Stew's Views: Off-Field Issues

While his team is only days away from an important Big East home game, WVU head coach Bill Stewart is handling several situations that have little bearing on the Xs and Os.

Stewart announced that defensive lineman Scooter Berry had been suspended indefinitely as of Tuesday afternoon.

Berry, who has dealt with injuries to his shoulder and leg already this season, was arrested in the overnight hours of Sunday morning for disorderly conduct and public intoxication, stemming from a dispute at a Morgantown bar.

"He will remain (suspended) until I deem further," Stewart said. "We have certain procedures and policies here about wearing the old gold and blue. We are going to make mistakes in life, and he made a mistake."

"It will be left for restitution for myself, the staff, the senior class and the rest of his teammates. At the appropriate time, if he has met that restitution, we will talk about reinstatement."

Beyond that, Stewart and the administrations of both West Virginia and UConn have determined what will be done to honor the memory of Jasper Howard, the Huskies' cornerback who was fatally stabbed early Sunday morning.

The head coach said that the Mountaineer player will wear decals with Howard's uniform No. 6 on their helmets. Both teams will also line up on each hash mark, facing each other for a moment of silence. Afterward, the teams will meet in the middle of the field and shake hands en masse.

"This is all about Jasper Howard and honoring a fallen brother," Stewart said. "I am very proud of the West Virginia and Connecticut administrations for helping us make this happen to honor him."

At that point, however, the second-year coach said his players will have to be prepared to go to battle in spite of the emotional nature of the day for the Huskies. Stewart knows that a balance must be struck between being sensitive to the situation while still being prepared to play a significant game.

"We have a good group of young men here that are saddened by the situation, but after the coin toss, the Mountaineers need to be ready to play football," Stewart said. "Make no mistake, this is a business. Our guys know this is round two (in the Big East)."

BROWN RETURNS:

After expressing mostly pessimism on Sunday and Monday in regard to the status of quarterback Jarrett Brown, the head coach said his starting signal-caller would practice Tuesday.

Brown sustained a minor concussion during Saturday's 24-7 win over Marshall. He did not practice Sunday despite the fact that WVU players only donned helmets and vests for the session, meaning there would be no contact.

Stewart had previously said that didn't bode well for the possibility of the senior suiting up against Connecticut, but there is still an apparent possibility of Brown playing Saturday. His coach said that all depends on how he reacts during practice today.

"A decision will not be made until tomorrow (Wednesday), but if he is just not well today, we may make a decision tonight," Stewart said. "However, it will be day-to-day. If he gets through today well, then he has to get through Wednesday. Then, if he gets through Wednesday, we will talk about him playing in the game."

Stewart said that Brown would be evaluated before, during, immediately after and in the hours after practice Tuesday to determine if the work had any ill effects on his health. If he responds appropriately, the signal-caller will get to practice again Wednesday.

The head coach also said that he expects Ryan Clarke, who was held out of the Marshall game due to a pinched nerve, to be ready to go in time for Saturday's noon kickoff against the Huskies.


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