Pastilong Patter

The Blue and Gold News chatted with Ed Pastilong, picking the West Virginia athletic director's brain on topics from the grit of a 10-year plan to whether the former quarterback could run Rich Rodriguez's spread offense. Here's a five-question sampling of the exclusive interview, which appears in its entirety in this month's print edition.

Ed Pastilong: "Hey, go ahead. Fire away."

Blue and Gold News: OK, we can get into it. What are the goals for WVU for the next 10 years, or however long you would like to remain as AD?

Pastilong: "Our goal is to win conference championships and compete nationally, and every once in a while win that national championship, either individually or as a team.

"We want to compete nationally and we want to do so with the respect of our fans and our peers and have a good national reputation. We want that reputation in everything, and we have good people in place in academics, marketing, travel and other areas.

"We try to be as consistent as we can be, in wrestling, in basketball, in football and other sports. We're pleased, but we are still striving for that big one."

BGN: That said, how important is it to be competitive without having a single NCAA sanction?

Pastilong: "We have the respect of other schools and we want to keep playing by the rules. We do a lot of in-house compliance.

"Our student-athletes have done well and we have the best of both worlds. But we cannot rest on it. If you get complacent, the Syracuses, the Louisvilles, the Pitts will run right by you."

BGN: How satisfied have you been with your two basketball hires (women's coach Mike Carey and men's coach John Beilein) and the football hire (Rich Rodriguez)?

Pastilong: "With all, we evaluated their past and attempted to focus on what they might do in the future. All have accomplished a lot. A lot of people fail to realize just how competitive the Big East is in all sports, not just in basketball.

"I had confidence in both basketball hires and the hire in football because of their past success. Now, they had not had those successes in a conference like the Big East.

"Rich Rodriguez had done well in a small-college environment and as the coordinator at Tulane and Clemson. His offensive was so innovative in what he created. It was clear that his future would be very bright."

BGN: Could you have run his spread offense as a player?

Pastilong: "When I was here? No. That takes a durable player with a very strong arm who can really run. It's good to have two quarterbacks for the system and team. I think our fans realize what Coach Rodriguez puts in there. He is a very solid football coach. He is very consistent."

BGN: Any updates on future football scheduling?

Pastilong: "We are not in any current discussions with any football programs. Now, that said, we are always receptive to any discussions. If something comes along tomorrow that is good for West Virginia University and we think our fans would be interested in, we would certainly explore that.

"We would prefer to stay with BCS teams for any future scheduling. But we would look at others, and do so especially if it allowed us to have a seventh home game that was of interest to fans."

Pastilong also addressed the topics of facility expansion (WVU will soon break ground for a new wrestling facility and add one other major facility change) and renovation, West Virginia's finances and ability to remain in the black financially in an ultra-competitive field, the future of the Big East and the possibility of taking state funds for the first time and getting away from a totally self-supporting athletic department, among others.

This is just a small portion of our interview with WVU's athletic director. The complete text appears in the upcoming print edition of the Blue & Gold News.

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