Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Opinion: Jose Perez Should Be Allowed To Play

Cover Photo: WVU Athletics Jose Perez was an absolute powerhouse at Manhattan, where he was chosen as the preseason Player of the Year in the MAAC. He averaged 18.9 points, 4.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds last season, so it was expected that he would be a major player at WVU. Once he transferred to WVU, he was denied eligibity. After his waiver was denied on December 16, they appealed the decision. However, only 90 minutes before the Mountaineers took on Baylor in Morgantown, the NCAA denied Perez's appeal. The NCAA has been trying to cut down on student-athletes transferring multiple times. According to their new criteria approved yesterday, the NCAA states, "The Council voted unanimously to update guidelines for the waiver process for undergraduate student-athletes who are transferring for a second time...Each waiver request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but moving forward, student-athletes must meet one of the following criteria to be granted a waiver to compete immediately." A demonstrated physical injury or illness or mental health condition that necessitated the student's transfer (supporting documentation, care plans and proximity of the students support system will be considered) or Exigent circumstances that clearly necessitate a student-athletes' immediate departure from the previous school (e.g. physical assault or abuse, sexual assault) unrelated to the student-athletes athletics participation. Perez has done everything asked of him. He did not practice with the team until the fall semester was over and he enrolled for the spring semester back in November. WVU didn't cheat in any way to help prepare Perez for his season. They also didn't cheat their way to a waiver approval either. Yet, both Jose Perez and his team are hurting. Perez also revealed the terrible circumstances surrounding how Manhattan College dealt with the transfer process. It is now clear that they tried to keep Perez and his teammates from leaving the team. Manhattan fired head coach Steve Masiello with less than two weeks before the first game of the season. The college did this because they believed that the player wouldn't want to leave just days before the start of the season. They knew that if they had fired him any earlier, a large number of player would have entered the portal. Perez left because Masiello was more than a coach; he was a father figure. Even in recent WVU history, several athletes have played with three or four different schools. JT Daniels started his career at USC, then went to Georgia, then WVU, and now Rice. Erik Stevenson started at Wichita State, then Washington, then South Carolina, and is finishing his collegiate career at WVU. Perez is eligible to play for the Mountaineers in the 2023-2024 season, but there's no guarantee that he will stay that long. His plan was to play this season, then move on from college. This means that it would be very hard to keep him around for another year, when he would be a sixth-year senior. The NCAA has used this situation to make an example out of both Perez and WVU's entire basketball program.

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Merry Christmas from the Voice of Motown Podcast!

My co-host Tyler and I would like to wish all readers of the Voice of Motown and listeners of the Voice of Motown Podcast a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year. When we started the podcast in this year, we did so without any expectations. However, over the time we’ve spent interacting with our listeners over Facebook Live and in the comment sections of Twitter, we’ve come to appreciate all the support and feedback we’ve received. We are grateful for you and hope to provide you with the quality content that any Mountaineer fan deserves. For the new year, we will continue to strive to put out enthralling and stat-heavy content on all things Mountaineer sport: from updates on the football season to keeping our fans appraised of news, analysis on the ongoing basketball season, and everything in between. However, we’d love your input! Regardless of if you are a one-time listener, someone who has never listened, or a die-hard fan that listens every time a new episode is released, we’d love to hear what YOU want to hear. It can be anything: from more stat-focused content to more interviews. Mountaineer Nation has some of the best fans in the country. We appreciate the energy and love you put behind your support of WVU every day, and we produce every episode with the same conviction. After all, we are just merely WVU fans with a soap box; a duo of lifelong West Virginia residents who bleed blue and gold. We are looking forward to continuing to provide you with top-tier news, updates, and analysis on West Virginia Mountaineers sports in 2022, and we look forward to hearing your thoughts, feedback and comments! You can check out the latest episode of our podcast below!

Geno Smith Making First Start In Four Years On Sunday Night Football

  Photo Courtesy Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times Last week, the Seahawks star quarterback was hit in the hand, causing tendon damage and ultimately leading to surgery. Former WVU standout Geno Smith stepped in and was an immediate spark. His first drive ended with a touchdown pass to DK Metcalf and it was looking as if Seattle was going to make a run to win the game. The crowd was getting into it, chanting "Geno! Geno!" However, it was all for nothing when Tyler Lockett slipped mid-route causing a late Smith interception. Seattle lost 26-17. Russel Wilson's injury is causing him to miss significant time, so the keys are being passed  Smith. Tonight, Geno will make his first start since 2017 on the biggest stage in the National Football League: Sunday Night Football. Mountaineer fans all over the country will be tuned in and it gives us even more reason not to cheer for a Pittsburgh team. Seattle (2-3) @ Pittsburgh (2-3) 8:20 PM NBC

WVU Updates Mask Policy

  Photo Courtesy WVU West Virginia University has updated their mask policy. Before, masks were mandatory only in classrooms and lecture halls. Now masks will be required at all indoor on campus locations. This requirement will go through October 6th or until the University determines new guidance. This mandate, beginning September 13th, does not include games at Milan Puskar Stadium.

The Term “Fair Weather Fan” is Overused.

Cover Photo Courtesy William Wotring  Dominion Post We hear the term “fair weather fan” used very often on social media. Fans typically are labeled this when they are being critical of their team, lack of support through the bad times, etc. The truth is though, fans who act as the labeler in these scenarios are doing so entirely too much and, in some cases, are falsely accusing the labeled.   The latest attack from the fair-weather police came after WVU embarrassingly lost their season opener to Maryland.   WVU twitter can often be dramatic, and usually opinions differ in every which way. Yesterday, that wasn’t the case. WVU fans, or at least most of them were all on the same page, asking the same general question: Why did the coaching staff spend all off season telling us how improved this team was?   The truth is West Virginia didn’t look improved. West Virginia fans noticed and took to twitter to make their feelings known. Because of the great deal of critique WVU fans dished out, the group of fans who religiously use the term “fair-weather fan” came lurking out of the shadows after their off-season hibernation.   West Virginia Football fans deserve to be mad. We were told the entire off season specifically how improved the offense was and it simply did not look improved. Not even in the slightest. And because of that, the fans felt the need to ask, “what the freak is going on?” Evidently that is the cardinal sin to the fair-weather police.   I have a message to those who feel the need to perpetually call others fair-weather fans: Shut up.   Chances are the person who you are labeling as a fair-weather fan has put hundreds if not thousands of hard-working money into the programs at West Virginia. Chances are the person you are labeling as a fair-weather fan yells and screams at their TV because the love for West Virginia sports is so strong and passionate. Chances are the person you are labeling as a fair-weather fan puts West Virginia sports at the top of his/her priority list. Chances are the person you are labeling a fair-weather fan has breathed the words “All I want is a WVU national championship before my time on this Earth is over.”   Do not call someone a fair-weather fan because they dish out some criticism. Don’t call someone a fair-weather fan because they are furious at the fact that Leddie Brown (averaged 4 yards per carry yesterday) only got 6 touches in a second half where West Virginia’s abysmal offense managed to put up a whopping 3 points. Stop overusing the term “fair weather” because you think it validates your status as a fan.   Fair weather fans are the ones who do not support these programs until they are good. Real fans support and care through the good, bad, and the ugly. And I, after being involved in WVU Twitter for a while now, can confirm that the people you are calling “fair weather fans” are more passionate than you are and are much bigger supporters.   In conclusion, watch how, where, and why you use the term “fair-weather fan.” Because being critical doesn’t mean our support is lacking.   And for clarity, I do not condone @’ing any players. That part of criticism is never and should not be tolerated.

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The Week Ahead For WVU Baseball

(Photo by WVU Athletics)    After dropping this weekend’s series to Central Michigan, 2 games to 1, the Mountaineers return to the diamond this week for a two-game series against Morehead State and a three-game series against Coastal Carolina. This week’s schedule is as follows: 3/16: Morehead State (3 p.m., ESPN+) 3/17: Morehead State (3 p.m., ESPN+) 3/19: Coastal Carolina (6:30 p.m., ESPN+) 3/20: Coastal Carolina (3 p.m., ESPN+) 3/21: Coastal Carolina (Noon, ESPN+)   All games will take place in Morgantown and broadcast on ESPN+. The Mountaineers are currently 5-5 on the young season.

WATCH: WVU Closes Series With CMU on Walk-Off

West Virginia concluded their 3-game series against Central Michigan on Saturday with what is easily their most exciting game so far this season.   Mikey Kluska sent fans in Morgantown home happy with a walk-off 2-run home run that gave the Mountaineers the win over Central Michigan, 8-7.   Watch Kluska and the Mountaineers celebrate the win in the tweet above.  

ESPN Puts the Hammer Down on Pat McAfee’s Show

(Photo by WVU Athletics)    Pat McAfee is one of the most beloved sports figures in WVU history. Not only did he make a name for himself kicking footballs, but he also quickly rose to fame through way of entertainment. McAfee, who played his entire NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts, has one of the most successful talk shows in the sports world today, The Pat McAfee Show. Over the course of its run, McAfee has had some of the biggest names in sports guest star on his show, including those who work with ESPN. However, that will no longer be the case anymore. Yesterday on his show, McAfee made the shocking announcement that those employed by ESPN will not longer be allowed to star on his show. This announcement came to a surprise to many, but not so much to those who know the network of ESPN very well. McAfee and A.J. Hawk discuss the news in the tweet below Watch McAfee explain just exactly what’s going on with ESPN, and why he will no longer be allowed to have some of his dear friends on his show.

WVU Baseball’s Upcoming Schedule

(Photo by WVU Athletics)   After the conclusion of a three-game series with Central Michigan today, the Mountaineer Baseball team will see their season take off into full swing. WVU’s upcoming schedule is as follows: 3/16: Morehead State 3/17: Morehead State 3/19: Coastal Carolina 3/20: Coastal Carolina 3/21: Coastal Carolina 3/26: Kansas 3/27: Kansas 3/28: Kansas The Mountaineers will close the month of March with eight consecutive home games before hitting the road to Stillwater, Oklahoma for a three game series against Oklahoma State to begin April.

After Losing Home Opener, WVU Faces Double Header Today

(Photo by WVU Athletics)    Excitement filled the air in Morgantown as the Mountaineer Baseball team played in their 2021 home opener on Friday. However, after the team suffered a 5-3 loss to Central Michigan, they will be looking to rebound with a big Saturday.   Today, West Virginia will close out a three-game series with Central Michigan in a double-header. The first game is scheduled to begin at 11 this morning, and the second game of the day is set to begin at 2:30 p.m.   Both games are set to broadcast on ESPN+ through Big 12 Now. The Mountaineers are currently 4-4 on the young season.