HUNTINGTON - Marshall's association with WSAZ-TV, Channel 3 has ended after 16 years, with local television rights moving to WCHS-TV, Channel 8.
MU officials have yet to announce the move, but IMG College, the athletic department's multimedia rights holder, has reached a deal with WCHS to air the weekly shows featuring football coach Doc Holliday and basketball coach Tom Herrion.
Also, WCHS can air live MU games as opportunities arise. Last season, WSAZ picked up games also airing on Comcast Sports Southeast, making them available to viewers in the Charleston-Huntington market served by cable systems other than Comcast.
WSAZ hasn't always had TV game rights - those went to West Virginia Media and WOWK early in Marshall's Conference USA era - but has aired the coach's shows continuously since 1996. WSAZ aired a number of games on a local basis in the 1990s through 2004 and a few in recent years.
"Personally and professionally, it's extremely disappointing," said sportscaster Keith Morehouse. "I've covered every Marshall football game [in some capacity] since 1996, and it's unfortunate."
MU's current contract with IMG College brings an infusion of roughly $1.3 million per year, with several improvements at Joan C. Edwards Stadium and Cam Henderson Center a side benefit.
Marshall's safety position appears to be pretty deep, even after the departure of Zach Dunston.
The team announced Monday that Dunston, a 6-foot, 201-pound junior from Virginia Beach, Va., left the Thundering Herd program. There was no further comment from coach Doc Holliday.
Dunston played six games last year, starting none, and was credited with a quarterback hurry and a blocked kick. The latter was critical - it allowed the Herd to take a 13-10 lead in the fourth quarter of the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg, a game MU went on to win 20-10.
Duston attended MU's media day Monday, posting a picture on Twitter with Darryl Roberts. That was to be his last function in a kelly green jersey, though.
One of the reasons he left isn't a mystery. MU added former Boston College safeties Dominick LeGrande and Okechukwu Okoroha, and they have played on the first unit all through camp. D.J. Hunter and Point Pleasant native Derek Mitchell have generally played on the second team, with Dunston on the third unit.