Cover Photo: West Virginia Athletics
Morgantown, West Virginia – As a lifelong West Virginia Mountaineers fan, graduate of West Virginia University and someone who loves our great state and its people more than anything in the world, I humbly ask you, President E. Gordon Gee, to relieve Shane Lyons of his duties as the director of athletics at WVU and Neal Brown of his duties as the head coach of the Mountaineers.
West Virginia, now 3-6 overall and 1-5 in the Big 12 Conference on the season, will not make a bowl game this year and prior to the season, Shane Lyons said that he demands to see “progress.” This is not progress. This is extreme backsliding.
After the Mountaineers started the season 0-2 following losses to Pitt and Kansas, Lyons had the following to say about the football program: “Everyone involved knows that the on-field results have not met expectations and absolutely no one is satisfied. There are 10 games left in the season and the focus is still on getting the results that we all expect.”
There are now three games remaining – none of which West Virginia will be favored to win – and nothing has changed. In fact, the situation has gone from bad to worse. Players appear to have given up, the team is undisciplined and so clearly poorly-coached and there has been zero progress since the beginning of the season.
Shane Lyons has clearly tied his career to the successes and failures of Neal Brown, and he obviously does not want to admit that the ludicrous contract extension and raise that he gave Brown was a monstrous, grotesque error that will end up costing the university millions and millions of dollars.
So if Mr. Lyons can’t make the obvious decision to fire Neal Brown – and it appears that he cannot – then Shane Lyons should be fired as well. Even if/when Neal Brown is fired, how can the passionate West Virginia fan base believe that Shane Lyons will make an appropriate, smart decision in picking the next head coach of the Mountaineers? Lyons is culpable for the football program being where it currently is and simply cannot be trusted moving forward.
President Gee, obviously this isn’t an easy decision for you, as you like both men, but know that you have the complete support of the entire state.