, W 111-105

Dec. 17 at Akron, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 19 West Virginia Wesleyan, 6 p.m.

Dec. 22 at Cincinnati, 8 p.m.

Dec. 28 at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.

Dec. 31 at FIU, TBA

Jan. 2 at Florida Atlantic, 7 p.m.

Jan. 5 Old Dominion, 7 p.m.

Jan. 7 Charlotte, 7 p.m.

Jan. 12 at Middle Tennessee, 8 p.m.

Jan. 14 at UAB, 1 p.m.

Jan. 21 Western Kentucky, 6 p.m.

Jan. 26 UTSA, 7 p.m.

Jan. 28 UTEP, 7 p.m.

Feb. 2 at Southern Miss, TBA

Feb. 4 at Louisiana Tech, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 11 at Western Kentucky, TBA

Feb. 16 UAB, 7 p.m.

Feb. 18 Middle Tennessee, 6 p.m.

Feb. 23 at Old Dominion, 8 p.m.

Feb. 25 at Charlotte, 6 p.m.

March 2 Rice, 7 p.m.

March 4 North Texas, 7 p.m.

March 8-11 at C-USA tournament (Birmingham, Alabama), TBD