A Real Discussion About Potentially Firing Neal Brown

Morgantown, West Virginia – Neal Brown said it all after West Virginia lost to Pitt, 38-31, in the Backyard Brawl.

“There was a little over six minutes to go in the game. It was 4th and about a foot. We’re up seven,” Brown said following the game. “You can pin ’em, and we did. 6:01 to go — I looked up at the clock — and they had to go 98 yards and we’re up by seven. If you go for it there and you don’t get it, then they got a short field and three timeouts. Best answer I can give you is, if I had to do it again, I would do the same decision.”

Neal Brown would make the same bad decision again.  And he’ll do it again when he faces a similar situation. He took no responsibility and has learned nothing from his mistakes. This is Neal Brown and he’s not going to change.

Brown, who is now 17-19 during his tenure as head coach of the Mountaineers, is still insisting that West Virginia fans trust the climb. And many do…somehow. 

West Virginia’s director of athletics Shane Lyons came up with perhaps one of the most one-sided contract extensions in the history of the program. Terms of the buyout heavily lean towards Neal Brown.

If Brown were to leave West Virginia for another program before the end of the 2024 season, he would owe WVU 25% of his remaining contract. If he left in the final two years of the contract, he would owe West Virginia a mere 12.5% of the contract.

In stark contrast, if Brown is fired before the end of the 2023 season, West Virginia University would owe him the entire remaining portion of his contract. The school will owe Brown approximately 80-90% of the remainder of his contract if he leaves anytime before 2026.

It’s not only a bad contract for West Virginia, it’s a monumentally horrific deal for the university. Shane Lyons has clearly hitched his wagon to Neal Brown, for better or worse, and he’s absolutely painted himself and the university into a corner.

West Virginia is stuck with Neal Brown. Brown knows it, Shane Lyons knows it and the fact that Lyons signed this deal when Neal Brown was only 10-10 at West Virginia is even more outrageous

Even if the West Virginia program shows no improvement and makes zero progress again this season, what can Lyons really do at this point? Neal Brown is the head coach of the Mountaineers until at least 2026, whether we like it or not.