CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- THE OTHER DAY a man on Twitter said he was attending a WVU women's basketball game.
"I don't want to get yelled at by [Mountaineer coach Mike] Carey," he tweeted.
In case you missed it, Carey went off on his school's fans after a men's crowd of 11,631 for the Virginia Tech game dwindled to a mere 1,629 for the women's contest with St. Bonaventure.
The Mountaineer men's team is struggling mightily at 5-5. The women's team was 7-2 before Thursday's game against Duquesne and is ranked No. 24 in the Associated Press poll and No. 20 in the coaches' poll.
"I want to thank the people who stayed after the men's game and shame on the people who didn't," Carey said that day. "I am so tired of this stuff - so tired of it."
He went on.
"I'm from West Virginia too and this is ridiculous. How do you think it is to try and get our girls up when the arena is cleared? This is ridiculous."
He went on and on.
"I can say [expletive] about West Virginia because I'm from West Virginia. If [fans] don't like it, tough. My office is right over here in the practice facility and I'm more than happy to talk to anybody because it's ridiculous."
Initially, the old Styx song lyric came to mind: Why must you be such an angry young man when your future looks quite bright to me?
But a look at the facts explains some of Carey's frustration. Before the Duquesne game, WVU's women were drawing an average of 1,606 fans in four home games.
Although the season is still in its infant stages, that marks a decrease from last season's average of 2,224, when the team was 24-10, and yet another from the previous season's average of 3,103, when the team was also 24-10.
Of course, we're nitpicking. Even 3,103 in the Coliseum feels like a gym class.
So, what's the deal?
One reader who commented on Carey's remarks said this: "Dude, it's WOMEN'S basketball. No one watches that. If you want people to stay and watch something else, the NCAA should take up roller derby."
More than a bit crass, yes, but it's pretty clear WVU fans aren't much interested unless the women's team is a national contender and/or has a star like Baylor's Brittney Griner. That's just the way it is here. Embrace it or not.
And don't kid yourself. Mountaineer fans keep up with their program's news. They appreciate when the women's team is highly ranked. But they haven't fallen in love because of the NCAA tournament results. Usually, it's win a game, lose a game and go home.
Within the women's college ranks there's always a few dominant teams like Connecticut, Tennessee and now Stanford and Baylor. After, there's a second tier. Carey has done a fine job getting WVU there, but it's clearly not enough to draw fans.