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WVU/Marshall: Nothing New To See Here People, Move Along...

First-year West Virginia University athletic director Oliver Luck and second-year Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick have sat down and discussed continuing West Virginia's only in-state football series. The outcome: not much. More of the same.

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Despite both Universities having new blood in the AD chair, both appear to be toeing the line set by their predecessors:

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“He’s new. Obviously I’m relatively new,” Hamrick said. “My goal would be to get the series continued. I’d like to try to do that.”

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Hamrick is taking the same stance of predecessor Bob Marcum in insisting that WVU should come to Huntington as a tradeoff for every game Marshall plays in Morgantown.

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Longtime WVU AD Ed Pastilong had said a home-and-home series with Marshall wasn’t feasible and he wanted a 2-for-1 agreement. Luck apparently hasn’t backed down from that.

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“West Virginia has indicated they want to go 2 for 1,” Hamrick said. “So we’ll just have to see how that plays out and we’re discussing all that and talking about that.

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“The discussions have been good. They’ve been professional, very cordial.”

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So, yeah, Athletic Directors meet, and the world's still the same.

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I understand WVU looks like the bad guy here, refusing to do a home and home with West Virginia's only other FBS division team. Marshall has plenty of rhetorical high ground to occupy when they point out that WVU's willing to play a home and home with East Carolina, a team from the same conference.

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The real question here is this:  if the Rolling Stones were coming to town, would you let them play a concert at the high school gymnasium? No, you wouldn't.  Because too many people would show up, and it would be a logistical nightmare. If there were a bigger venue available, you'd send Mick & Keith there, wouldn't you?

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That's essentially at the crux of WVU's argument. The Mountaineers draw fans to Morgantown from all over the state. They have the same pull in Huntington, and Huntington is not prepared to handle the influx of fans. I was lucky enough to attend the Mountaineers only previous trip to "The Joan" and I witnessed first hand how unprepared Marshall was to handle the crowd. A good friend of mine bought a ticket on eBay for a king's ransom and then walked into the game without anyone ever asking to see his ticket. He was able then pass it back out thorough the fence to another friend who could repeat the process. That just doesn't happen in Morgantown. Mountaineer Field is a fortress on gameday, and they're prepared to sell every ticket in the place. Marshall's just not used to a sell-out.

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That said, one thing did come from this meeting of the minds:  Hamrick has instructed the Thundering Herd Marching Band to stop playing Country Roads because "it's a WVU song."

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.