Mountaineer Mailbox

It's time for another edition of the Mountaineer Mailbox, so let's get right to your questions.

Q: Would it be possible for the staff to post or tack any information concerning the pro day workouts on the free board? -Michael

A: We had full coverage of Pro Day, which occured on Thursday, Mar. 12 at the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility. The workouts, which were closed to the public, were performed in front of a number of NFL scouts. BlueGoldNews.com will have recaps and interviews of all the action. Some will be free, and some will be premium coverage.


Q: Do you agree that a parking garage is needed for the Coliseum? I have been preaching the need of this facility for ten years. The fans would come in droves. Or expand the PRT to reach the Coliseum. –Rick

A: I think more parking would help from a convenience standpoint, but I don't think the lack of one is keeping many fans away. West Virginia has sold out a number of games this year, and to be honest I haven't heard many people say that a lack of parking is keeping them from attending games.

I do agree that it would be a nice addition, but there are other capital projects, such as the basketball practice facility, that would have a higher priority.


Q: What has been the attrition rate over the winter on the football team. Who will not be there in the spring? -Gary

A: Of players expected to see or compete for time, Quinton Andrews, Thor Merrow and Uriah Grant are three that will not come back for the spring. Jock Sanders, Max Anderson and Jeremy Kash are currently suspended and not part of the team, but they could earn their way back onto the squad at some point. Anderson and Kash have a chance to do so for at least part of the spring. Sanders' situation appears to be a bit more serious, but provided he does everything that Coach Bill Stewart is demanding of him, he could rejoin the team before the fall.


Q: What is the basketball scholarship situation for next year? Everyone keeps saying that Huggs is going to take a scholarship away from West, Thomas, Thoroughman, or Proby. I thought once you gave a scholarship to a player you could not take it away just to free up space for incoming players. How does this work? –Nick

A: Scholarships are for one year only, and renewable annually. Therefore, schools can choose to not renew scholarships at the end of any school year. Of course, a team that got a reputation for doing so would quickly find it much more difficult to recruit, so typically scholarships are not renewed only in cases of criminal or other bad behavior.

As for WVU, it's not going to take a scholarship away from Jonnie West. Will there be transfers before next year? Quite likely. But if those occur, it's not going to be because a scholarship is just yanked. Coaches will review a player's performance and talk with them about their options, and assist them if they decide to transfer. However, that won't happen until after the season is over.


Q: Are all three of our basketball signees for this class on schedule to fully qualify and enroll at WVU this summer? -John

A: At this point, all appear on track to enroll. There are always some concerns about foreign players and getting all of their academic records to the proper places in time, so Deniz Kilicli's status will be watched until he's on campus and gets final Clearinghouse approval.


Q: What is the latest on Brandon Hogan? Can you clear up the mystery illness or the bowl absence? Will he be back in the gold and blue this fall? -Dennis

A: Hogan has participated in all off-season activities, and will be a full participant in spring practice. Both he and head coach Bill Stewart have requested that the media not ask about the issue, which was termed a "personal health issue". Whatever the particulars, he is 100% good to go for this year.


Q: My question is what is the exact plan with respect to expansion of the football stadium. Is there a phased approach to get back up to 75K or more? -Brian

A: There are no plans for additional general seating at this time. There have been some preliminary talks about adding more suites as extensions from the existing suites under the press box, but those plans are tentative at best.

When West Virginia consistently sells out the stadium and fills all the seats, then a plan for expansion of general seating would be looked at. Until that time, there is no reason to do so.


Q: Why doesn't Coach Stewart use the spread offense that Rich Rodriguez used? A quarterback can pass plus use the backs to get through the line. The team won three years straight with the backs running through the line. If it aint broken, don't fix it!! In 2008, Devine and White, plus a few others had a hard time breaking through the offensive line.

A: West Virginia actually used spread offensive principles more in 2008 that you realize. The zone reads and QB runs were certainly still part of the game plan. Going forward, however, Stewart believes that the Mountaineers need to have a more balanced attack that can put pressure on the defense with either the run or the pass. As you saw in games against Pitt and USF the past two years, teams that can load the line of scrimmage and bring pressure can shut down a spread option offense that can't throw the football. WVU will still run elements of the spread, and still go uptempo, but hopes to be able to do more than just run it.


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