No Movement on Renewal of Capital Classic for WVU, Marshall

CHARLESTON, W. Va. - While the action on the court was fast paced in West Virginia's 86-68 dismantling of Marshall on Thursday, the same does not apply to talks or negotiations concerning the renewal of the basketball series between the two schools.

Thursday night's West Virginia win marked the final game in the current men's basketball contract between WVU and Marshall, but there have not been any recent discussions concerning an extension or renewal of the expiring deal. WVU Director of Athletics Shane Lyons noted that while there have been many demands on his time recently, nothing has occured between the two institutions concerning a renewal of the current contract.

"At this time, there are no talks or negotiations scheduled," Lyons told BlueGoldNews.com prior to the game. "This is also the last game for which the current sponsor, Chesapeake Energy, is contracted, so we would also need to go through the process of renewing or finding a new title partner if a new contract was made. So far, we haven't been approached or had any discussions in that direction either."

There have been some well-documented jabs, if not outright rancor, between the head coaches of the two schools over scheduling in the future. West Virginia, due to its Big 12 obligations and the leagues' scheduling agreement with the SEC, must have its non-conference games played in December. That has reportedly not been viewed favorably by Marshall in the past. Suggestions have also been made about desires from that direction for a three-game contract, with one game at each school and a third in Charleston. Lyons did not comment on any proposed future contracts, but other sources indicate that any such proposal, if floated, would likely not be met with approval. WVU head coach Bob Huggins was non-committal about a resumption of the series afterward, noting, "I don't know. I try to win games, and not worry about those other things." Marshall head coach Dan D'Antoni, sporting a warm-up shirt featuring the state outline, offered a "trophy for everyone" opinion about the series.

"I've said all along in this game, there's no winners and losers," D'Antoni commented. "This is a game for the state and you can see the crowd was there. It was passionate."

West Virginia's win moved it to a 33-11 all-time series lead over the Herd. The Mountaineers have won the last five games in a row and nine of the last ten. The 18-point margin of victory in this game was the biggest since 1990, when WVU also hit that margin in a 74-56 triumph.


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