Morgantown, West Virginia – Mountaineer fans, I implore you, do not make Kerry Martin, Jr. the enemy here. Do not say that you want him to transfer. Do not claim that you’ll never cheer for the West Virginia football team again and certainly do not lash out at Martin for speaking out against what he perceived to be injustice and mistreatment.
West Virginia University made a very difficult decision and Athletic Director Shane Lyons did what’s best for the program. It’s very difficult to imagine former defensive coordinator Vic Koenning returning after Martin made the accusations public on social media; ultimately, players should feel comfortable speaking out against what they deem to be mistreatment without worrying about the fan base attacking them or threatening to no longer support the program.
In other words, this is a really difficult moment for Koenning, the university, Kerry Martin, Jr., and the worse thing we can do as Mountaineers right now is to give up on the players or the university.
Perhaps some self-reflection is needed by those angry about this decision. What might you have done given the circumstances? A player spoke out against a coach, a thorough investigation was completed, and it was found that the coach should no longer remain with the team. As a Athletic Director (Shane Lyons) or Head Coach (Neal Brown), how would you have put out this fire in a more appropriate way?
Lyons, Brown and West Virginia University ultimately did what’s best in a very challenging, difficult situation. This is not the time to separate and take sides, but rather to come together during a dark time in Mountaineer history. It’s time to embrace Kerry Martin, Jr. and tell him how much we care about him and love him, not push him away and further fan the flames of dissension. This is not the behavior that makes Mountaineer fans the best, most loyal fans in the nation. Come together and always remember, “Once a Mountaineer, Always a Mountaineer.”