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Loans, cheers, a recruit and a formula

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Ye olde notebook:

I found an examination of WVU's athletic department loans from its university interesting.

Drew Rubenstein of Morgantown's Dominion Post reported the Mountaineer athletic department assumed five internal loans within the past six years and has almost $13 million in debt outstanding to the university at-large.

That partially explains how WVU's athletic department has moved so easily from the Big East to the Big 12, increased coaching salaries and improved facilities.

The internal loan practice, however, is fairly typical across the country. And, in this case, it was smart for the university at large to do what it could to help facilitate the Mountaineers' move into the Big 12.

Understand WVU athletic director Oliver Luck had to promise a total athletic upgrade to the rest of the Big 12 before being selected as a new member. The AD told his coaches this season not only to check out playing arenas, but opposing housing, locker rooms, training rooms, etc., for the purpose of comparison. WVU was one of the standard bearers within the Big East, but not so within the Big 12.

Also, WVU left a lot of money on the table when it walked away from the Big East. The bottom line, however, is the Mountaineers will be much, much better off financially after a tough couple years.

Think not? Understand the NBC Sports Network has verbally offered the Big East between $20 and $23 million annually for six years. In a few years, WVU's athletic department will make that or more by itself in the Big 12.

  • Spoke briefly to Luck on Wednesday and asked him about the status of Mountaineer football assistant Bill Bedenbaugh, who is reportedly in line to move to Oklahoma.
  • "I saw him [Tuesday] night," Luck said. "He said, 'It's the strangest thing. I know [OU defensive coordinator] Mike Stoops and all, but I haven't heard a thing.'"

    Luck said he also spoke to OU athletic director Joe Castiglione on Wednesday morning. Castiglione said Bedenbaugh was one candidate on a list, but nothing had been done at that point.

    All can change in one phone call, but ...

  • Cheers to the Big Ten if, as reported, the league is swearing off scheduling FCS football opponents. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez reportedly said, "The nonconference schedule in our league is ridiculous. It's not very appealing ... So we've made an agreement that our future games will all be Division I schools. It will not be FCS schools."
  • Hur-ray. Many times I've wondered why schools just don't stage tailgate parties instead of playing outclassed and, subsequently, embarrassed opponents.

    "The Big Ten has talked a lot about their schedules," WVU's Luck said. "To me, though, the bigger picture is that power conferences will do more among themselves. There will be increased activity within the 64 or so schools of those leagues, whether it be bowls or scheduling."

  • While on the topic of WVU football, Mike Montoro, that sport's SID, said spring drills in Morgantown will begin March 10 with the spring game set for April 20. A scouting pro day will be mixed in on March 14.
  • Practices are tentatively planned for Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a spring break sprinkled in.

  • Of the new Mountaineer football players, one of intrigue is receiver Ronald Carswell.
  • In case you don't know, Carswell was a four-star recruit who originally signed with Alabama, choosing the Tide over Georgia, Georgia Tech and Notre Dame.

    Something then went awry. Tide coach Nick Saban said, before 2011 bowl preparations, that Carswell and SuperPrep All-American Michael Bowman were suspended "for a long time." No reason was given.

    Out both went. Carswell moved to Itawamba Community College in north Mississippi, then signed with WVU in December. When that didn't work out, he re-signed with WVU last week. According to WVU's release, he chose the Mountaineers over Kentucky.

    Hmmm.

  • On Tuesday I wrote about the IOC's decision to cut wrestling as a core Olympic sport. I pointed to a few ties between WVU and Olympic wrestling.
  • What I didn't point out is WVU's wrestling program has fallen on very hard times.

    The program received a much-needed boost when a $1.4 million, 9,000-square foot facility was completed. But veteran coach Craig Turnbull's team this season is 1-9 in dual matches.

    You read correctly: 1-9. The only victory was in the Mountaineers' first match, against Johns Hopkins, on Nov. 4. WVU just lost 29-9 to Ohio. And it hosts No. 16 Edinboro to close the season Feb. 23. Ouch.

  • And finally ...
  • Respected draft analyst Gil Brandt, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys, published an interesting column on a "time-tested formula for predicting future success" of quarterbacks.

    The formula measures air yards (number of yards a ball travels from release to catch), rusher points (effectiveness against four- and five-man pass rushes) and total passing stats, which includes pass efficiency and the like.

    According to Brandt's published formula, the top available quarterback in the upcoming draft is ex-Mountaineer Geno Smith, who scored a 93.

    So there you have it. A notebook filled to the Gil.

    Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827, mitchvingle@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/MitchVingle.


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